The Dr. Raymond D. DiLorenzo Essay Contest
Dr. Raymond DiLorenzo was Professor Emeritus in the English Department at the University
of Dallas. He took his Ph.D. from the Center for Medieval Studies at the University
of Toronto. He was a medievalist interested in the uses and transformations of the
classical rhetorical and poetic traditions in the literature and theology of the Middle
Ages, especially the works of Augustine, Dante, and Chaucer - upon all of whom he
published articles. Late in his career, he studied Hebrew and the poetics of the
Christian Bible. He was a member of the English Department for thirty-three years,
from 1972 to his retirement in 2005, during which time he taught thousands of freshmen
how to design, argue, and write in the genre of the short academic essay. He was
a philologist of the highest order - a lover of words and the Word. Professor DiLorenzo
was married to his wife Nancy for 46 years, and they have three children: Laura,
Raymond, and Maria. He passed away July 16, 2010.
The Dr. Raymond D. DiLorenzo Essay Contest is an annual competition in which professors
nominate their best student essays from the Spring Literary Tradition II course.
The essay may be on either Dante or Milton, both theological poets trained in the
classical rhetorical tradition which was Professor DiLorenzo's abiding interest.
Each teacher may nominate only one essay. The standards for the essay contest are
- The essay's design should be artful, with a clear and appropriate shape for the argument
- The argument should be carefully reasoned and attentive to both the text (its parts
and the whole) and the critical discussion of the text.
- Its style should be lucid, correct, and even eloquent.
The winner be awarded publication in the next year's University Scholar, and a modest
monetary prize supported by the Dr. Raymond D. DiLorenzo fund. The winner will be
announced in the UD News in the Fall after the semester and summer of the contest.
Past Recipients of the DiLorenzo Essay Contest
Christina Witkoski: "Milton's Satan: Icon or Iconoclast?"
Michael Reardon: "The Great Divide: Milton's Ontology and the Implications for
Ann Kuehl: "On Desire Unfulfilled"
Joseph P. White: "Why Saint Bernard?"
Brian Hula: Appropriation and Re-creation: Dante's Use of Ovid's Tale of Marsyas
in Paradiso 1.19-21
Joe Puchner: La città dolente: Florentine Destruction and Redemption
Sarah Ana Henriquez: "The Veil of Verses and the Holy of Holies: Inexpressibility
and Silence throughout The Divine Comedy"
Jasmine Adams: "Piccarda: Gateway to Paradox in Paradiso
Jason Schwatz: "A Joy that is More Ample: Delight and Memory in The Divine Comedy"
Ben Sanford: "The Siren and Beatrice: Distinguishing Idol from Ideal"