Visiting Writers Series

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally and internationally renowned writers to campus to give public readings.  Please see our calendar for more upcoming events. To receive notices about our upcoming events, please "Like" us on Facebook.

All readings are free and open to the public. Please join us! 


Fall 2015

Kathleen Graber

October 15, 2015

Reading - 8:00PM, TBA

Q&A - 4:00PM, TBA


Kathleen Graber is the author of two collections of poetry, including The Eternal City which was a finalist for The National Book Award, The National Book Critics Circle Award, and the winner of The Library of Virginia Literary Award for Poetry.  She is a recipient of fellowships from The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation.  She has been a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and an Amy Lowell Travelling Scholar.  She is the Director of Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Recent poems have appeared in Best American Poetry (2012, 2014) and The Pushcart Anthology. New work is forthcoming in AGNI and The Literary Review.

   

Claire Vaye Watkins

October 28, 2015

Reading - 8:00PM, TBA

Q&A - 4:30PM, TBA


Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, first in Tecopa, California and then across the state line in Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer TrainTin House, the New York Times and elsewhere. Claire has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation as well as the Writers’ Conferences at Sewanee and Bread Loaf.

Her collection of short stories, Battleborn (Riverhead Books), won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. In 2012, Claire was selected as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Her novel, Gold, Fame, Citrus, was published by Riverbed Books in September.

An assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Claire is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, first in Tecopa, California and then across the state line in Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Tin House, the New York Times and elsewhere. Claire has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation as well as the Writers’ Conferences at Sewanee and Bread Loaf.

Her collection of short stories, Battleborn (Riverhead Books), won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. In 2012, Claire was selected as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Her novel, Gold, Fame, Citrus, was published by Riverbed Books in September.

An assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Claire is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.

   
   

Spring 2015

Angie Estes

 

Angie Estes is the author of five books, most Recently Enchantée (Oberlin College Press, 2013) winner of the 2015 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her previous book, Tryst (Oberlin, 2009), was selected as one of two finalists for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize. Chez Nous, also from Oberlin, appeared in 2005, and her second book, Voice-Over (Oberlin, 2002), won the 2001 FIELD Poetry Prize and was also awarded the 2001 Alice Fay di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her first book, The Uses of Passion (1995), was the winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize. The recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has received fellowships, grants, and residencies from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, the California Arts Council, the MacDowell Colony, and the Ohio Arts Council. She is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University.

   

©ROLEX/BART MICHIELS

Michael Ondaatje


Michael Ondaatje is one of the world’s foremost writers – his artistry and aesthetic have influenced an entire generation of writers and readers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje’s work also encompasses poetry, memoir, and film, and reveals a passion for defying conventional form. His transcendent novel The English Patient, explores the stories of people that history fails to reveal by intersecting four diverse lives at the end of World War II. This bestselling novel was later made into an Academy Award-winning film.

Ondaatje himself is an interesting intersection of cultures. Born in Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon, of Indian/Dutch ancestry, he went to school in England, and then moved to Canada. He is now a Canadian citizen. From the memoir of his childhood, Running in the Family, to his Governor-General’s Award-winning book of poetry, There’s a Trick With a Knife I’m Learning To Do, to his classic novel, The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje casts a spell over his readers. And having won the British Commonwealth’s highest honor, the Booker Prize, he has taken his rightful place as a contemporary literary treasure.

He is the author of four collections of poetry including The Cinnamon Peeler and most recently, Handwriting. His works of fiction include In the Skin of a LionThe English PatientAnil's GhostDivisadero, and The Cat’s Table. Ondaatje’s work of non-fiction is The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, which unites his love of literature and passion for the art of filmmaking.

Michael Ondaatje has garnered several literary prizes including The Booker Prize for Fiction, The Irish Times International Prize for Fiction, the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, the Prix Medicis, the Governor-General’s Award, and the Giller Prize.

   

Mark Wunderlich

2015 Rilke Prize Winner

Mark Wunderlich was born in Winona, Minnesota and grew up in rural Fountain City, Wisconsin. He attended Concordia College’s Institut für Deutsche Studien, and later the University of Wisconsin from which he received a BA in German Literature and English. Wunderlich earned a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University’s School of the Arts Writing Division where he studied with J.D. McClatchy, William Matthews and Lucie Brock-Broido, among others. 

Wunderlich’s first book, The Anchorage, was published in 1999 by the University of Massachusetts Press, and received the Lambda Literary Award. His second book, Voluntary Servitude, was published by Graywolf Press in 2004, and in 2014 his third volume of poems titled The Earth Avails. He has published individual poems in The Paris Review, Yale Review, Slate, Tin House, Poetry, Ploughshares, Boston Review and elsewhere. His work has been included in over thirty anthologies and has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. His work has been translated into Italian, Bulgarian and Swedish. 

As a teacher, Wunderlich has taught in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, Ohio University and San Francisco State University. He has taught undergraduate writing and literature courses at Stanford University, Barnard College and Stonehill College. Since 2003 he has been a member of the Literature Faculty at Bennington College in Vermont where he also serves as a member of the core faculty in the Graduate Writing Seminars. In 2012 he was named the Director of Poetry at Bennington—a series of on-campus readings, lectures and short residencies by prominent American and international poets. 

Wunderlich is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University where he also served as a Jones Lecturer. He received two fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Amy Lowell Trust. He is also the recipient of Writers at Work Award, the Jack Kerouac Prize, and a fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide, Italy. In 2012 he received an Editor’s Prize from the Missouri Review and was also selected for a residency at the Arteles Creativity Center in Hämeenkyrö, Finland. 

As an Arts Administrator, he has worked for the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, Poets & Writers, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center where he was Acting Director. He currently chairs the Artistic Advisory Board at the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, New York. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Noemi Press. 

Wunderlich lives in New York’s Hudson Valley near the village of Catskill.

Website  http://markwunderlich.com/index.php

   

Aleksandar Hemon in conversation with Ben Fountain

Click here for flyer.

Click here to listen to the conversation.

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award, as well as The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, Love and Obstacles and The Book of My Lives. Aleksandar Hemon has worked as a waiter, canvasser, bookseller, bike messenger, as well as a supervisor at a literacy center, a writer for Radio-Sarajevo Youth Program and a teacher of English as a second language. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Esquire, Granta, The New York Times, Playboy, McSweeney’s, TriQuarterly, The Baffler, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, Ploughshares and The Paris Review, among others. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the PEN/ W.G. Sebald Award, and, most recently, a 2012 USA Fellowship. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

Ben Fountain is the author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, which received the PEN/Hemingway Award and a Whiting Writer's Award, and of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which received the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Harper's, and the Paris Review, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. His reporting on post-earthquake Haiti was broadcast nationally on the radio show "This American Life." A former attorney in private practice, he currently holds the University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University.