UNT Visiting Writers Series | Department of English

UNT Visiting Writers Series

The UNT Visiting Writers Series brings nationally and internationally renowned writers to campus to give public readings. All readings are free and open to the public.

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Barnes & Noble at UNT Bookstore will provide books for purchase at Visiting Writers Series events.

Follow these links for visitor parking information, UNT campus map, or UNT parking map.

All events are free and open to the public - Join us!


UNT Visiting Writers Series

Spring 2018

Paul Beatty

March 30, 2018

Reading / Q&A / Book Signing

2:00 p.m.

University Union 333

Paul Beatty is the author of the novels, Tuff, Slumberland, and The White Boy Shuffle, and two poetry collections Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He was the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. Paul grew up in California and moved to the East Coast for his higher education. Paul has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University. In 1990, he was the first person crowned as Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, which led to his first book deal. Paul has performed poetry on MTV and PBS. Paul is the recipient of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for his most recent novel, The Sellout. The Sellout is also the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction and was named one of the best books of 2015 by The New York Times Book Review and the Wall Street Journal. He currently lives in New York City. https://us.macmillan.com/author/paulbeatty

Paul Beatty wins the Man Booker Prize: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/business/media/paul-beatty-wins-man-b...

Follow these links for visitor parking information, UNT campus map, or UNT parking map.

Barnes & Noble at UNT Bookstore will provide books for sale at the reading.

2018 UNT Rilke Prize

Allison Benis White

Allison Benis White's Please Bury Me in This, published by Four Way Books, has won the 2018 UNT Rilke Prize. The $10,000 prize recognizes a book written by a mid-career poet and published in the preceding year that demonstrates exceptional artistry and vision. A Q&A and reception for White will be held on Wednesday, April 11, at UNT on the Square and a campus reading will take place on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Allison Benis White is the author of Please Bury Me in This and Small Porcelain Head, selected by Claudia Rankine for the Levis Prize in Poetry and named a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the California Book Award. Her first book, Self-Portrait with Crayon, received the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Book Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, 2017 Pushcart Prize XLI: Best of the Small Presses, and elsewhere. She has received honors and awards from the San Francisco Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and Poets & Writers magazine. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. http://www.allisonbeniswhite.com/

UNT Rilke Prize Events

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

6:30 p.m.

Q&A / Reception

UNT on the Square

109 N. Elm Street
Denton, TX 76201

Thursday, April 12, 2018

8:00 p.m.

Reading & Book Signing

UNT Business Leadership Building

Room 180

1307 West Highland Street
Denton, Texas 76201

We suggest you park in the Highland Street garage for the campus reading in the Business Leadership Building. Info here: http://transportation.unt.edu/parking

Barnes & Noble at UNT Bookstore will provide the author's books for purchase.

Click here for a feature on KERA's Art & Seek about Allison Benis White and the UNT Rilke Prize.

To find out more about the UNT Rilke Prize visit: http://english.unt.edu/creative-writing/unt-rilke-prize


UNT Creative Writing

Faculty Reading

March 23, 2018

7:30 PM

Environmental Science Building / Room 110

1704 W Mulberry St, Denton, TX 76201


Readings by:

Scott Blackwood

Bruce Bond

Jehanne Dubrow

Bonnie Friedman

Corey Marks

Miro Penkoc

John Tait

Jill Talbot

Free and open to the public

Books will be available for purchase at the event

Join us!

Faculty bios here: http://english.unt.edu/node/881

Previous Series


UNT Visiting Writers Series

Fall 2017

Jaquira Díaz

September 21, 2017

Jaquira Díaz is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, an NEA fellowship to the Hambidge Center for the Arts, and fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Ragdale Foundation. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Best American Essays 2016, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Kenyon Review, The Sun, Brevity, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. She teaches at Kenyon College, where she is the 2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellow in prose. http://www.jaquiradiaz.com/

Padma Viswanathan

November 15, 2017

Padma Viswanathan's debut novel, The Toss of a Lemon, was published in eight countries, a bestseller in three, and a finalist for the Commonwealth (Regional) First Book Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Prize and the Pen Center USA Fiction Prize. Her second novel, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao, has been published in Canada, the USA, India and Australia. In Canada, it was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a national bestseller.

Viswanathan's short fiction appears in various journals; her story "Transitory Cities" won the 2006 Boston Review Short Story Contest. Her plays include House of Sacred Cows and Disco Does Not Suck. She has published cultural journalism and reviews in such venues as Elle Canada, The National Post, The Rumpus and Guernica. Her handwritten Letter-in-the-Mail for The Rumpus can be found in Best American Non-Required Reading 2012. She has also published several short translations of Brazilian fiction.

Viswanathan teaches fiction-writing and literature in the Programs in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville. She has served on juries for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Neustadt Prize, and others. http://padmaviswanathan.com/

UNT Visiting Writers Series

Spring 2017 Schedule

Melissa Kwasny

March 8, 2017

Reading / Q&A / Book Signing

Melissa Kwasny is the author of five books of poetry: Pictograph, The Nine Senses, Reading Novalis in Montana (all from Milkweed Editions), Thistle (Lost Horse Press), and The Archival Birds (Bear Star Press). Reading Novalis in Montana was named in The Huffington Post as one of the top ten books of 2009 and Thistle won the Idaho Prize. She is also the editor of the anthology Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950 (Wesleyan University Press) and co-editor, with M.L. Smoker of an anthology of poems in defense of human rights, I Go to the Ruined Place. Her collection of essays, Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision, was published by Lynx House Press in 2013. Kwasny teaches at Carroll College in Helena, Montana and is currently a visiting writer in the University of Montana's MFA program.

Click here for an interview with Melissa Kwasny from American Literary Review.

Jeffrey Eugenides

March 31, 2017

Reading / Q&A / Book Signing

Jeffrey Eugenides grew up in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and attended Brown and Stanford Universities. His novel Middlesex was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Ambassador Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, France's Prix Medicis, and the Lambda Literary Award. It was also selected for Oprah's Book Club. Eugenides' first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was adapted into a critically-acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola. He is on the faculty of Princeton University, and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

All UNT Visiting Writers Series events are free and open to the public.

Barnes & Noble at UNT Bookstore will provide books for sale at the reading.

We suggest you park in the Highland Street garage for readings in the Business Leadership Building. Info here: http://transportation.unt.edu/parking

2017 UNT Rilke Prize Winner

Wayne Miller


Wayne Miller is the author of four collections of poems, including Post-, The City, Our City, The Book of Props, and Only the Senses Sleep. He is also a co-translator of two books from the Albanian poet Moikom Zeqo, and a co-editor of three anthologies, including Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century and New European Poets. His work has been named a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award, the 2012 Rilke Prize, and the PEN Center USA Award in Translation. He is the recipient of the George Bogin Award, the Lucille Medwick Award, the Lyric Poetry Award, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, the Bess Hokin Prize, and a Fulbright to Queen's University Belfast. Miller co-curates the Pleiades Press Unsung Masters Series with Kevin Prufer and is a professor of English at the University of Colorado Denver, where he edits Copper Nickel.

April 12, 2017

6:30 PM

Q&A / Reception

UNT on the Square

April 13, 2017

8 PM

Reading & Book Signing

All events are free and open to the public - Join us!

Barnes & Noble at UNT Bookstore will provide books available for purchase.

We suggest you park in the Highland Street garage for readings in the Business Leadership Building. Info here: http://transportation.unt.edu/parking

For more information about the UNT Rilke Prize and our previous winners visit: http://english.unt.edu/creative-writing/unt-rilke-prize


Special Events

Spring 2017

Patricia Foster

Class Visit

April 27, 2017

Patricia Foster is the author of two books of nonfiction and the editor of three anthologies of nonfiction prose. Her latest book, is the recently published and award-winning novel Girl from Soldier Creek (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016). Just beneath My Skin (University of Georgia Press, 2004), is a collection of essays that explores autobiography as a means of creative self-examination. Kirkus Review (starred) called it "perceptive, thoughtful - and thought-provoking - with abundant moments of insight," whereas the American Library Association noted that "although writers can feel alone and alienated, Foster seems to have found a place of redemption, where she is at home living beyond the ordinary, which, in turn, infuses her writing with its notable lyricism." Four essays in this collection were named Notable Essays by Robert Atwan (Best American Essays) while "A Second Look" won the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award for nonfiction.

Patricia Foster began her book publishing career with the anthology Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul (Anchor/Doubleday, 1994), a book translated into German, Dutch and Portuguese, chosen as a QPB Paperback selection, and performed as a play by the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Sister to Sister (Anchor/Doubleday, 1996), The Healing Circle co-edited with Mary Swander (Dutton, 1998), and a memoir, All the Lost Girls (University of Alabama, 2000), winner of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award for Women's Nonfiction, all continued her interest in narrative nonfiction.

In addition to personal essays, Patricia Foster is a writer of fiction and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has published both fiction and nonfiction in such literary quarterlies as the Gettysburg Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner and Fourth Genre. She won a Lake Effect Fiction Award, a Florida Arts Council Award, a Yaddo residency, four Alabama Arts & Humanities Awards, and a Dean's Scholar Award (University of Iowa). In 2003, she was an exchange professor at Paul Valery University in Montpellier, France.

In addition to her MFA in fiction, Patricia has an MFA in art (UCLA) and a Ph.D. in women's literature and creative writing (Florida State University).

Visit The American Literary Review for an excerpt of Girl from Soldier Creek: http://www.americanliteraryreview.com/reviews--interviews/an-excerpt-fro...

Claire Legrand

Reading / Q&A / Book Signing

March 3, 2017

Join us for this special event with Claire Legrand, a graduate from UNT's Department of English!

Claire Legrand, a North Texas native, graduated from UNT in 2008 with a degree in English Literature, and then again in 2010 with a Master of Library Science degree. She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey, where she writes novels for young readers and works at her local public library. Her novel Some Kind of Happiness is a 2017 Edgar Award nominee, and her middle grade fantasy novel Foxheart was a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. She is also the author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, The Year of Shadows, and Winterspell, with six more books on the way. Claire's website: http://www.claire-legrand.com

This event is free and open to the public.

Barnes & Noble at UNT Bookstore will have books available for purchase.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/250857595370691/

Click here for flyer

Fall 2016 Schedule

New Faculty Reading

Jehanne Dubrow, Ian McGuire, and Jill Talbot

September 28, 2016

Pictured above: Jehanne Dubrow, Ian McGuire, Jill Talbot

Jehanne Dubrow's sixth book, Dots & Dashes, won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award and will be published in 2017. Her work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The New England Review, Ploughshares, and The New York Times Magazine.

Ian McGuire grew up near Hull, England, and studied at the University of Manchester and the University of Virginia. He writes criticism and fiction, and his stories have been published in Chicago Review, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. His recent novel The North Water was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

Jill Talbot is the author of The Way We Weren't: A Memoir and the editor of Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in journals such as Brevity, DIAGRAM, Ecotone, Fourth Genre, The Paris Review Daily, The Normal School, Slice Magazine, and has been listed as Notables in Best American Essays 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Charles D'Ambrosio

October 20, 2016

Charles D'Ambrosio is the author of two collections of short stories, The Point and Other Stories, and The Dead Fish Museum, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and two essay collections, Orphans and Loitering. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Harper's, The Paris Review, Zoetrope All-Story, as well as various anthologies, including the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and the O. Henry Prize Stories. Among other honors, he has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and a Lannan Award. He teaches fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Dagoberto Gilb

November 15, 2016

Dagoberto Gilb is the author of, most recently, Before the End, After the Beginning. His previous books are The Flowers, Gritos, Woodcuts of Women, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña, and The Magic of Blood. He also has edited Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature and Mexican American Literature: A Portable Anthology.

Gilb's fiction and nonfiction have been honored by Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, a Whiting Writers' Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and as a finalist for both the PEN/Faulkner and National Book Critics' Circle awards. His work has appeared in a wide range of magazines, including Harper's, The New Yorker, The Threepenny Review, Zyzzyva, The Nation, and many others.

Dagoberto spent almost two decades of his adulthood as a journeyman, high-rise carpenter with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Born in Los Angeles, he made his home for many years in El Paso and has since lived in Austin. At the University of Houston-Victoria, Gilb is the executive director of CentroVictoria, a center for Mexican American literature and culture, where is also the writer-in-residence.

Click here for an interview with Dagoberto Gilb from American Literary Review.

Previous Visiting Writers Series

For audio files of previous visiting writers click here.

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