Visiting Writers Series

Reisman Audience

The Creative Writing Program's Visiting Writers Series brings a number of distinguished authors to campus each semester. Visitors often conduct a colloquium with creative writing students in addition to giving a public reading.

Each year, through the Elliston Poet-in-Residence Program, a distinguished poet comes to campus to give public lectures and readings, and to conduct poetry seminars and workshops. The biennial Emerging Fiction Writers Festival brings four writers to campus for two days of readings and panels.

Past visiting writers have included Nicholson Baker, Charles Baxter, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Alice Fulton, Terrance Hayes, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, Antoyna Nelson, Robert Pinsky, Tracy K. Smith, and Colson Whitehead.

FALL 2017

Sponsored by the Elliston Poetry Fund and the Robert and Adele Schiff Fund for Contemporary Fiction

All readings are free and open to the public. Book signings follow each reading.

ANNE VALENTE

Fiction Reading
    ►September 8, 2017; 4:00 p.m.    
    ►Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Anne Valente

Anne Valente’s debut novel, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, was released from William Morrow/HarperCollins in October 2016. Her second novel, Utah, is forthcoming from William Morrow in early 2019. Her first book and short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names, won the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize (2014), and she is also the author of the fiction chapbook, An Elegy for Mathematics, which has been re-released by Bull City Press in 2017. Her fiction appears in One Story, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Ninth Letter and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among others, and won Copper Nickel’s 2012 Fiction Prize and a 2015 Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award Finalist Prize. Originally from St. Louis, she teaches creative writing and literature at Hamilton College.

JUAN FELIPE HERRERA

Bilingual Poetry Reading and Conversation
    ►October 5, 2017; 7:00 p.m.
    ►Taft Research Center, Edwards 1

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2017) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

CHARLEY HENLEY

Fiction Reading
    ►October 13, 2017; 4:00 p.m.    
    ►Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Charley Henley

Born in Maryland, Charley Henley bounced around as a child, living everywhere from a back-to-the-land community in Eastern Washington to rural Rankin County, Mississippi, disparate locales and people that have fueled the stories of his debut collection, The Deep Code. He attended the University of Montana, studying philosophy, working in restaurants, and wandering in the woods. He did his graduate work at the University of Alabama and Florida State University. His fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices, The Greensboro Review, and Copper Nickel, among other places. Currently, he lives with his wife and children in the Seattle area. He teaches at the University of Cincinnati.

HOLLY GODDARD JONES

Fiction Reading
    ►October 18, 2017; 7:00 p.m.
    ►Tangeman University Center 400C

Holly Goddard Jones

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Salt LineThe Next Time You See Me, and Girl Trouble. Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery StoriesNew Stories from the SouthTin House, and elsewhere. She was a recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers' Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. She earned her M.F.A. from Ohio State University and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their children.

HOLLY GODDARD JONES, SALLY KIM, LEAH STEWART

Panel: "How a Book Gets Published: Two Writers and Their Editor in Conversation"
    ►October 19, 2017; 4:00 p.m.
    ►Tangeman University Center 427

Holly Goddard Jones

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Salt LineThe Next Time You See Me, and Girl Trouble. Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery StoriesNew Stories from the SouthTin House, and elsewhere. She was a recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers' Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. She earned her M.F.A. from Ohio State University and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their children.

Sally Kim

Sally Kim is Vice President, Editorial Director of Putnam. In addition to overseeing the imprint’s editorial department, she specializes in her own list of quality fiction with commercial appeal. Over the past twenty years she has acquired and edited a wide range of novels, including New York Times bestsellers by Gillian Flynn, Lisa Unger, Allison Winn Scotch, and Will Lavender; and celebrated debuts by Courtney Maum, Jami Attenberg, Ann Leary, and Holly Goddard Jones. She also has edited New York Times-bestselling authors Philippa Gregory, J.A. Jance, Phillip Margolin, Cecelia Ahern, Kate White, and Rebecca Wells. Her books include award-winning books such as The Bright Forever by Lee Martin, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Truth in Advertising by New Yorker writer John Kenney, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor; and The Incarnations by Susan Barker, finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Fiction and a New York Times Notable Book. Prior to Putnam, Sally was Editorial Director at Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, and also worked at HarperCollins, the Crown Publishing Group, and St. Martin’s Press, after getting her start at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

Leah Stewart

Leah Stewart is the author of six novels: Body of a Girl (Viking, 2000); The Myth of You and Me (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown, 2005); Husband and Wife (Harper, 2010); The History of Us (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2013); The New Neighbor (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2015); and What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw (Putnam, 2018). Her books have been published in eight foreign editions, as well as audio and large print. In 2010, she was the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship.

VICTORIA CHANG

Poetry Reading
    ►October 27, 2017; 4:00 p.m.
    ►Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Denise Duhamel

Victoria Chang's fourth book of poems, Barbie Chang is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2017. Her prior book, The Boss, was published by McSweeney’s and won a PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Her other books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle. She also edited an anthology, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, POETRY, Believer, New England Review, VQR, The Nation, New Republic, The Washington Post, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017. She is a contributing editor of the literary journal Copper Nickel and a poetry editor at Tupelo Quarterly. She also enjoys writing children's picture books and Is Mommy? was published in the Fall of 2015 by Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster), illustrated by Caldecott winner, Marla Frazee. It was named a NYT Notable Book. She lives in Southern California with her family and her weiner dogs, Mustard and Ketchup and teaches creative writing at Chapman University and Orange County School of the Arts during the year and Idyllwild Writers' Week during some summers.

KIESE LAYMON

Literary Nonfiction Reading
    ►October 30, 2017; 4:00 p.m.
    ►Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. Laymon is currently a Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa. Laymon is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Long Division was named one of the Best of 2013 by Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Contemporary Literature, Mosaic Magazine, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune, and the Crunk Feminist Collective. It was also short-listed for the Believer Book Award, the Ernest Gaines Award, and the Morning News Tournament of Books. Long Division won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award. Three essays in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic's Best Essays of 2013. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine Power 100 in 2015. Kiese Laymon has two books forthcoming: a memoir called Heavy and a novel called And So On, which can be expected in 2017 and 2018, both from Scribner. He is a contributing editor of Oxford American

ERICA DAWSON

Poetry Reading
    ►November 17, 2017; 4:00 p.m.
    ►Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Denise Duhamel

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014) and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Press, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blackbird, Literary Imagination, Unsplendid, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals. Her poems have been featured in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2008, 2012, and 2015, American Society: What Poets See; Living in Storms: Contemporary Poetry and the Moods of Manic-Depression; and The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. She is the Director of The University of Tampa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing, and, at UT, an associate professor of English and Writing.

2016-17

Readers included Michelle Y. Burke, Sandra Cisneros, Sarah Domet, Denise Duhamel, Catherine Lacey, Ada Limón, Elizabeth McKenzie, Nancy Reisman, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, A. E. Stallings, and Jung Yun. 

2015-16

Readers included Becky Adnot-Haynes, Paul Beatty, Tom Drury, Claudia Keelan, Rebecca Lindenberg, Maurice Manning, Lee Martin, James McMichael, Ander Monson, Tomas Q. Morin, Jenny Offill, Carl Phillips, Julie Schumacher, and Lisa Williams.

2014-15

Readers included Dean Bakopoulos, Marianne Boruch, Amity Gaige, Michael Knight, Ted Kooser, Sonja Livingston, Jamaal May, Claire Messud, Alissa Nutting, Ed Park, Roger Reeves, Nelly Reifler, and Mary Szybist. 

2013-14

Readers included Sarah Arvio, Jami Attenberg, Joseph Campana, Marisa Crawford, Denise Duhamel, Yona Harvey, Cathy Park Hong, Shara Lessley, Dana Levin, Colum McCann, Erin McGraw, Collier Nogues, Jack Pendarvis, Jamie Quatro, Nathaniel Perry, Marcus Wicker, and C. K. Williams.

2012-13                                                       

Readers included Charles Baxter, Matt Bell, Jedediah Berry, Jennifer Clarvoe, Ron Currie, Jr., Claudia Emerson, Danielle Evans, Lauren Groff, Caitlin Horrocks, Julia Johnson, James Longenbach, Ben Loory, Gregory Orr, Steve Scafidi, and Tracy K. Smith.

2011-12

Readers included Cynthia Arrieu-King, Mark Doty, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Terrance Hayes, Linda Hogan, Gary Leising, Brian Leung, Sinead Morrissey, Meghan O'Rourke, Kelcey Parker, Sarah Perrier, Martha Southgate, Anne Stevenson, Colson Whitehead, Caki Wilkinson, and Carolyne Wright.