Visiting Writers Series

Resiman 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, Sandra Cisneros, Victoria Chang, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Alice Fulton, Lauren Groff, Terrance Hayes, Juan Felipe Herrera, Cathy Park Hong, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, Robert Pinsky, Tracy K. Smith, and Colson Whitehead.

Spring 2024

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.

Danielle Cadena Deulen

Poetry Reading 
February 1, 2024; 5:30 PM EST 
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Danielle Cadena Deulen is the author of four books and a chapbook. Her most recent poetry collection, Desire Museum, was published with BOA Editions in fall of 2023. Her previous publications include Our Emotions Get Carried Away Beyond Us, which won the Barrow Street Book Contest; American Libretto, which won the Sow’s Ear Chapbook Contest; The Riots, which won the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction and the GLCA New Writers Award; and Lovely Asunder, which won the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize and the Utah Book Award. She has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, an Oregon Literary Fellowship, and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Originally from the Northwest, she now makes her home in Atlanta where she teaches for the graduate creative writing program at Georgia State University.

Chet'la Sebree

Poetry Reading
Februrary 27, 2024; 5:30 pm EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library 

Photograph of Chet'la Sebree

Chet'la Sebree is the author of Field Study (FSG Originals, 2021), winner of the 2020 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is also the author of Mistress, selected by Cathy Park Hong as the winner of the 2018 New Issues Poetry Prize and nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work—Poetry. Her debut essay collection is forthcoming from The Dial Press in 2025. Sebree has received fellowships from Baldwin for the Arts, the Delaware Division of the Arts, the Hawthornden Foundation, Hedgebrook, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, MacDowell, the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, the Stadler Center for Poetry, the Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. She is an assistant professor of English at George Washington University.

Robin McLean

Fiction Reading
March 28, 2024; 5:30 pm EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library

Robin McLean worked as a lawyer and then a potter in the woods of Alaska before turning to writing. Her first story collection, Reptile House, won the BOA Fiction Prize. Her debut novel, Pity the Beast, was noted as a best book of fiction of 2021 by The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal. Her 2022 story collection, Get’em Young, Treat’em Tough, Tell’em Nothing, was an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times and longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize. She is currently a Visiting Writer at the University of Montana. 

Robin McLean & Stephanie Steiker

The Writer and the Literary Agent: A Conversation 
March 29, 2024; 3:30 pm EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library 

Photograph of Robin McLean

Robin McLean worked as a lawyer and then a potter in the woods of Alaska before turning to writing. Her first story collection, Reptile House, won the BOA Fiction Prize. Her debut novel, Pity the Beast, was noted as a best book of fiction of 2021 by The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal. Her 2022 story collection, Get’em Young, Treat’em Tough, Tell’em Nothing, was an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times and longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize. She is currently a Visiting Writer at the University of Montana. 

Photograph of Stephanie Steiker

Stephanie Steiker has been a literary agent at Regal Hoffmann & Associates since 2015. From 2008 to 2015 she was Associate Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, working with prominent figures in literature, academia, and the arts. Previously she has worked for the online magazine Words Without Borders; the journal East European Politics and Societies; and the New School’s Transregional Center for Democratic Studies. A native New Yorker with a degree in comparative literature from Brown University, she lived in Poland from 1999 to 2001, has a background in documentary film, and for several years wrote about the downtown NY music scene for The New Yorker

Douglas Kearney, 2024 Elliston Poet-in-Residence

Talk: Playing the Changing Same
In this talk Douglas Kearney follows the genius work of Gwendolyn Brooks and Lucille Clifton as they engage, via poetry, two murders that could have happened today, have happened before, and will likely happen again.
April 2, 2024; 5:30 PM
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library  

Poetry Reading 
April 4, 2024; 6:00 pm EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library 

Photograph of Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney has published seven collections, including Optic Subwoof (2022), the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize-winning Sho (2021), Buck Studies (2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and California Book Award silver medalist (Poetry). M. NourbeSe Philip calls Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues (2016), “a seismic, polyphonic mash-up.” Kearney’s Mess and Mess and (2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” WIRE magazine calls Fodder (2021), a live album featuring Kearney and frequent collaborator, Val-Inc., “Brilliant.” Kearney is the 2021 recipient of OPERA America’s Campbell Opera Librettist Prize, created and generously funded by librettist/lyricist Mark Campbell. His operas include Sucktion, Mordake, Crescent City, Sweet Land (the Music Critics of North America’s Best Opera of 2021), and Comet / Poppea commissioned by AMOC (American Modern Opera Company). He has received a Whiting Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Altadena, CA, Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and lives in St. Paul with his family.

Rosa Alcalá & Katie Peterson

Convo + Talkback on Poetry Editing 
April 18, 2024; 5 PM EST
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library  

Poetry Reading
April 18, 2024; 6 PM EST 
Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library  

Parking map HERE. Both events will be livestreamed on Instagram HERE.

Photograph of Rosa Alcalá

An award-winning poet and translator, Rosa Alcalá has published several books of her own poems as well as translations of poetry by Latin American writers.  YOU, her fourth poetry collection, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press. She has received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists Award, a Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellowship from Harvard, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Translation. Her book Spit Temple: The Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña was runner-up for the PEN Translation Award. Her poems and translations are featured in publications such as Harper’s, The Nation, American Poetry Review, Poetry, and two volumes of The Best American Poetry. Critical essays on her work appear in American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement; The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of our Time; and The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them. Recently she served as a Guest Editor for the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series and is currently a Consulting Editor for the University of Chicago Press’ Phoenix Poets Series. She holds the DeWetter Endowed Chair in Poetry at the University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Creative Writing and Bilingual MFA Program.

Photograph of Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson is the author of Fog and Smoke, published by FSG in early 2024. Poems from the collection have appeared in the Atlantic, the New Republic, the New York Review of Books, and the Yale Review, among other publications. Her previous book, Life in a Field (2021) is a collaboration with the photographer Young Suh. She is the author of other books of poetry: This One Tree (New Issues, 2006), Permission (New Issues, 2013), The Accounts (University of Chicago, 2013), and A Piece of Good News (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019), a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in 2020. She is the editor of the New Selected Poems of Robert Lowell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017). Her work has been translated into French, Korean, and Portuguese, and a Selected Poems in French (translated by Aude Pivin), with an introduction by Louise Gluck, will be published by Cheyne Editeur in 2024.

Her work has been recognized with awards and fellowships, including the Rilke Prize from the University of North Texas for The Accounts, a Literature award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

She is the Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of California at Davis, where she is Professor of English and a Chancellor’s Fellow. She is an Associate Editor for the Phoenix Poets Series at the University of Chicago Press.

Fall 2023

Anthony Cody, Sidik Fofana, Kristi Maxwell, Molly Reid, and Emily Jungmin Yoon 

2022-23

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Jennifer Elise Foerster, Luke Geddes, Gwen E. Kirby, Johannes Göransson, Allegra Hyde, Sara Eliza Johnson, Yalie Saweda Kamara. Brenda Peynado, Liv Stratman, Brian Teare, and Bess Winter 

2021-22

Heid E. Erdrich, Donika Kelly, Ginger Ko, Poupeh Missaghi, Hoa Nguyen, Craig Santos Perez, Raquel Salas Rivera, Divya Victor

2020-21

Tyehimba Jess served as Elliston Poet-in-Residence. All other events were cancelled due to COVID.

2019-20

Readers included Don Bogen, Brian Brodeur, Ross Gay, Lillian Li, Maria Massie, Hannah Pittard, Moriel Rothman-Zecher, Natalie Scenters-Zapico, and Sarah Anne Strickley.

2018-19

Readers included Xhenet Aliu, Jamel Brinkley, Brock Clarke, Sloane Crosley, Blas Falconer, Ishion Hutchinson, Uzodinma Iweala, Katie Kitamura, Stephen Kuusisto, Brendan Mathews, Timothy O’Keefe, Mary Ruefle, Joan Silber, Jillian Weise, and Kevin Wilson.

2017-18

Readers included Brit Bennett, Victoria Chang, Allison Pitinii Davis, Erica Dawson, Kathy Fagan, Charley Henley, Juan Felipe Herrera, T. R. Hummer, Holly Goddard Jones, David Lazar, Karan Mahajan, Amit Majmudar, and Anne Valente.

2016-17

Readers included Michelle Y. Burke, Sandra Cisneros, Sarah Domet, Denise Duhamel, Catherine Lacey, Ada Limon, 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.