Renowned Authors to Speak During Virtual Visiting Writers Series

By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2021) — Two notable authors will be featured during the Visiting Writers Series (VWS), hosted by the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky. But this year you won’t have to leave your house to see them.

The virtual program will kick off March 25 with award-winning writer, organizer and performer Madeline Ffitch.

The VWS began in the spring of 2014 with a reading by poet Roger Reeves. Each year, the Department of English continues to bring nationally renowned authors to UK. "This series is a source of inspiration and excitement for our students, faculty and staff and continues to add to the overall vibrant literary culture of Lexington,” Crystal Wilkinson, associate professor of English, said.

You can find a full schedule of 2021 VWS events listed below.

An Evening with Madeline Ffitch: 7 p.m. March 25, Zoom registration

Ffitch writes and organizes in Appalachian Ohio. She was a founding member of the Punk Theater Company and The Missoula Oblongata. An accomplished author, Ffitch wrote the story collection “Valparaiso, Round the Horn.” She also wrote “Stay and Fight" from publishers Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Ffitch has been awarded residencies at Yaddo and at the MacDowell Colony.

This event is sponsored by the Gaines Center for the Humanities.

An Evening with Li-Young Lee: 7 p.m. April 8, Zoom registration

Influenced by the classical Chinese poets Li Bo and Tu Fu, Lee’s work is noted for its use of silence. He is the author of five books of poetry, including his newest collection, “The Undressing.” Lee’s earlier collections include, “Behind My Eyes,” “Book of My Nights,” “Rose,” “The City in Which I Love You,” and a memoir titled “The Winged Seed: A Remembrance,” which received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Lee’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

This event is sponsored by the Gaines Center for the Humanities and the UK Confucius Institute. This event was funded prior to the closing of the institute.

The Visiting Writers Series is free and open to the public.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.