Visiting Writers Series

The Visiting Writers Series began in the Spring of 2014 with a reading by poet Roger Reeves. After the start of the MFA in Creative Writing in the Fall of that year, the VWS took off. Over the past 8 years, the MFA in Creative Writing has hosted nationally renowned poets and writers, adding to the vibrant literary culture of Lexington. All events are free and open to the public.

 

Evie Shockley

Thursday September 10th, 2020, 2:00pm
Sponsored in collaboration with The Kentucky Women Writers Conference) A Discussion: Poetry of Curiosity.  Shockley will conduct a one-hour discussion on the role of curiosity in poetry. This session is only open to UKY graduate and undergraduate creative writing students. Registration Link:  https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VZbFb-gxSkyPRpxXQ0aewA 

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, poet Evie Shockley is the author of three books of poetry: semiautomatic (Wesleyan, 2017), which won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the LA Times Book Prize; the new black (Wesleyan, 2011), winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2005). She is also the author of a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (Iowa, 2011). Among Shockley’s honors are the Stephen Henderson Award, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the American Council of Learned Societies. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, Shockley received the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize. She was awarded a residency at the Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers in 2003. Two of her poems were displayed in the Biko 30/30 exhibit, a commemoration of the life and work of anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko, which toured South Africa in 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Muldoon

Thursday October 22nd, 2020, 7:00pm
Free and open to the public. Registration Link:  https://uky.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_n2BDDZ2jRQyArTyQglZhuQ

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet. He has published over thirty collections and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He held the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1999 to 2004. At Princeton University he is both the Howard G. B. Clark '21 University Professor in the Humanities and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. He has also served as president of the Poetry Society (UK)[3] and Poetry Editor at The New Yorker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinelle Barnes, Minda Honey, Kiese Laymon, and Joy Priest

Thursday, Nov. 5th, 2020 5:30pm (Please note the new time for this event)
Sponsored in collaboration with the Gaines Center for the Humanities 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinelle Barnes is a memoirist, essayist, and educator from Manila, Philippines, and is the author of MONSOON MANSION: A MEMOIR (Little A, 2018) and MALAYA: ESSAYS ON FREEDOM (Little A, 2019), and the editor of a forthcoming anthology of essays about the American South (Hub City Press, 2020). She earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Converse College. Her writing has appeared in Buzzfeed Reader, Catapult, Literary Hub, Hyphen, Panorama: A Journal of Intelligent Travel, and South 85, among others. Her work has received fellowships and grants from VONA, Kundiman, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund, and the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant. Her debut memoir was listed as a Best Nonfiction Book of 2018 by Bustle and nominated for the 2018 Reading Women Nonfiction Award. Barnes was a WILLA: Women Writing the American West Awards screener and a 2018-19 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards juror, and is the 2018-19 writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC, where she and her family live.

Minda Honey is the founder of TAUNT, a local indie outlet for Louisville, KY. She has a series of essays for Longreads on dating and politics and her writing has been featured by the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Teen Vogue, and every other week she tackles the dating woes of strangers as her city's relationship advice columnist at the LEO Weekly. Her work is featured in Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger by Seal Press and in the forthcoming collection from Hub City Press, A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South. She's working on her memoir, An Anthology of Assholes, about dating as a woman of color in Southern California. She is represented by Kayla Lightner at Ayesha Pande Literary. Minda lives in Louisville, Kentucky where she serves as the Director of the BFA in Creative Writing program at Spalding University. 

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Heavy was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction and the Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction. It was named a best book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly. Three essays from Laymon’s newly reissued book of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America were selected for inclusion in the Best American series and The Atlantic’s best essays. Laymon’s debut novel, Long Division, which will be reissued in 2021, was honored with the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and was shortlisted for a number of other awards, including The Believer Book Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Fiction Award. Laymon is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and Oxford American. He has written for New York Times, Esquire, VSB, ESPN The Magazine, Paris Review, NPR, Colorlines, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Ebony, Guernica, Fader, Travel & Leisure, Lit Hub, and many others. A graduate of Oberlin College, he holds an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. He is the Hubert H. McAlexander Chair of English at the University of Mississippi, and recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on several new projects, including the long poem, Good God, the horror novel, And So On, the children’s book, City Summer, Country Summer and the film Heavy: An American Memoir. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program aimed at getting Mississippi kids and their parents, more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing.

Joy Priest grew up in Louisville, KY on the backside of the world’s most famous horseracing track. She is the author of HORSEPOWER, winner of the 2019 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry from AWP, and a 2019-2020 Poetry Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems and essays appear in numerous publications, including Callaloo, Connotation Press, Four Way Review, espnW, Gulf Coast, Mississippi Review, The Rumpus, and Third Coast, and have been anthologized in Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets, The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop, and Best New Poets 2014 and 2016.  

 

 

 

 

 

PAST VISITING WRITERS

Shayla Lawson, Keith Wilson, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Randall Horton, Chanelle Benz, Tayari Jones, Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Morgan Parker, Brittany Perhham, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Dr. DaMaris B. Hill, Maurice Manning, Silas House, Garth Greenwell, Gregory Pardlo, Mary Gaitskill, Mitchell S. Jackson, Viet Thanh Nquyen, Yona Harvey, Kelly Luce, Marie-Helene Bertino, Ramona Ausubel, Carrie Fountain, Margaret Lazarus Dean, Mary Karr, Tyehimba Jess, Ada Limón, Claire Vaye Watkins, Derek Palacio, Dinaw Mengestu, Eileen Myles, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Peter Fallon, Helen Oyeyemi, Rob Spillman, Wayne Kostenbaum, Adrian Matejka, Roxane Gay, Francisco Goldman, Ann Beattie, Dara Weir, Emily Pettit, Nic Brown, Jim Gavin, Jill McCorkle, Roger Reeves

 

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