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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.

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Spring 2024


Danté Stewart
January 31, 2024
The Cornerstone E-Sports Theater @ 6:00PM

Danté Stewart is a writer whose work in the areas of race, religion, and politics has been featured on CNN and in the The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Sojourners, The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, Comment, and elsewhere. He received the Georgia Author of the Year Award for his memoir, Shoutin' in the Fire. He received his BA in sociology from Clemson University and is currently studying at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.


Joshua Ferris
March 28, 2024
Lewis Honors College Scholars Lounge @ 6:00PM

Joshua Ferris is the author of three previous novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed, and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, and a collection of stories, The Dinner Party. He was the finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker's "20 under 40" writers in 2010. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour won the Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York. 


A Conversation with Nikky Finney & Crystal Wilkinson
April 3, 2024 
WTY UKAA Auditorium @ 6:00PM

Nikky Finney is the author of On Wings Made of Gauze; Rice; The World is Round; and Head Off & Split; which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2011. Her new collection of poems, Love Child's Hotbed of Occasional Poetry, was released in 2020. Finney is a Carolina Distinguished Professor at USC in Columbia where she is also Director of the Ernest A. Finney Jr. Cultural Arts Center. 

Crystal Wilkinson, a recent fellowship recipient of the Academy of America Poets, is the award-winning author of Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts, a culinary memoir, Perfect Black, a collection of poems, and three works of fictionThe Birds of Opulence, Water Street, and Blackberries, Blackberries. She was Poet Laureate of Kentucky from 2021 to 2023. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Kentucky where she is a Bush-Holbrook Endowed Professor. 








Rion Amilcar Scott, Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts, Glenis Redmond, Dionne Irving, Greg Pape, Charles Dodd White, Danni Quintos, Ron A. Austin, Amy Leach, Joy Priest, Austyn Gaffney, Erika Simpson, Megan Pillow, Bernard Clay, Nicole Chung, Kevin Willmott, Carter Sickles, Madeline Ffitch, Li-Young Lee, Cinelle Barnes, Minda Honey, Joy Priest, Evie Shockley, Paul Muldoon, Shayla Lawson, Keith S. 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 Wier, Emily Pettit, Nic Brown, Jim Gavin, Jill McCorkle, Roger Reeves.


For more information about the Visiting Writers Series contact Erik Reece at or Mallory Donoghue at