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.

 

 

MARCELO HERNANDEZ CASTILLO

Wednesday January 22nd, 2020
7:00pm
WTY Auditorium

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of Cenzontle, which was chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. Prize published by BOA editions in 2018, as well as the winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writer Award for poetry, the 2019 Golden Poppy Award from the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, and is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, the California Book Award, the Publishing Triangle's Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, the Northern California Book Award, and a FOREWORD INDIE Best Book of the Year Award. Cenzontle was listed among one of NPR's and the New York Public Library top picks of 2018. His first chapbook, DULCE, won the Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize published by Northwestern University press. His memoir, Children of the Land is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020.

 

The Gaines Center & Visiting Writers Series Featuring SHAYLA LAWSON & KEITH WILSON

Thursday February 6th, 2020
7:00 pm
WTY Auditorium

Shayla Lawson is the author of three books of poetry—A Speed Education in Human Being, the chapbook PANTONE and I Think I’m Ready to see Frank Ocean—and the forthcoming essay collection THIS IS MAJOR (Harper Perennial, 2020). Her work has appeared in print & online at Tin House, GRAMMA, ESPN, Salon, The Offing, Guernica, Colorado Review, Barrelhouse, and MiPOesias. She curates The Tenderness Project with Ross Gay and writes poems with Chet’la Sebree (pronounced Shayla, no relation). A MacDowell and Yaddo Artist Colony Fellow, Shayla currently serves as Writer-in-Residence and Chair of Creative Writing at Amherst College. She is also supported by the Cini Foundation of Venice, Italy, the Allen Fellowship at the New York Public Library and her Havanese, Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. She is a member of The Affrilachian Poets.

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet and Cave Canem fellow. He is a recipient of an NEA fellowship as well as fellowships/grants from Bread Loaf, Kenyon College, Tin House, MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, UCross, and Millay Colony, among others. Keith serves as Assistant Poetry Editor at Four Way Review and Digital Media Editor at Obsidian Journal. His first book, Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love, was published by Copper Canyon. His work in game design includes “Once Upon a Tale,” a storytelling card game designed for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in collaboration with The Field Museum of Chicago, and alternate reality games (ARGs) for the University of Chicago. He has worked with or taught new media with Kenyon College, the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and the University of Chicago.

 

MADELINE FFITCH

Thursday March 12th, 2020
7:00pm
Gatton Student Center

Madeline Ffitch writes and organizes in Appalachian Ohio. She was a founding member of the punk theater company, The Missoula Oblongata, and is the author of the story collection, Valparaiso, Round the Horn. Madeline has been awarded residencies at Yaddo and at the MacDowell Colony. She is the author of Stay and Fight from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

 

LI YOUNG LEE

Thursday April 9th, 2020
7:00pm
Location TBD

Li-Young Lee is the author of five books of poetry, including his newest collection, The Undressing which is forthcoming in 2018. His earlier collections are Behind My Eyes; Book of My Nights; Rose, winner of the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award; The City in Which I Love You, the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection; and a memoir entitled The Winged Seed: A Remembrance, which received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and will be reissued by BOA Editions in 2012. 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.

 

PAST VISITING WRITERS

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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