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Department of English

Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle

5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 24, 2015, Union Flint Hills Room


Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus and three novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and The Devil in Silver. He has received a Whiting Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, and a Guggenheim. He teaches at Columbia University.

Christopher Myers


Christopher Myers

4:00 p.m. Thursday, October 22, 2015, Alumni Center


Christopher Myers is the award-winning author and illustrator of Caldecott Honoree Harlem and Coretta Scott King Award Honorees Black Cat and Horse. Chris has also won three Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors and a New York Times Best Illustrated Award. In addition to writing and illustrating his own stories, Myers often illustrates books written by his father, award winning author Walter Dean Myers.

Natalie Diaz


Natalie Diaz

3:30 p.m. Friday, October 30, 2015, Union Little Theatre


Natalie Diaz is the author of the poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec. She has received the Bread Loaf Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry and the Narrative Prize. She currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and directs a language revitalization program at Fort Mojave, her home reservation.

Farah Jasmine Griffin


Farah Jasmine Griffin

4:00 p.m., Friday, April 1, 2016, Hale Hemisphere Room


Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University, where she has served as director of the Institute for Research in African American studies. In addition to editing several collections of letters and essays she is the author of Who Set You Flowin’: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001), and Clawing At the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne, 2008). Her most recent book is Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists & Progressive Politics During World War II (Basic, 2013). Sponsored by the Department of English and the A&S Diversity Committee.

Trina Robbins


Trina Robbins

4:00 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2016, Alumni Center


Trina Robbins is an American comics artist and writer and has been writing for comics and books for over forty years. She was an early and influential participant in the underground comix movement and one of the few female artists in that movement. In 1970, she edited It Ain't Me, Babe, the first all-woman comic book, and, in 1972, she was one of the founders of Wimmen's Comix, which is, to this day, the longest running all-women comic book anthology in history. Besides numerous articles in art periodicals, Trina has also written three histories of women in comics: Women and the Comics, which she co-wrote with cat yronwode, A Century of Women Cartoonists, and Pretty in Ink: American Women Cartoonists 1896–2013. Sponsored by the Department of English and the Department of Women's Studies.

Poe Ballantine
Rebecca Curtis

7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 24, 2016, Union Flinthills Room


Rebecca Curtis is the author of Twenty Grand and Other Tales of Love & Money, a New York Times Notable Book and an L.A. Times Best Book. Curtis’ fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, and elsewhere. She has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation award and a Saltonstall Grant.

 Justin Torres

Francesca Royster

4:00 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2016, Union Little Theatre


Francesca Royster is Professor and Chair of English at DePaul University, where she teaches courses in Shakespeare Studies, Performance Studies, Critical Race theory, Gender and Queer Theory and African American Literature. Part of the 25th Annual Cultural Studies Symposium. Sponsored by the Department of English.


Julian HoffmanJulian Hoffman

7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 14, 2016, Union Little Theatre


Julian Hoffman lives beside the Prespa Lakes in northern Greece. His book, The Small Heart of Things: Being at Home in a Beckoning World, was chosen by Terry Tempest Williams as the winner of the 2012 AWP Award Series for Nonfiction. In 2014, it won a National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature. Co-sponsored by the Prairie Studies Initiative.


Past Visiting Writers and Speakers