Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2021 and Spring 2022



Jim KliseJames Klise

3:30 p.m., Friday, September 17, 2021, Zoom

James Klise's most recent novel The Art of Secrets won an Edgar Award for Best Teen Mystery, a Nevada Young Readers Award, and a Booklist Editor's Choice Award, among other honors. His first book, Love Drugged, was an ALA Stonewall Honor Award winner, as well as finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. His short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in New Orleans Review, StoryQuarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He teaches fiction writing at StoryStudio, a writing community in Chicago, and for the past two decades, he has managed a very busy high school library. His new novel for teens is forthcoming from Algonquin Young Readers in 2023. More information at Klise's web site. Free; registration required:


Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.




Molly McCully Brown

Molly McCully Brown 3:30 p.m., Friday, October 1, 2021, Zoom

Molly McCully Brown is the author of the essay collection Places I've Taken my Body (2020) and the poetry collection The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded (2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and was named a New York Times Critics' Top Book of 2017. With Susannah Nevison, she is also the coauthor of the poetry collection In The Field Between Us (2020).

Brown has been the recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, a United States Artists Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, and the Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship from the Oxford American magazine. Her poems and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, The Guardian, Virginia Quarterly Review, Vogue, The New York Times, Crazyhorse, The Yale Review, and elsewhere.

Raised in rural Virginia, she is a graduate of Bard College at Simon's Rock, Stanford University, and the University of Mississippi, where she received her MFA.

She teaches at Old Dominion University, where she is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Nonfiction, and a member of the MFA Core Faculty.

More information available at McCully Brown's web site. Free; registration required:

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.




Viet Thanh NguyenViet Thanh Nguyen

4:00 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2021, Live Stream

Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen and his family came to the United States as refugees during the Vietnam War in 1975. As he grew up in America, he began to notice that most movies and books about the war focused on Americans while the Vietnamese were silenced and erased. He was inspired by this lack of representation to write about the war from a Vietnamese perspective, globally reimagining what we thought we knew about the conflict. The New York Times says that his debut novel, The Sympathizer, "fills a void…giving voice to the previously voiceless while it compels the rest of us to look at the events of forty years ago in new light." The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize, was a Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner, and made the finalist list for the PEN/Faulkner award. His voice is refreshing and powerful as he urges readers to examine the legacy of that tumultuous time and its aftermath from a new perspective. The audacious novel has been described by The Guardian as having "Whitman-like multiplicity" as it "reads the absolute opposite of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried." The Committed, the long-awaited follow-up to The Sympathizer, was published in 2021 and has been called "a masterwork" and "revelatory."

More information is available at his web site. Return to this page for the live stream link.

Sponsored by the Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE), the Department of English, and the K-State Student Governing Association (SGA).


Ira Sukrungruang

Ira Sukrungruang 3:30 p.m., Friday, February 25, 2022, Zoom

Ira Sukrungruang was born in Chicago to Thai immigrants and is currently the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College. He is the author of four nonfiction books This Jade World (2021), Buddha’s Dog & Other Meditations (2018), Southside Buddhist (2014) and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy (2010), the short story collection The Melting Season (2016), and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night (2013). With friend Donna Jarrell, he co-edited two anthologies that examines the fat experience through a literary lens—What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology (2003) and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology (2005).

He is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of Writers and Writing Program (AWP), and is currently on the Advisory Board of Machete, an imprint of The Ohio State University Press dedicated to publishing innovative nonfiction by authors who have been historically marginalized.

Sukrungruang is the recipient of the 2015 American Book Award for Southside Buddhist, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Anita Claire Scharf Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including The Rumpus, American Poetry Review, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He is the president of Sweet: A Literary Confection, a literary nonprofit organization.

More information available at Sukrungruang's web site. Free; registration required:

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.


Aimee Bahng and Thea Tagle

4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 4, 2022, Zoom


A moderated conversation with Dr. Aimee Bahng and Dr. Thea Tagle on speculative resurgence and art/aesthetics, especially in relation to Asian American cultural forms.

Registration is free but required:

Sponsored by the Department of English. Part of the 31st Annual Cultural Studies Symposium.


Lillian Li

Lillian Li 3:30 p.m., Friday, March 5, 2022, Zoom

Lillian Li is the author of the novel Number One Chinese Restaurant, which was an NPR Best Book of 2018, and long-listed for the Women’s Prize and the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Granta, One Story, Bon Appetit, Travel & Leisure, The Guardian, and Jezebel. Originally from the D.C. metro area, she lives in Ann Arbor.

More information available at Li's web site. Free; registration required:

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.

Malinda Lo Malinda Lo, 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 26, 2022, Zoom

Malinda Lo is the bestselling author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, winner of the National Book Award, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, as well as Michael L. Printz and Walter Dean Myers honors.

Her debut novel Ash, a Sapphic retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s short fiction and nonfiction has been published by The New York Times, NPR, Autostraddle, The Horn Book, and multiple anthologies.

More information available at Lo's web site. Free; registration required. Register at by Friday, March 25, at 5:00 pm. Registrants will receive a Zoom link by separate email in advance of the event.

Co-sponsored by the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community (ChALC), K-State's SGA, and the Department of English. Part of the 8th Biennial ChALC Conference.


Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021



Kimiko HahnKimiko Hahn

4:00 p.m., Friday, September 25, 2020, Zoom

Kimiko Hahn is the author of Foreign Bodies (W.W. Norton, 2020), and nine other books of poems, including Brain Fever (W.W. Norton, 2014) and Toxic Flora (W.W.Norton, 2010), both collections prompted by science; The Narrow Road to the Interior (W.W.Norton, 2006) a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal; The Unbearable Heart (Kaya, 1996), which received an American Book Award; and Earshot (Hanging Loose Press, 1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. Other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize, and a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the N.Y. Foundation for the Arts. More information at the news release.


Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.




Joy HarjoJoy Harjo

5:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 20, 2020, Live-stream

The U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, will speak at Kansas State on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 5:00-6:00 pm; the event will be live-streamed from this page.

Harjo is a preeminent poet and spoken word artist, as well as being the first Native American poet laureate. She is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and was named the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States in 2019.

Her performances are highly engaging, usually consisting of music, powerful spoken word, and conversation.

Sponsored by Kansas State University's Student Governing Association, the Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE) and the English Department, the Indigenous Faculty and Staff Alliance, K-State Libraries, the DOW Center for Multicultural and Community Studies at K-State Libraries, and the Beach Museum.





Emily NemensEmily Nemens

4:00 p.m., Friday, October 30, 2020, Zoom

Emily Nemens is a writer, illustrator, and editor. Her debut novel, The Cactus League, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in February 2020 to critical acclaim. In 2018 Nemens became the seventh editor of the Paris Review, the nation's preeminent literary quarterly. Since her arrival, the magazine has won the ASME Award for Fiction, seen record-high circulation, published two anthologies, and produced a second season of its acclaimed podcast. Previously, she co-edited the Southern Review, a storied literary quarterly published at Louisiana State University. For more information about Nemens' work, visit her web site.

Register for the reading at


Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.


Sean HillSean Hill

3:30 p.m., Friday, February 19, 2021, Zoom


Sean Hill is the author of two poetry collections, Dangerous Goods, awarded the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor, named one of the Ten Books All Georgians Should Read in 2015 by the Georgia Center for the Book, (UGA Press, 2008).

Hill has received numerous awards including fellowships from Cave Canem, The MacDowell Colony, a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems and essays have appeared in Callaloo, Harvard Review, New England Review, Orion, Oxford American, Poetry, Tin House, and numerous other journals, and in over a dozen anthologies including Black Nature and Villanelles.

More information at the news release. Registration is free but required:

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.


Gabrielle OwenGabrielle Owen

4:00 p.m., Friday, February 26, 2021, Zoom


Dr. Gabrielle (Brie) Owen, University of Nebraska, will speak on "From Developmentalism to Queer Time: Rethinking the History of Adolescence."

Owen is author of A Queer History of Adolescence: Developmental Pasts, Relational Futures (University of Georgia Press, 2020), which develops a critical, historical, and theoretical framework for social conceptions of adolescence, bringing together questions of queer theory and categories of age. Owen has also published on The Hate U Give, I Am Jazz, queer theory, and trans identity.

More information at the news release. Registration is free but required:

Sponsored by the Department of English. Part of the 30th Annual Cultural Studies Symposium.


L. L. McKinneyLL McKinney

3:30 p.m., Friday, March 26, 2021, Zoom


Named one of The Root's 100 most influential African Americans of 2020, Leatrice "Elle" McKinney, writing as L.L. McKinney, is a writer and a poet. She is an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, often through the hashtags #PublishingPaidMe and #WhatWoCWritersHear, and is active in the children's and YA lit communities.

McKinney's works include the best-selling novels A Blade So Black (2018) and A Dream So Dark (2019), as well as the graphic novel Nubia: Real One (DC, 2021) and Marvel's Black Widow: Bad Blood (2020). McKinney is also a gamer and Blerd, living in Kansas City.

More information at the news release. Registration is free but required:

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.



Julie KohnerJulie Kohner

4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 29, 2021, Zoom


Educator Julie Kohner presents "Voices of the Generations," a multi-media program that relates the life of her parents, Walter and Hanna Kohner.

Hanna Kohner survived four concentration camps during the Holocaust, while Walter escaped by immigrating to the United States. They reunited after the war and finally married. Together, they wrote “Hanna and Walter, A Love Story,” which traces their steps from the 1930s in Czechoslovakia to California after World War II.

Using the book, artifacts and an episode of “This Is Your Life,” in which her mother was the first survivor to share her story on national television, Kohner reveals the atrocities of the Holocaust in a very personal way.

Kohner has been a Jewish educator for more than 30 years. She has a master’s degree in educational counseling, and she has been an invited speaker at community centers, schools, and universities across the United States.

Registration is free but required:

Co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Department of History, the College of Education, and K-State Libaries.


Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020

Scott HerringScott Herring

4:00 p.m., Friday, February 21, 2020, Ekdahl Room, Regnier Hall


Dr. Scott Herring, the James H. Rudy Professor in English & Gender Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, will survey the queer archives of Robert Rayford, a St. Louis teenager sensationalized as "the earliest known case of AIDS in this country." Through Rayford's story, Herring reveals a quagmire of scientific racism, metronormativity, and debility that nevertheless offers us insight into representations of pre-Stonewall sexual cultures in the American Midwest.

Herring is author of "Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History" (University of Chicago Press, 2007), "Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism" (New York University Press, 2010; Lambda Literary Award), and "The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern American Culture" (University of Chicago Press, 2014), as well as numerous scholarly essays and journal articles. More information at the K-State news release. Sponsored by the Department of English. Part of the 29th Annual Cultural Studies Symposium.

Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2018 and Spring 2019


Beverly Lyon Clark

4:00 p.m., Friday, September 21, 2018, Union Flint Hills Room

Beverly Lyon Clark, professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, will speak on "The Littlest Woman? Picturing Alcott's Artistic Amy." Part of the 150th celebration of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. More information at "Little Women at 150" and the K-State news release.



Anne Boyd Rioux bookAnne Boyd Rioux

4:00 p.m., Friday, October 5, 2018, Tadtman Boardroom, Alumni Center

Anne Boyd Rioux, professor at the University of New Orleans, will speak on "Why Little Women Still Matters 150 Years Later." Part of the 150th celebration of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. More information at "Little Women at 150" and the K-State news release.





Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy

3:30 p.m., Friday, October 26, 2018, Union Wildcat Chamber


CANCELLED due to weather on the East coast. New date will be announced in coming weeks.

Angela Flournoy, a fiction writer, will read from her work. Flournoy is the author of The Turner House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times notable book of the year. The novel was also a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and an NAACP Image Award. She is a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree for 2015. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New York Times, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Flournoy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California. She has taught at the University of Iowa, The New School, Columbia University and Princeton University. More information at

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.


Dustin Parsons and Aimee NDustin Parsons and Aimee Nezhukumatathil

3:30 p.m., Friday, November 2, 2018, Union Wildcat Chamber

A reading by creative nonfiction author Dustin Parsons and poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Dustin Parsons (M.A. 1999) is the author of Exploded View: Essays on Fatherhood, with Diagrams. He has an MFA from Bowling Green State University. He has previously served as the non-fiction editor of The Mid-American Review. Awards for his writing include an Ohio Arts Grant and a New York Fine Arts grant in creative non-fiction, the 2013 American Literary Review Prize in fiction, the 2014 fiction prize from The Laurel Review, and a "notable" in the 2014 Best American Essays. He teaches creative writing workshops and courses in American literature at University of Mississippi.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is a professor of English in the University of Mississippi’s M.F.A. program. Her newest collection of poems is Oceanic. She is also the author of the forthcoming book of illustrated nature essays, Wolrd of Wonder (2019), and three previous poetry collection. She is the poetry editor of Orion magazine and her poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry 2015 & 2018 series, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and Tin House. Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pushcart Prize.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.




laura moriarity

Laura Moriarty

3:30 p.m., Friday, February 22, 2019, Union Wildcat Chamber

A reading by novelist Laura Moriarty.

Moriarty is the author of five novels, including The Rest of Her Life (2007), The Center of Everything (2009), and The Chaperone (2012), which has been optioned for film by the creators of Downton Abbey. Her most recent novel is American Heart (2018).

Born in Honolulu, Moriarty earned her undergraduate degree in social work and her Master of Arts in English from the University of Kansas. She is currently professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kansas.

More information available at

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.




Lisa Lowe

Lisa Lowe

4:00 p.m., Friday, March 1, 2019, Leadership Studies Town Hall

Lisa Lowe, Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies at Yale University, will speak on "Metaphors of Migration."

Lowe teaches courses and conducts research on race, immigration, capitalism, colonialism, and globalization. She received a B.A. in History from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Literature from University of California, Santa Cruz.

Lowe is author of Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms (Cornell University Press, 1991) and Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Duke University Press, 1996), among numerous books, scholarly essays, and journal articles. Her most recent book is The Intimacies of Four Continents (Duke University Press, 2015).

For more information about Lowe's work, visit

Sponsored by the Department of English. Part of the 28th Annual Cultural Studies Symposium.



17th c kitchen Folger Library

Sheila Cavanagh

4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 4, 2019, Union Big 12 Room

Scholar Dr. Sheila Cavanagh (Emory University) will speak on "'What Say You to a Neat's Foot?': Shakespearean Manipulations of Food Practices Among the Elite in Early Modern England."

Cavanagh teaches and conducts research on Renaissance literature and pedagogy. She is the Director of the Emory Women Writers Resource Project and Founding Director of the World Shakespeare Project. More information at

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Primary Texts Certificate/ "Live Ideas" Lecture Series.



Jamel Brinkley

Jamel Brinkley

3:30 p.m., Friday, March 22, 2019, Union Wildcat Chamber

A reading by fiction writer Jamel Brinkley.

Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories (Graywolf Press), a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, the John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the Story Prize, and winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His writing has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2018, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, and Tin House, among other places.

Brinkley has received support from Kimbilio Fiction, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also a Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.

More information available at

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and SGA Fine Arts Fees.




Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018

Mary Cisper

Mary Cisper

5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 26, 2017, Union Cottonwood Room


Mary Cisper, a poet, will read from her work. With expertise in chemistry as well as literature, Cisper completed her M.F.A. in Poetry at Saint Mary's College of California. Her poems and reviews have been published in various journals including Denver Quarterly, ZYZZYVA, Lana Turner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Terrain, Water-Stone Review, Newfound, FIELD, 1110, Omniverse, and Fourteen Hills. For more information, visit her web site at



Christopher Newfield


Christopher Newfield

4:00 p.m. Thursday, November 2, 2017, Ekdahl Conference Room, Seaton Hall

Christopher Newfield will present "What Do Universities Do?: Paths Out of the Continuing Crisis."
Newfield is Professor of literature and American studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Much of his research is in Critical University Studies, which links his enduring concern with humanities teaching to the study of how higher education continues to be re-shaped by social and economic forces. His most recent books on this subject are Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (Harvard University Press, 2008), and Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (Duke University Press, 2003). A new book on the post-2008 struggles of public universities to rebuild their social missions, called The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in November 2016. His current research, "Limits of the Numerical," studies the effects of learning and research measurement on higher education, and has been awarded a 2-year NEH Collaborative Research Grant. He teaches courses in Detective Fiction, Noir California, Contemporary U.S. Literature, Innovation Theory, and English Majoring After College.


Melissa Chadburn

Melissa Chadburn

3:30 p.m. Friday, November 3, 2017, Union Wildcat Chamber

Melissa Chadburn is a fellow for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She has written for Guernica, Buzzfeed, Poets & Writers, Salon, American Public Media’s Marketplace, Al Jazeera America, and dozens other places. Her essay, "The Throwaways," received notable mention in Best American Essays and Best American Nonrequired Reading. She recently published her debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017). Read more about Melissa Chadburn at



Fred MotenFred Moten

4:00 p.m., Friday, February 2, 2018, Town Hall, Leadership Studies Building

Fred Moten, poet and co-author of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (2013), will speak on "Anassignment Letters." Fred Moten was born in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1962 and raised there and in Kingsland, Arkansas. His books include In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition and The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. He teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. More information at the new release. Sponsored by the Department of English. Part of the 28th Annual Cultural Studies Symposium.


Melissa Chadburn

Lily Hoang

3:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2018, Ekdahl Conference Room, Regnier Hall

Lily Hoang is the author of five books of prose, including Changing (recipient of a PEN Open Books Award) and A Bestiary (winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center's Non-Fiction Book Prize). With Joshua Marie Wilkinson, she edited the anthology The Force of What's Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. In Summer 2017, she was Mellon Scholar in Residence at Rhodes University in South Africa. She is Editor of Jaded Ibis Press and Executive Editor of HTML Giant. More information available at

Co-sponsored by the Department of English, K-State Libraries/DOW Multi-Cultural Resource Center, Asian American Student Union, Office of Diversity, A&S Diversity Lecture Series, Leadership Studies, and others.

Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017

Ross Gay

Ross Gay

5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8, 2016, Union Cottonwood Room


Ross Gay is the author of Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, which won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. He teaches at Indiana University.



Jerry Gabriel Karen Leona Anderson

Karen Leona Anderson and Jerry Gabriel

3:30 p.m. Friday, October 7, 2016, Union Little Theatre


Karen Leona Anderson is the author of the poetry collections Receipt and Punish Honey. Her work has appeared in ecopoetics, New American Writing, Fence, Volt, and The Best American Poetry 2012. She teaches at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Jerry Gabriel's first story collection, Drowned Boy, won the Mary McCarthy Prize and was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. His second story collection, The Let Go, was published in 2015. He teaches at St. Mary's College of Maryland.



Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Ebony Thomas

5:30 p.m. Friday, October 14, 2016, Alumni Center

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas taught elementary language arts, high school English, and creative writing in public schools for several years after graduating from Florida A&M, a historically Black university in Tallahassee, Florida. She earned her M.A. from Wayne State University (19th Century British and American Literature) and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan's joint program in English and Education. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on children's and adolescent texts (broadly construed), the teaching of African American literature, history, and culture in K-12 classrooms, and the roles that race, class, and gender play in classroom discourse and interaction. She is also conducting empirical, digital, and archival research for two monographs: a critical volume about the ways that children and teens of color are represented in early 21st century speculative fiction, comics, and multimedia, and a pedagogical volume about how to wrestle with traumatic historical events such as slavery in the teaching of literature. Her talk, "Hermione is Black: Harry Potter and the Crisis of Infinite Dark Fantastic Worlds," is sponsored by the Department of English and the A&S Diversity Committee.

Wilton Barnhardt

Wilton Barnhardt

3:30 p.m., Friday, March 10, 2017, Hale Hemisphere Room

Wilton Barnhardt, a former reporter for Sports Illustrated, has written four novels: Emma Who Saved My Life, Gospel, Show World, and Lookaway, Lookaway. He teaches at North Carolina State University.

Joy Castro

Joy Castro

3:30 p.m., Friday, March 31, 2017, Hale Hemisphere Room

Joy Castro is best known for her memoir The Truth Book: Escaping a Childhood of Abuse Among Jehovah's Witnesses. She has also published two novels, Hell or High Water and Nearer Home; a story collection, How Winter Began; and an essay collection, Island of Bones. She teaches at the University of Nebraska.

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.


Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015

Camille Dungy

Camille Dungy

Friday, 3:30 p.m. September 5, 2014, Union Little Theatre


Camille Dungy is the author of three poetry collections: Smith Blue (winner of the 2010 Crab Orchard Open Book Prize), Suck on the Marrow, and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison. She is a professor at Colorado State University.

Phil Klay

Phil Klay

Thursday, 5:30 p.m. October 2, 2014, All Faiths Chapel


Phil Klay is the author of Redeployment, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Klay, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, served in Iraq's Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer.

Kenneth Price and Amanda Gailey

Friday, 4:00 p.m. October 3, 2014, Hemisphere Room, Hale Library


Kenneth Price (professor of English, co-director of Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, and editor of The Walt Whitman Archive) and Amanda Gailey (assistant professor and editor of the new project titled The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk: Race and Ethnic Images in American Children's Literature, 1880-1939) will offer presentations on their respective digital humanities and literature projects at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Price will speak on "'Many Long Dumb Voices...Clarified and Transfigured': The Walt Whitman Archive and the Scholarly Edition in the Digital Age"; Gailey will speak on "Editing a Troubled Past: The Case of The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk." Sponsored by the Department of English and K-State Libraries.

Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud

Sunday, 4:00 p.m. November 2, 2014, Hemisphere Room, Hale Library


Scott McCloud presents "Comics and the Art of Visual Communication." Comics is finally coming of age as an artistic and literary form. Now this once-maligned medium of expression is poised for new opportunities, thanks to a mutating media environment and a potential revolution in visual education. Author and comics artist Scott McCloud shines a light on these and other fascinating trends in a fast-moving visual presentation. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Department of English and K-State Libraries.

Hester Kaplan

Hester Kaplan

Friday, 3:30 p.m. November 7, 2014, Leadership Studies Town Hall


Hester Kaplan is the author of two story collections, Unravished and The Edge of Marriage, and two novels, Kinship Theory and The Tell. She is on the faculty of Lesley University’s Low Residency MFA Program

Poe Ballantine
Poe Ballantine

Friday, 3:30 p.m. March 6, 2015, Union Little Theatre


Poe Ballantine is the author of three works of nonfiction, Things I Like About America, 501 Minutes to Christ, and Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, and two novels, God Clobbers Us All and Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire. He lives in Chadron, Nebraska.

Justin Torres

Justin Torres

Friday, 3:30 p.m. March 27, 2015, Union Little Theatre


Justin Torres is the author of We the Animals, a New York Times bestseller. He currently teaches at Columbia University, in Lesley University's Low Residency MFA Program, and at The Writers' Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph's College.

Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay

Friday, 3:30 p.m. September 20, 2013, Union Little Theatre


Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere. Her novel, An Untamed State, will be published by Grove Atlantic, and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014. She is an associate professor at Eastern Illinois University.

Shane Seely

Shane Seely

Friday, 3:30 p.m. October 4, 2013, Union Little Theatre


Shane Seely’s book of poems, The Snowbound House, won the 2008 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry and was published by Anhinga Press in 2009. In 2012, Slash Pine Press published his chapbook, History Here Requires Balboa. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Suzanne Roberts

Suzanne Roberts

Friday, 3:30 p.m. March 7, 2014, Union Little Theatre


Suzanne Roberts is the author of Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (winner of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award) and four collections of poetry. She was named “The Next Great Travel Writer” by National Geographic's Traveler magazine. She teaches at Lake Tahoe Community College and for the low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Sierra Nevada College.


Julianna Baggott

Julianna Baggott

Friday, 3:30 p.m. April 4, 2014, Union Little Theatre


Julianna Baggott is the author of nineteen books, which appear under her own name as well as the pen names Bridget Asher and N.E. Bode. Most notably, she’s the author of the Pure trilogy (Pure, Fuse, and Burn), the national bestseller Girl Talk, and three collections of poetry. She is an associate professor at Florida State University's College of Motion Picture Arts

Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013

Steven ChurchSteven Church, nonfiction writer.

Reading: Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Steven Church, an associate professor at California State University-Fresno, earned his MFA at Colorado State University and his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Kansas. He's the author of The Day After The Day After: My Atomic Angst; Theoretical Killings: Essays and Accidents; and The Guinness Book of Me: a Memoir of Record. His essays and stories have been published in The Best American Essays, Fourth Genre, Colorado Review, and other venues. Church was awarded the Colorado Book Award for The Guinness Book of Me, which has also been optioned for TV by Lionsgate Studios and Fox Television.

Janice GouldJanice Gould, poet.

Reading: Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 4 p.m. Union Little Theater

Janice Gould is an associate professor in Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she received degrees in Linguistics and English, and of the University of New Mexico, where she earned her Ph.D. in English. Gould has won awards for her writing from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Astraea Foundation. Her books of poetry are Doubters and Dreamers, Beneath My Heart, Earthquake Weather, and Alphabet (an artbook/chapbook). She is the co-editor of Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry.

Lauren GroffLauren Groff, fiction writer.

Reading: Friday, November 30, 2012, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Lauren Groff graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Groff’s first novel, The Monsters of Templeton, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and bestseller and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. She has also published a story collection, Delicate Edible Birds, and a new novel, Arcadia. Groff’s short stories have appeared in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and Ploughshares and have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2007 and 2010 and the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories.

Rey ChowRey Chow, Scholar.

Friday, March 8, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Rey Chow, a cultural studies critic who focuses on ethnicity, critical theory, and film, will speak on "The Question of Sound and _Hiroshima mon amour_." Currently the Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature at Duke, Chow is the author of more than twelve books and is considered one of the most influential cultural critics of our time. More information at the new release. Sponsored by the Department of English, the Department of Women's Studies, and the Offices of the President and Provost. Part of the 22nd Annual Cultural Studies Symposium.


Danielle Evans, fiction writer. Danielle Evans

Reading: Friday, March 29, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Danielle Evans, an assistant professor at American University, received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop and a B.A. in anthropology and African-American Studies from Columbia University. Her short-story collection, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, was a co-winner of the 2011 PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize for a first book, a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 selection for 2011, the winner of the 2011 Paterson Prize for Fiction, and the winner of the 2011 Hurston-Wright award for fiction. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2008 and 2010.

Robin BernsteinRobin Bernstein, scholar.

Talk: Friday, April 5, 2013, 4:00 p.m. Leadership Studies Town Hall

Robin Bernstein, an associate professor at Harvard University, received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University; an M.A. in American Studies from George Washington University; an M.A. in History, Theory, and Criticism of Theatre from the University of Maryland; and a B.A. in Creative Writing from Bryn Mawr College. She is the author of Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (NYU Press, 2011), which has won five awards so far — including the Children's Literature Association's Book Award, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's Outstanding Book Award, and the New England American Studies Association's Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize. She is also the editor of Cast Out: Queer Lives in Theater (University of Michigan Press, 2006), and the co-editor of Generation Q: Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals Born Around 1969's Stonewall Riots Tell Their Stories of Growing Up in the Age of Information (Alyson Publications, 1996). She is currently writing writing a book titled Paradoxy: Lesbians and the Everyday Art of the Impossible. In her words, this new book "shows how racially diverse lesbians in the U.S. have, since the early twentieth century, performed paradoxes on stage and in everyday life."

Susan Jackson RodgersSusan Jackson Rodgers, fiction writer.

Reading: Friday, April 12, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Susan Jackson Rodgers, an associate professor at Oregon State University, received her B.A. from Bowdoin College, her M.A. from Kansas State, and her MFA from Bennington College. She is the author of two story collections: The Trouble With You Is and Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as New England Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train, and Prairie Schooner. Rodgers is the past recipient of two Kansas Arts Commission Fellowships and a winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.

Visiting Writers and Speakers, Fall 2011 and Spring 2012

Ander MonsonAnder Monson, poet, essayist.

Reading Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Ander Monson's Neck Deep and Other Predicaments was the winner of the 2006 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize (Graywolf, 2007). Vanishing Point (nonfiction) appeared in 2010 from Graywolf Press and The Available World, poetry, appeared from Sarabande Books in 2010. He is the author of a collection of fiction, Other Electricities (Sarabande Books, 2005), winner of the John C. Zacharis prize from Ploughshares and a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Prize, and a collection of poetry, Vacationland (Tupelo Press, 2005). His work has been published in Ploughshares, The Believer, Ninth Letter, Boston Review, Quarterly West, Best American Essays 2008, and The Best Creative Nonfiction Volume 2. He is a 2007 recipient of the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award and a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship. Monson is the designer, editor, and publisher of the literary journal, DIAGRAM , and the founder and editor of New Michigan Press. He earned his MFA in Fiction and Poetry from the University of Alabama.

Manuel MunozManuel Muñoz, fiction writer.

Reading Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Manuel Muñoz is the author of two collections of short stories, Zigzagger (Northwestern University Press, 2003) and The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007), which was shortlisted for the 2007 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is a recipient of a 2008 Whiting Writers’ Award and a 2009 PEN/O. Henry Award for his story “Tell Him About Brother John.” His first novel, What You See in the Dark, was published in 2011. Muñoz was featured in the May 2011 issue of Oprah Magazine. His latest novel, What You See in the Dark, was recommended by Reading Room - Titles to Pick Up Now as “an eerily cinematic novel about the filming of Psycho, in which the offscreen action takes a Hitchcockian turn.” Muñoz has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts and he was selected as a juror for the 2011 PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Glimmer Train, Epoch, Eleven Eleven, and Boston Review, and has aired on National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts. A native of Dinuba, California, Manuel graduated from Harvard University and received his MFA in creative writing from Cornell University.

Photo credit: © Stuart Bernstein

Ronaldo WilsonRonaldo V. Wilson, poet.

Reading Friday, March 9, 2012, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, from University of Pittsburgh Press and Poems of the Black Object from Futurepoem Books. He has held fellowships at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Vermont Studio Center, Cave Canem, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Yaddo Corporation, and has had four poems nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has taught creative writing and African American Poetics at Mount Holyoke College and has (very) recently joined the faculty at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Rebecca MakkaiRebecca Makkai, fiction writer.

Reading Friday, March 30, 2012, 3:30 p.m. Union Little Theater

Makkai holds an MA from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and a BA from Washington and Lee University. Her short fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009, New Stories from the Midwest and Best American Fantasy, and featured on Public Radio International’s Selected Shorts.

John PriceJohn Price, nonfiction writer.

Reading Thursday, April 12, 2012, 7:30 p.m. Union Flint Hills Room

John T. Price is a Professor and current Jefferis Endowed Chair of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He earned his M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing and Ph.D. in English at the University of Iowa, and is the author of two literary memoirs: Not Just Any Land: A Personal and Literary Journey into the American Grasslands (U. of Nebraska Press, 2004) and Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships (2008, Da Capo Press). A recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, his autobiographical nonfiction has appeared in numerous national journals, magazines and anthologies, including Orion, the Christian Science Monitor, Creative Nonfiction, and the annual awards anthology, Best Spiritual Writing. He teaches literature and creative nonfiction writing courses at UNO, including Autobiography, Modern Familiar Essay, and Travel Writing, and in 2006, was given an Alumni Oustanding Teaching Award. He is also co-director of UNO's graduate certificate in Advanced Writing.