Visiting Writers

Drawing of a roseThe Visiting Writer Series at Reed College is sponsored by the Department of English. The intent is to bring interesting and diverse writers of prose and poetry to Reed to enhance our courses with readings and discussions.

The Department maintains a mailing list to which interested people can subscribe, to receive details of the upcoming Readings. The mailings are either electronic or paper. You can subscribe by emailing the Department office at vswr@reed.edu or calling the Department at 503-777-7753.

2013-14 Schedule

View a list of former visiting writers.

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Paisley Rekdal

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, September 12, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; a hybrid-genre photo-text memoir that combines poetry, fiction, nonfiction and photography entitled Intimate; and four books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope, and Animal Eye, which was a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize, the Balcones Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize. Her work has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Village Voice Writers on the Verge Award, an NEA Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes, the University of Georgia Press’ Contemporary Poetry Series Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, inclusion in the Best American Poetry series and various state arts council awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, and on National Public Radio among others.

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Carl Phillips

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, September 26, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

Carl Phillips is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently Silverchest (FSG, 2013) and Double Shadow (FSG, 2011), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award.  Other honors include the 2013 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, the Lambda Literary Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of American Poets.  Phillips is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Alice Notley

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, October 17, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

Alice Notley has published over thirty books of poetry, including (most recently) Culture of One and Songs and Stories of the Ghouls.  With her sons Anselm and Edmund Berrigan, she edited both The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan and The Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan.  Notley has received many prizes and awards including the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Award, the Griffin Prize, two NEA Grants, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry.  She lives and writes in Paris, France.

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Leni Zumas

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, November 7, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

Leni Zumas is the author of the story collection Farewell Navigator (Open City) and the novel The Listeners (Tin House), which was a finalist for the 2013 Oregon Book Award. Her fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Open City, Salt Hill, New Orleans Review, New York Tyrant, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and other magazines. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Djerassi, MacDowell, the Millay Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Zumas is an assistant professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Portland State University. She lives in Portland with the artist Luca Dipierro and their baby son.

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Alan Shapiro

Poetry Reading sponsored by the English Department (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, November 14, 6:30 PM
Psychology 105

Alan Shapiro is author of 10 books of poetry (most recently Night of the Republic from Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt), 4 books of prose (most recently Broadway Baby, a novel from Algonquin Books). He's published two translations with OUP, and won numerous awards, including The Kingsley Tufts Award, LA Times Book Prize, an award in literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, two fellowships from the NEA, a Guggenheim and a Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Award. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Natalie Diaz

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, February 20, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

Natalie Diaz grew up in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia for several years, she completed her MFA in poetry and fiction at Old Dominion University. She was awarded the Bread Loaf 2012 Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry, the 2012 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellowship, a 2012 Lannan Residency, as well as being awarded a 2012 Lannan Literary Fellowship. She won a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Her first book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published in June 2012, by Copper Canyon Press. She currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and directs a language revitalization program at Fort Mojave, her home reservation. There she works and teaches with the last Elder speakers of the Mojave language.

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George Makana Clark

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, February 27, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

George Makana Clark is the author of The Raw Man (Jonathan Cape/Random House UK), and The Small Bees’ Honey (White Pine Press). His work has appeared in O. Henry Prize Stories, The Granta Book of the African Short Story, Tin House, Ecotone, Zoetrope: All Story, Glimmer Train, Transition, The Georgia Review, The Massachusetts Review, Southern Review, Witness, The Chelsea Review, The Cream City Review, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. Clark was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship and named a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing. He teaches fiction writing and African literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Brian Evenson

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, March 27, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

Brian Evenson is the author of twelve books of fiction, most recently the story collection Windeye (Coffee House Press, 2012) and the novel Immobility (Tor, 2012), both of which are finalists for the Shirley Jackson Award.  His novel Last Days (Underland Press 2009) won the American Library Association's RUSA award for Best Horror Novel of the year. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he teaches in Brown University's Literary Arts Department. Other books include Fugue State, The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship.

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Kazim Ali

Reading (Free and open to the public)

Thursday, April 10, 6:30 PM
Eliot Hall Chapel

Kazim Ali's books include four volumes of poetry, The Far Mosque, The Fortieth Day, the mixed genre Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities and Sky Ward. He has also published two novels Quinn’s Passage and The Disappearance of Seth, two collections of essays, Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice as well as translations of poetry by Sohrab Sepehri and a novel by Marguerite Duras. Recently he edited the essay collection Jean Valentine: This-World Company. In addition to being associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College and founding editor of Nightboat Books he is a certified Jivamukti Yoga instructor.