The Visiting Writers Series was introduced to campus in 2005 as a way to connect students with contemporary authors whose works have significantly impacted the world of literature. Founded by Michael P. Thomas, poet and Associate Dean for the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities & Social Sciences, the Series has become a celebrated component of the University’s Center for the Arts.
In each installment of the Visiting Writers Series, students and faculty attend a lecture given by the author and are invited to participate in creative discussions and workshops. By fostering organic relationships between the University community and visiting authors, the Series promotes critical thinking and cultural diversity.
The series has included internationally and nationally renowned poets and fiction writers, including:
Joyce Carol Oates, winner of the National Book Award and author of over 40 novels
Mary Karr, bestselling author of The Liars Club and award-winning poet
Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize winner & Poet Laureate
Caryl Phillips Afro-Caribbean writer, essayist, novelist
Brian Turner, US Army Iraqi War Veteran Poet, author of the book, Here, Bullet
Robert Pinsky, former three-time United States Poet Laureate
Colm Toibin. Irish Novelist and author of the recent Broadway production, A Testament of Mary
Nick Flynn, memoirist and poet, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which became the film, Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro
Mary Gaitskill, novelist and short story writer, National Book Award finalist
Andrei Codrescu Romanian-born American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for National Public Radio
Richard Blanco, Cuban-American poet, President Obama’s Inauguration poet
Louise Gluck, Pulitzer Prize winner and US Poet Laureate