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The 2015-2016 Raji-Syman Visiting Writers Series

All readings free and open to the public.E. Danticat

Edwidge Danticat
Sept. 1, 2015 |  7:30 p.m.  |  Weber Chapel Auditorium  

A powerful and widely celebrated voice in contemporary fiction, Haitian American bestselling author and social activist Edwidge Danticat has written ten books and has received numerous awards and honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Story Prize, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her most recent book, Claire of the Sea Light, is a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town where a little girl has gone missing.

Tom Centolella
Sept. 30, 2015  |  7:30 p.m.  |  Isaacs AuditoriumT. Centolella

Thomas Centolella is the author of three collections of poetry: Terra Firma (chosen by Denise Levertov for publication in the National Poetry Series), Lights & Mysteries, and Views from along the Middle Way, all from Copper Canyon Press. His work has brought such honors as the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, the California Book Award, and the Northern California Book Award. His poems have been featured in many periodicals and anthologies, as well as on NPR. He is also a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He teaches creative writing in the San Francisco Bay Area.   

Nick FlynnNick Flynn

Oct. 28, 2015  |  7:30 p.m.  |  Isaacs Auditorium

Nick Flynn’s memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for memoir; his first collection of poems Some Ether won the PEN/Joyce Osterwell Award. The memoir was made into the 2012 film Being Flynn, and his most recent book, The Reenactments, is the result of that experience, and a reflection of his life and the study of art.

Marcus Burke

Feb. 29, 2016 | 7:30 p.m. | Isaacs AuditoriumM. Burke

Marcus Burke grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. A standout athlete, he attended prep school at Brimmer and May and was recruited to play basketball at Susquehanna University, where he played varsity for all four years. But a knee injury limited his playing time, so he took up fiction writing instead and was accepted to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was awarded a grant in honor of James Alan McPherson from the University of Iowa MacArthur Foundation Fund. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa. TEAM SEVEN is his first novel.


Diane RobertsD. Roberts

Feb. 29, 2016 | 7:30 p.m. | Isaacs Auditorium

Currently Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Florida State University (she taught previously at the University of Alabama), Diane Roberts is also a Contributing Editor to the Oxford American Magazine, an essayist for NPR and a documentary maker for the BBC. She has written for The New York Times, The Times of London, The Washington Post and contributes political columns to The Guardian and The Tampa Bay Times. Her new book Tribal: How College Football Explains America, will be out from Harper Collins in October.

Sally Wofford-GirandS. Wofford
April 25, 2016  |  7:30 p.m.  |  Isaacs Auditorium 

Sally Wofford-Girand has worked with such luminaries as Salman Rushdie, Kim Edwards, and Angela Carter as the foreign rights director at a boutique literary agency. Her particular areas of interest are: history, memoir, women’s issues, cultural studies, and, most of all, fiction that is both literary and gripping. Favorite authors include Cormac McCarthy, Kate Atkinson, Jennifer Egan, Elizabeth Strout, Anne Patchett, John Green, Jose Saramago, and Wallace Stegner. She is a hands-on agent at Union Literary, with a passion for great storytelling. She loves the thrill of discovery in working with debut novelists. Sally is on the International Committee of AAR and a board member of Writers Omi, an international writers colony in New York. Her authors include: Grace Paley, Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation), Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers), Laura McHugh (The Weight of Blood), Tracy Guzeman (The Gravity of Birds), Laura Barnett (Versions of Us, lead title HMH in Spring 2016), Kate Braestrup (Here if You Need Me), et cetera.


Past Visiting Writers have included:

  • Lee K. Abbott 
  • Shaye Areheart (Editor/Publisher) 
  • Mary Jo Bang
  • Melissa Bank                     
  • Rick Bass
  • Richard Bausch
  • Dan Beachy-Quick 
  • Elizabeth Beier (editor)
  • Madison Smartt Bell
  • Eula Biss
  • Eavan Boland
  • Robert Boswell 
  • David Bradley
  • Fleda Brown
  • Frederick Busch 
  • Bonnie Jo Campbell 
  • Rafael Campo
  • Lorene Cary
  • Joy Castro
  • Dan Chaon
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer
  • Billy Collins
  • Jeffrey Condran (Author/Publisher)
  • Bernard Cooper
  • Robert Cording
  • Robert Creeley
  • Fred D'Aguiar
  • Charles D’Ambrosio
  • Lydia Davis
  • Andre Dubus III
  • Stephen Dunn
  • Lynn Emanuel
  • Danielle Evans
  • Nick Flynn 
  • Carolyn Forché
  • Tom Franklin
  • James Galvin
  • Cristina Garcia
  • Dagoberto Gilb
  • Louise Glück
  • Ron Hansen
  • Joy Harjo
  • James Harms
  • Colin Harrison
  • Larry Heinemann
  • Brian Hanry
  • Edward Hirsch
  • Tony Hoagland
  • Cary Holladay 
  • Ha Jin
  • Rodney Jones
  • Mary Karr
  • Jill McCorkle
  • James Alan McPherson
  • Sue Miller
  • Antonya Nelson
  • Sharon Olds
  • Stewart O'Nan
  • Ann Pancake
  • Salvatore Pane '07
  • Katie Peirce '00
  • Jennifer Perrine '00 
  • Robert Peluso (Author/Publisher) 
  • Tom Perrotta
  • Jayne Anne Phillips
  • Kevin Pilkington
  • Andrew Porter
  • Lia Purpura
  • Claudia Rankine 
  • Nick Ripatrazone '03
  • Richard Rodriguez
  • Esmeralda Santiago
  • George Saunders
  • Zach Savich
  • Bob Shacochis
  • Enid Shomer
  • Rachel Simon
  • Lauren Slater
  • Patricia Smith
  • Art Spiegelman
  • Gerald Stern
  • Alison Stine
  • Jay Varner ’03 
  • John Vernon
  • G.C. Waldrep
  • Claire Vaye Watkins
  • Nancy Willard
  • Tobias Wolff 
  • Steve Yarbrough

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