Participating readings will be notated in their description.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin
September 30 th 7:30pm – Virtual
Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of We Cast a Shadow, which was published by One World Random House. The novel was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, and Kenyon Review. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at Ole Miss. His next book The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You will be published by One World Random House in 2021.
Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez
October 12 th 7:30pm - Virtual
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and is a VONA Voices Alumna, having worked with award winning poets Willie Perdomo and Danez Smith. Tatiana primarily performs, teaches poetry workshops, and hosts events in the greater Washington DC area, but has also done so nationally and in the Dominican Republic at venues including New York University, The Kennedy Center, and The Howard Theatre. You can read her work in The Acentos Review, Here Comes Everyone (UK), and other publications. She is the author of two poetry collections, Coconut Curls y Café con Leche and Despojo.
Chet’la Sebree & Karla Kelsey
November 9 th 7:30pm – Virtual
Chet’la Sebree, Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts, is the author of the poetry collection Mistress (New Issues, 2019) and the forthcoming lyric meditation Field Study (FSG Originals, 2021). She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from American University and fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, Hedgebrook, MacDowell, the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, the Stadler Center, the Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. Her work has appeared in several journals—including The Kenyon Review, Pleiades, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, and Guernica.
Karla Kelsey is the author of four full-length collections of poetry and Of Sphere, a collection of speculative essays. Poems and prose have appeared in journals such as Bomb, Fence, Conjunctions, New American Writing, The Boston Review, The Colorado Review, The Denver Quarterly, Verse, and Tupelo Quarterly. Her critical essays on poetry, poetics, and pedagogy have appeared in anthologies and literary journals. From 2010-2017 she edited The Constant Critic, Fence Books’ online journal of poetry reviews. With Aaron McCollough she currently co-publishes SplitLevel Texts, a press specializing in book-length hybrid genre projects. A recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award and a research fellowship at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, she is Professor of Creative Writing at Susquehanna University’s Writers Institute.
Marie Mutsuki Mockett
February 8 th 7:30pm – Virtual
Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to an American father and Japanese mother, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations Her new book, American Harvest: God, Country and Farming in the Heartland, follows her journey through seven red agricultural states in the company of evangelical Christian harvesters, and examines the changing role of food, God, science, and race in society. Jason Diamond of Inside Hook called American Harvest “one of the most important books of 2020”; Marlon James wrote: “An extraordinary feat of empathy set against a land of reds, whites, and blues, American Harvest doesn’t just speak to the great divide―it dares to bridge it.” Mockett’s previous book, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, examines grief against the backdrop of the 2011 Great East Earthquake, and Mockett’s family temple located 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power reactor. A 2011 Op Ed in The New York Times about 3.11, led to featured participation in the internationally televised NHK Documentary, “Venerating the Departed.” Mockett’s awards include a Fellowship from the US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award, the Indies Choice for Nonfiction and the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and other honors. Her novel, Picking Bones from Ash, published by Graywolf, was a finalist for the Saroyan Prize and the Paterson Prize. She received her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in San Francisco. Mockett is part of the core faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington, and Visiting Professor at Saint Mary’s MFA program in Moraga, California.
March 24 th 7:30pm – Virtual
Christine Schutt is the author of three short story collections, Nightwork; A Day, a Night, Another Day, Summer. Her most recent collection, Pure Hollywood, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her first novel, Florida, was a National Book Award finalist; her second novel, All Souls, a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. A third novel, Prosperous Friends, was noted in The New Yorker as one of the best books of 2012. Among other honors, Schutt has twice won the O.Henry Short Story Prize. She is the recipient of the New York Foundation of the Arts and Guggenheim Fellowships and was recently awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Schutt lives and teaches in New York and spends summers in Maine with the ongoing project of a perennial garden.
April 12 th 7:30pm – Virtual
Nick Martell was born in Ontario, Canada before moving to the United States at age 7. After graduating high school on Long Island, he majored in Creative Writing at Pennysylvania’s Susquehanna University. He started writing novels regularly in fifth grade, and his debut novel, The Kingdom of Liars, sold when he was 23 years old. Currently, he lives outside Allentown. Follow Nick on Twitter, @macmartell or at nickmartell.com
We will livestream all of our student readings and launches on our Facebook page!
All 2019-20 readings are at 7 p.m. in the Lore Degenstein Art Gallery.
April 14, 7:30 p.m., Stretansky Concert Hall
Lee K. Abbott
Shaye Areheart (Editor/Publisher)
Mary Jo Bang
Elizabeth Beier (Editor)
Madison Smartt Bell
Marcus Burke '11
Bonnie Jo Campbell
Judith Ortiz Cofer
Jeffrey Condran (Author/Publisher)
Andre Dubus III
Melissa Goodrich '11
James Alan McPherson
Salvatore Pane '07
Katie Peirce '00
Jennifer Perrine '00
Robert Peluso (Author/Publisher)
Jayne Anne Phillips
Nick Ripatrazone '03
Kim van Alkemade
Jay Varner '03
Claire Vaye Watkins