Thursday, October 5th, 2023 at 4:10 pm:
Closs Writer-in-Residence Fiction Reading, Q&A and book signing:

MATTHEW SALESSES is the author of eight books, most recently, The Sense of Wonder, (Little, Brown, 2023), the national bestseller, Craft in the Real World, (a Best Book of 2021 at NPR, EsquireLibrary JournalIndependent Book ReviewChicago TribuneElectric Literature, and others), and the PEN/Faulkner Finalist and Dublin Literary Award longlisted novel, Disappear Doppelganger Disappear. Named by Buzzfeed as an Essential Asian American Writer, his essays can be found in Best American Essays 2020, NPR Code Switch, The New York Times Motherlode, The Guardian, Time,, and other venues. His short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, PEN/GuernicaWitness, and elsewhere. He has received awards and fellowships from, among others, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Dublin Literary Award, Bread Loaf, Glimmer Train, Mid-American Review, and [PANK] Books. He is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University.

Of special interest to faculty is Matthew’s invaluable writing and teaching resource, Craft in the Real World, a groundbreaking resource for fiction writers, teachers, and students. It is part manifesto, part practical guide that challenges current models of craft and the writing workshop by showing how they fail marginalized writers, and how cultural expectations inform storytelling.
Sponsored by: Department of English

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024 at 4:10 pm:
Flash Fiction Reading:

Stephanie Powell Watts won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her debut story collection, We Are Taking Only What We Need (2012), also named one of 2013’s Best Summer Reads by O: The Oprah Magazine, a Whiting Award in Fiction and a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/.Pen Award. Her debut novel, No One is Coming to Save Us (2017) was the Winner of the NAACP Image Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers Pick, and the inaugural selection by Sarah Jessica Parker for the American Library Association’s Book Club. Her short fiction has been included in two volumes of the Best New Stories from the South anthology and honored with a Pushcart Prize. Born in the foothills of North Carolina, with a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she is now an associate professor at Lehigh University.
Sponsored by: Department of English
photo credit | Douglas Benedict Photography, LLC

Wednesday, April 8th, 2024 at 4:15 pm:
Jean Corrie Poetry Reading and ice-cream Social:
JESSICA GUZMAN and Student Winners

Jessica Guzman was born in southwest Florida to Cuban immigrants. She is the author of Adelante (Switchback Books, 2020), selected by Patricia Smith as the winner of the 2019 Gatewood Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Shenandoah, jubilat, 32 Poems, Copper Nickel, DIALOGISTThe Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Series, and elsewhere.

Her honors include the American Literary Review’s Poetry Award, Harpur Palate‘s Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry, and the Product Poetry Prize. She is also the recipient of scholarships from the Tin House Winter Workshop, the Poetry Workshop at the Community of Writers, and the Kentucky Women Writers Conference.

Her degrees include a B.A. from the University of South Florida, an M.F.A. from West Virginia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. She chairs Poetry and Poetry Studies for the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association and serves on the masthead of Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction, having previously worked for Split Lip MagazineMississippi ReviewCheat River Review, and VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

​She is an assistant professor of English & creative writing at Widener University, where she co-coordinates the Creative Writing Program, and lives in Philadelphia.
Sponsored by: Department of English

Friday, April 19th, 2024 at 4:15 pm:
H. MacKnight Black Poetry Reading:
CHIYUMA ELLIOTT and Student Winners

Chiyuma Elliott is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarly work and teaching focus on poetry and poetics and African American intellectual history from the 1920s to the present. Before joining the Berkeley faculty, Elliott was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and Assistant Professor of English, Creative Writing, and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi. A Cave Canem Alumni Fellow, she has also received fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center. She earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Elliott has published four books of poetry: Blue in Green (2021), At Most (2020), Vigil (2017), and California Winter League (2015). Her creative work has appeared in the African American ReviewCallaloo, the Collagist, the Notre Dame Review, the PN Review, and other journals. She is the co-editor of several poetry chapbooks, including African American Poetic Responses to Faulkner (2015 / U Press of Mississippi), and Of Rivers ( 2016 / Southern Humanities Review). She is currently at work on a book of poems called Hemland, and a scholarly monograph about rural life in the Harlem Renaissance, and co-hosts a podcast called Old-School (on the intersections of African American Studies and the classics).
Sponsored by: Department of English