Lafayette College has hosted a wide variety of distinguished writers as judges of our writing contests and as campus visitors, including Paul Muldoon, Molly Peacock, Gerald Stern, Yusef Konunyakaa, William Matthews, Mark Doty, Alicia Ostriker, David Lehman, David Chin, Tino Villanueva, Campbell McGrath, W. D. Snodgrass, Heather McHugh, Lawrence Joseph, Kimiko Hahn, Matthew Dickman, and Michael Dickman.

Our 2015 H. MacKnight Black Competition Judge is Brenda Shaughnessy. Student winners of the competition precede the competition’s distinguished judge at the podium. The 2015 H. MacKnight Black Reading will be held on Thursday, April 2, in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights 104 at 7 p.m.


Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon was featured at The H. MacKnight Black Poetry Reading held in the Williams Center on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

The internationally acclaimed poet, Paul Muldoon, was our 2014 judge for the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition, in celebration of 20 years of the MacKnight Black Poetry Reading.

Our 2015 judge for the Jean Corrie Poetry Competition is Jared Harel. The Jean Corrie Poetry Competition and Ice Cream Social will be held on Tuesday, April 28, at 4:10 p.m., in the Marlo Room, Farinon.

The Ruth Mary Callahan Closs Residency was established in 1984 by Fred and Joan Closs in honor of Fred’s mother, Ruth Mary Callahan Closs. Fred Closs was a long-time member of the Department of English who brought many writers to campus and who originated the Roethke Poetry Festival, now the Roethke Humanities Festival. A range of distinguished writers have visited classes, met with students, and given readings on campus through the Closs Residency. Closs Visiting Writers have included Sherman Alexie, Peter Carey, Ping Chong, Maxine Clair, Christopher Durang, Danny Hoch, Marie Howe, Margot Livesey, Paula Morris, George Saunders, James Tate, and S. L. Wisenberg.

The highly acclaimed poet and critic David Lehman was the 2014 Closs Visiting Writer in Residence.