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Grand Valley Writers Series

The Grand Valley Writers Series has a long history of bringing distinguished and emerging writers to campus to read from their work, visit classes, and interact with students across GVSU's campus. In past years, the Grand Valley Writers Series has been proud to host a dynamic and diverse range of writers on campus including Traci Brimhall, Jericho Brown, Peter Ho Davies, Tarfia Faizullah, Jamaal May, Roxane Gay, Ryan Harty, Steven Johnson, Amina Gautier, Dinty W. Moore, Claudia Rankine, David Shields, Kellie Wells, and many others. 

Any questions about the series should be referred to Grand Valley Writers Series Coordinator and Assistant Professor Todd Kaneko (, 616-331-8064)

Grand Valley Writers Series 2016-17

Donovan Hohn

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Craft Talk: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16
Reading & Booksigning: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Lake Superior Hall 174

Donovan Hohn is the recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Knight-Wallace Fellowship. His work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and Outside, among other publications. His book Moby-Duck was a finalist for the Helen Bernstein Prize for Excellence in Journalism, and runner-up for both the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. A former features editor of GQ and contributing editor of Harper’s, Hohn now teaches creative writing at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Donovan Hohn

Donovan Hohn

Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins

Derek Palacio

Derek Palacio

Claire Vaye Watkins & Derek Palacio

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Craft Talk: 2:30 - 3:45 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2266
Reading & Booksigning: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Lake Superior Hall 174

Claire Vaye Watkins earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, Tin House, The Paris Review, One Story, Glimmer Train, Best of the West, Best of the Southwest, The New York Times and many others. A recipient of fellowships from the Sewanee and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, Claire was also one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” She is the author of Gold Fame Citrus and Battleborn, which won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. A Guggenheim Fellow, Claire is on the faculty of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. She is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. (photo credit: Heike Steinweg)

Derek Palacio received his MFA in Creative Writing from the Ohio State University. His short story “Sugarcane” appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, and his novella, How to Shake the Other Man, was published by Nouvella Books. His debut novel, The Mortifications, is forthcoming in 2016 from Tim Duggan Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. He is the co-director, with Claire Vaye Watkins, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. He lives and teaches in Ann Arbor, MI, and is a faculty member of the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. (photo credit: Dane Hillard)

Amorak Huey & Caitlin Horrocks

Professors Amorak Huey & Caitlin Horrocks

Amorak Huey & Caitlin Horrocks

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Faculty Reading & Booksigning: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Amorak Huey is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Thump (Sundress Publications, 2015) and the chapbook The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2014). His poetry and essays have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012The Southern ReviewBrevityPoet LoreThe CollagistThe Cincinnati Review, and many other print and online journals. Before coming to Grand  Valley State, he worked for more than a decade as an editor and reporter for newspapers in Florida, Kentucky, and Michigan, including serving as assistant sports editor at The Grand Rapids Press.

Caitlin Horrocks is a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction. Her debut story collection, This Is Not Your City, was named a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories and essays appear in anthologies such as The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize StoriesThe Pushcart Prize, Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers, True Stories, Well Told: From the First 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction Magazine,and in journals such as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Tin HouseOne Story, Salon, and elsewhere. Her awards include the Plimpton Prize and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. She is fiction editor of The Kenyon Review. She is currently working on a novel and a second story collection, both forthcoming from Little, Brown.

Vievee Francis & Matthew Olzmann

Monday, February 27, 2017
Craft Talk: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m, DEV 203E, Pew Campus
Reading & Booksigning: 7:30 - 8:50 p.m., University Club, Pew Campus

Vievee Francis is the author of three books of poetry, Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006), Horse in the Dark (winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Second Book Prize), and the recently released Forest Primeval (Northwestern University Press) which was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award. She is the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Prize and a Kresge Fellowship. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Best American Poetry (2010, 2014), Poetry Magazine, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, among others. She is currently an Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College and an Associate Editor for Callaloo

Matthew Olzmann is the author of Mezzanines, selected for the Kundiman Prize. His second book, Contradictions in the Design, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in November, 2016. He’s received scholarships and fellowships from Kundiman, the Kresge Arts Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Necessary Fiction, Brevity, Southern Review and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Vievee Francis

Vievee Francis

Matthew Olzmann

Matthew Olzmann

Austin Bunn

Austin Bunn

Austin Bunn

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Craft Talk: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16
Reading & Booksigning: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Austin Bunn is the author of The Brink, published by Harper Perennial and selected as a Lamdba Lit finalist and Electric Literature "Best Short Story Collection of 2015." He wrote the script for Kill Your Darlings, with the film's director John Krokidas, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and won the International Days Prize at the Venice Film Festival. His work has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe Atlantic, Zoetrope, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Science and Nature Writing, and elsewhere. His monologue, "Basement Story," won the Missouri Review Audio Essay Prize and has been broadcast on WBEZ, Third Coast, Australian Radio, and Michigan Public Radio. His award-winning short documentaries, "Lavender Hill" and "In the Hollow," have screened nationally and internationally at Frameline (SF), OutFest (LA), InsideOut (Toronto), Provincetown International Film Festival (MA), Sidewalk Film Festival (AL), Milwaukee Film Festival (WI), MEZIPATRA (Czechoslovakia), USN Expo (Italy), and elsewhere. He is a graduate of Yale and the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches at Cornell University. (photo credit: Bob Hazen)

Past Grand Valley Writers Series Events

Grand Valley Writers Series 2015-16

Marcia Aldrich
Thursday, October 1, 2015

Craft Talk: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16
Reading & Booksigning 6.00-7:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Marcia Aldrich teaches creative writing at Michigan State University. Former editor of Fourth Genre, she is the author of the free memoir Girl Rearing, selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Series, and Companion to an Untold Story, selected for the 2011 AWP Award in Nonfiction. Aldrich’s personal essays have been published in Gettysburg Review, North American Review, Witness, Arts and Letters, Northwest Review, Brevity, The Normal School, the Kenyon Review, Hotel Amerika, and The Seneca Review among others. 

Nina McConigley
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Craft Talk: 2.30 - 3.45 Kirkhof Center 2215/16
Reading & Booksigning: 6.00 - 7:30 p.m. Cook-DeWitt Center

Nina McConigley is the author of the story collection Cowboys and East Indians, which won the 2014 PEN Open Book Award and a High Plains Book Award. She has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for The Best New American Voices.  Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, and The Asian American Literary Review among others. She teaches at the University of Wyoming and at the MFA program at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

Glenn Shaheen & Oindrila Mukherjee 
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Faculty Reading: 7:30 - 8:45 p.m. Cook-DeWitt Center

Glenn Shaheen is a visiting Assistant Professor at Grand Valley’s Writing department. Earlier this year he completed his PhD in English and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. Glenn is the author of the poetry collection Predatory, which won the 2010 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and was the runner up for the 2011 Norma Farber First Book Award. He is also the author of the flash fiction chapbook Unchecked Savagery. His second collection of poetry, Energy Corridor, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in early 2016.

Oindrila Mukherjee has been an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley since 2011. She holds degrees from India, England and the US, and completed her PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Houston. She grew up in India, where she worked as a reporter for the country’s oldest English language newspaper, The Statesman. Her work has been published in SalonLos Angeles Review of BooksThe Oxford Anthology of Bengali Literature,The Greensboro ReviewArts&LettersThe Silk Road ReviewThe Writers’ ChronicleBest New Writing 2010, Jaggery, and elsewhere.

Rubén Martínez
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Craft Talk: 4:30 - 5:45 p.m. Kirkhof Center 2263
Reading and Booksigning: 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. Cook-DeWitt Center
Co-sponsored by Area Studies/Latin American Studies and the School of Communication

Rubén Martínez holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University, and is an artist in residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts. He is the author of: Desert America: A Journey Across Our Most Divided Landscape, Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail, The New Americans,and The Other Side: Notes from the New L.A., Mexico City and Beyond. An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Ruben hosted and co-wrote the documentary film When Worlds Collide for PBS. His essays, opinions and reportage have appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles Times, SalonVillage Voice and elsewhere.

Jericho Brown
Monday, March 28, 2016

Craft Talk: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., DEV 203 E, Pew Campus
Reading and Booksigning: 7.30 - 8.45 p.m., University Club, Pew Campus
Co-sponsored by African and African American Studies

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry. His first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament(Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is an associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta.

Claudia Rankine
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Creative Writing Craft Talk: 1:00 - 2:15 p.m., Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room,
Community Reading Project Author Lecture: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Kirkhof Center Grand River Room
In collaboration with the Community Reading Project

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, two plays, and numerous video collaborations. She also edits several anthologies. Her most recent book Citizen: An American Lyric, won the PEN Open Book Award and the PEN Literary Award, the NAACP Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Among her many awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of Poets & Writers Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. She lives in California and is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English at the University of Southern California.

Grand Valley Writers Series 2014-15

Lacy Johnson
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Craft Talk: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16
Reading & Booksigning: 6:00 - 7.30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based artist, curator, teacher, activist, and is author of The Other Side (Tin House Books, 2014) and Trespasses: A Memoir (Iowa, 2012). She is co-creator of the location-based storytelling project [the invisible city], and her work has appeared in Dame Magazine, Tin House, Creative Nonfiction, Poets & Writers, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. She teaches interdisciplinary art at the University of Houston.

Monica McFawn Robinson
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Faculty Reading & Booksigning: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Alumni House Dining Room

Monica McFawn Robinson holds an MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, and teaches in the Writing Department at Grand Valley State University. She has published fiction and poetry in Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Missouri Review, Conduit, Exquisite Corpse, and others. Her debut collection of stories, Bright Shards of Someplace Else, won the 2013 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is also the author of a hybrid poetry chapbook, A Catalogue of Rare Movements, and her plays and screenplays have had readings in Chicago and New York.

Angie Cruz
Monday, November 17, 2014

Craft Talk: 3:00 - 4:15 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16
Reading & Booksigning: 7:30 - 8:45 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16

Angie Cruz is the author of two novels, Soledad, which she has adapted into a screenplay, and Let It Rain Coffee, which was a finalist in 2007 for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She has published short fiction and essays in Callaloo, The New York Times, Kweli, Phatitude, South Central Review, and elsewhere. Cruz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and the editor of the activist literary journal, Aster(ix). She is of Dominican descent and often writes about being Latin American in the US, women's issues, and themes of exile and displacement.

Beth Peterson & W. Todd Kaneko
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Faculty Reading and Booksigning: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

W. Todd Kaneko is the author of The Dead Wrestler Elegies (Curbside Splendor, 2014). His prose and poems have appeared in Bellingham Review, Los Angeles Review, Barrelhouse, the Normal School, the Collagist and many other journals and anthologies. He has received fellowships from Kundiman and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he teaches at Grand Valley State University.

Beth Peterson is a nonfiction writer and a new assistant professor of writing at GVSU. Beth has an MA from Wheaton College, an MFA from the University of Wyoming and a PhD in Creative Writing & Literature from the University of Missouri. A wilderness guide before she began writing, Beth is just finishing her first book of lyric essays, set in a disappearing glacial landscape in Norway. Beth has recent work in Fourth Genre, River Teeth and Passages North.

Jamaal May & Tarfia Faizullah
Monday, February 16, 2015

Craft Talk: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., DeVos 203E, Pew Campus
Reading & Booksigning: 7:30 - 8:45 p.m. University Club, Pew Campus

Jamaal May is a poet and the author of Hum, which received the 2012 Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books, the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award, and an NAACP Image Award nomination. From Detroit, Jamaal mentors young writers, teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program, and co-directs the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series with poet Tarfia Faizullah. He has been named a 2014-2016 Kenyon Review Fellow.

Tarfia Faizullah is the Pushcart Prize winning author of Seam (SIU, 2014), winner of the 2012 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems appear in American Poetry Review, Oxford American, jubilat, New England Review, and anthologized in Poems of Devotion, Excuse This Poem: 100 Poems for the Next Generation, The Book of Scented Things, and Best New Poets 2014. Honors include scholarships and fellowships from Kundiman, the Fulbright Foundation, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and Vermont Studio Center. She has collaborated with rapper and emcee Brooklyn Shanti, composer Jacob Cooper, and photographer Elizabeth Herman. She is the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor of Creative Writing in Poetry at the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program and co-directs the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press & Video Series with Jamaal May.

Samuel Park
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Craft Talk: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Mary Idema Pew Library, Multi Purpose Room
Reading & Booksigning: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Samuel Park is the author of This Burns My Heart, chosen as Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, Amazon,, and BookPage. Foreign editions include Germany, Norway, China, and South Korea. He is also the author of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, adapted into a short film that he wrote and directed. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in the journals Shakespeare Bulletin, Theatre Journal, and Black Camera. He is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Grand Valley Writers Series 2013-14

Roxane Gay
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Craft Talk: 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2266
Reading & Booksigning: 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Alumni House Dining Room

Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012Best Sex Writing 2012Oxford AmericanAmerican Short FictionVirginia Quarterly ReviewNOON,The New York Times Book ReviewThe RumpusSalonThe Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her novel, An Untamed State, will be published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014.

Jenni Lamb
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Craft Talk: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Mary Idema Pew Library, Multi Purpose Room
Reading & Improv: 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Jenni Lamb is a Chicago-based playwright and former actress and improviser. In 2006, she wrote, produced, and performed in Memento Polonia, which was “Highly Recommended” by theChicago Reader. Her plays have had readings at The Gift Theatre, Wordsmyth Theatre (Houston) Northwestern University, and Chicago Dramatists. Lamb was a semi-finalist for the 2012 O’Neill Playwrights Conference and is currently a member of the Living Room Playmakers collective in Chicago. She holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University.

Amorak Huey and Caitlin Horrocks
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Faculty Reading & Booksigning: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Amorak Huey is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University. His poetry appears and is forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including Oxford AmericanThe Southern ReviewIndiana ReviewCrab Orchard ReviewPANKPoet LoreAtlanta Review,ContraryLinebreak and Spitball. He recently completed a collection of poems inspired by the blues. Amorak has worked for the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat; the Courier-Journal of Louisville; The News-Enterprise of Hardin County, Ky.; the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader; and The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press, where he was assistant sports editor.

Caitlin Horrocks is the author of the story collection, This Is Not Your City. Her stories and essays appear in The New YorkerThe Best American Short Stories 2011The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009The Pushcart Prize XXXVThe Paris ReviewTin HouseOne Story and elsewhere. Her work has won awards including the Plimpton Prize, and fellowships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. She was formerly the 2006-2007 Theresa A. Wilhoit Fellow at Arizona State University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of writing at Grand Valley State University and the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review.

Caroline Maun and Frank Koscielski
Monday, February 24, 2014

Craft Talk: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., University Club, Pew Campus
Reading & Musical Performance: 7:30 - 9:00 p.m., University Club, Pew Campus

Caroline Maun is an Associate Professor of English at Wayne State University. She is the author of two volumes of poetry, The Sleeping and What Remains, two poetry chapbooks, Cures and Poisons and Greatest Hits, and Mosaic of Fire: The Work of Lola Ridge, Evelyn Scott, Charlotte Wilder, and Kay Boyle. She has edited The Collected Poems of Evelyn Scott. Maun is the co-songwriter of original music for the Detroit-area band Black Hat, whose albums Phases of the Sun and Hooray for Love were published by Detroit Radio Company.

Frank Koscielski, Ph.D., is a life long musician and labor historian. He works as a recruiter and advisor for the Labor@Wayne program at Wayne State University and has been a singer/songwriter in the group Black Hat since 2008, going by the stage name Frankie the K. With lyricist Caroline Maun, he has co-written the musical albums Phases of the Sun (2009) and Hooray for Love(2012), both published by Detroit Radio Company. In addition, he plays keyboards and performs vocals for M. L. Liebler's Coyote Monk Poetry Band, big Shorty, Johnny G and the Blue Rockets, and--back in the 1970s--Badge.

Samrat Upadhyay
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Craft Talk: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Mary Idema Pew Library, Multipurpose Room
Reading & Booksigning: 7:30 - 9:00 p.m., Cook-Dewitt Center

Samrat Upadhyay is the author of Arresting God in Kathmandu, a Whiting Award winner; The Royal Ghosts, which won the Asian American Literary Award and was declared a Best of Fiction by the Washington PostThe Guru of Love, a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year; and Buddha's Orphans. He has written for the New York Times and has appeared on BBC Radio and National Public Radio. Upadhyay is a Martha Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University.

Grand Valley Writers Series 2012-13

Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence Reading: T Fleischmann
Thursday October 18, 2012
Craft Talk: 1:00 - 2:15 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2263
Reading & Booksigning: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2263

T Fleischmann, a 2005 GVSU graduate and Writing major, lived by the Great Lakes until attending the University of Iowa and completing an MFA in Nonfiction Writing. Their essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, Pleiades, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, and The Pinch, as well as in the feminist magazine make/shift, and have been Notable Essays in The Best American Essays, 2009 and 2010. A Nonfiction Editor at DIAGRAM, T has settled in rural Tennessee after traveling for several years across the United States. T’s book, Syzygy, Beauty: An Essay, was released in April 2012 from Sarabande Books.

My Heart is an Idiot: Found Magazine's 10th Anniversary Tour
with Davy and Peter Rothbart

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Craft Talk: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center
Reading & Performance: 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center

Davy Rothbart is the creator of Found Magazine, a frequent contributor to This American Life, and author of the story collection The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. He writes regularly forGQ and Grantland, and his work also appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, andThe Believer. His forthcoming book of personal essays is called My Heart is an Idiot, out in September, 2012, from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Los Angeles, California.

Peter Rothbart is an award-winning songwriter, and the frontman for folk/rock group The Poem Adept. His third solo album, You Are What You Dream, will be released in fall 2012, and his music was featured in McSweeney's Wholphin DVD and the 2012 documentary film Mister Rogers & Me. He is also an editor at FOUND Magazine, and the executive director of the urban gardening organization We Patch. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Patricia Clark & Chris Haven
Tuesday February 12, 2013
Faculty Reading: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., Cook-Dewitt Center

Patricia Clark is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University. She is the author of four books of poetry: Sunday Rising, She Walks Into the Sea; My Father on a Bicycle; and North of Wondering. Her poetry has appeared in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, Poetry, Mississippi Review, The Gettysburg Review, New England Review, Pennsylvania Review, North American Review, Seattle Review, and Iowa Woman. She has also co-edited an anthology of contemporary women writers calledWorlds in Our Words, and served as the Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan from 2005-2007.

Chris Haven’s poetry and fiction appears or is forthcoming in a number of journals includingThreepenny Review, Hunger Mountain, Blackbird, The Normal School, Cold Mountain Review,Copper NickelSliceQuiddity, and The New York Quarterly. He is an associate professor at Grand Valley State University, where he is the editor of Wake: Great Lakes Thought & Culture.

Traci Brimhall
Monday, March 11, 2013

Reading & Booksigning: 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., University Club, Pew Campus

Traci Brimhall is the author of Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton, 2012), selected by Carolyn Forché for the 2011 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the 2009 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, Slate, Ploughshares, New England Review, The Missouri Review,and elsewhere. She’s received fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the King/Chávez/Parks Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

David Shields
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Reading and Q+A: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2263

David Shields is the author of thirteen books, including How Literature Saved My Life (Knopf, 2013); Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (Knopf, 2010), named one of the best books of the year by more than thirty publications; The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead (Knopf, 2008), a New York Times bestseller; Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity, winner of the PEN/Revson Award; and Dead Languages: A Novel, winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. His essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times MagazineHarper’sEsquire,Yale ReviewVillage VoiceSalonSlateMcSweeney’s, and Utne Reader. His work has been translated into fifteen languages. Shields has received a Guggenheim fellowship and two NEA fellowships, among other awards. He lives with his wife and daughter in Seattle, where he is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington.

Festival of First Books featuring novelist V.V. Ganeshananthan,
poet Glenn Shaheen, and short story writer Amina Gautier
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Publishing Panel Discussion: 2:30 - 3:30 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16
Ganeshananthan Q&A: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Honors 220
Gautier Q&A: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Au Sable Hall 1136
Shaheen Q&A: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m., Lake Superior Hall 136
Reading & Booksigning: 7:30 - 9:00 p.m., Kirkhof Center 2215/16

V.V. Ganeshananthan, a fiction writer and journalist, is a graduate of Harvard College, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, Sepia Mutiny, Himal Southasian, and The American Prospect, among others. A former vice president of the South Asian Journalists Association, she currently serves on the board of the Asian American Writers' Workshop and on the graduate board of The Harvard Crimson. She teaches at the University of Michigan, where she is the Zell Visiting Professor of Creative Writing. Random House published her first novel, Love Marriage, in April 2008. The book was longlisted for the Orange Prize and named one of Washington Post Book World's Best of 2008, as well as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick.

Amina Gautier is the winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction for her short story collection At-Risk. More than seventy of her short stories have been published and her fiction appears in the anthologies Best African American Fiction and New Stories from the South and in numerous literary journals including Antioch ReviewNorth American Review,Iowa ReviewKenyon ReviewSouthern Review, and StoryQuarterly. Gautier is the recipient of the William Richey Prize, the Jack Dyer Prize, and the Danahy Fiction Prize, among others. She has received fellowships and scholarships from Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, Sewanee Writer's Conference, Callaloo Writer's Workshop, Hurston/Wright Writer's Workshop, and the Ucross Residency. Gautier was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and currently lives in Chicago, IL, where she is an assistant professor of English at DePaul University, teaching courses in creative writing and African American literature.

Glenn Shaheen received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Michigan, where he edits the journal NANO Fiction and is the poetry editor for Third Coast. His book of poems, Predatory, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and is available from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Work has appeared in Ploughshares, The New Republic, Subtropics, and elsewhere. He presently serves on the board of directors for the Radius of Arab-American Writers, Inc.