Grand Valley Writers Series set to feature wide range of voices

Deesha Philyaw
Deesha Philyaw, whose debut short story collection, "The Secret Lives of Church Ladies," received multiple literary awards, will be the first author featured during the 2021-2022 Grand Valley Writers Series.
Image Credit: Courtesy photo

The Grand Valley Writers Series will again this year offer the GVSU community the opportunity to hear from the authors of a distinctive set of works, from short stories to essays to poetry and more.

The first two events of the series, which starts September 24, will be virtual, said Amorak Huey, associate professor of writing and the organizer. The hope is to have the writers on campus for the remaining events, but will pivot to virtual events if needed.

Huey said this year's lineup continues the tradition of the Writers Series featuring a diverse and accomplished group of authors.

“It’s important to bring in not only talented and successful writers, but a range of voices," Huey said. "These are some serious heavy hitters in the world of contemporary literature — award-winning, nationally known authors, who work in a range of genres, with a range of styles and voices.

Grand Valley faculty members are an important part of the series, and three are included this year: Oindrila Mukherjee, associate professor of writing, who writes both fiction and nonfiction, as well as poets Chuck Carlise and Brandon Rushton, who are visiting professors.

Faculty members Oindrila Mukherjee, Chuck Carlise, and Brandon Rushton
Oindrila Mukherjee, Chuck Carlise, and Brandon Rushton will participate in the faculty reading.
Image Credit: Courtesy photo

As always, Huey noted, the student experience is at the forefront when assembling the lineup.

"I’m thinking about how to bring in writers whose work is already part of the curriculum in our writing courses, or whose work would be a natural fit," Huey said. "What is so great about this series is that it gives our students a chance to meet and interact with and learn from authors whose work they might otherwise encounter only on the page."

The list of scheduled authors is below. Visit the Grand Valley Writers Series website for more information.

Fiction reading and Q&A with Deesha Philyaw

September 24

Noon-1:30 p.m. via Zoom

(Contact the Department of Writing for the Zoom link)

Nonfiction reading and Q&A with Sejal Shah

October 14

4-5:15 p.m., via Zoom

(Contact the Department of Writing for the Zoom link)

Poetry reading with Nandi Comer and Sumita Chakraborty

November 12

Noon-1:30 p.m.; room TBA

Faculty reading with Oindrila Mukherjee, Chuck Carlise, and Brandon Rushton 

January 28

Noon-1:30 p.m.; room TBA

Craft talk and nonfiction reading with Sarah Einstein

March 1

2:30-3:45 p.m., craft talk; room TBA

6-7:30 p.m., nonfiction reading; room TBA

Craft talk and fiction reading with Tommy Dean

April 4

1:30-2:45 p.m., craft talk; room TBA

4-5:15 p.m., fiction reading; room TBA