Grand Valley Writers Series to hold virtual readings this semester

The Grand Valley Writers Series is set to present a range of genres through virtual readings during Winter 2021.

Two Grand Valley writing faculty members, Chris Haven and W. Todd Kaneko, will kick off the semester's slate of authors. Here is more information on the series.

Chris Haven and W. Todd Kaneko
Chris Haven and W. Todd Kaneko

Chris Haven and W. Todd Kaneko

Art in a Time of Crisis: A Faculty Reading & Conversation

Noon-1:30 p.m., Friday, January 29


Haven, associate professor of writing, is the author of a book of short stories, "Nesting Habits of Flightless Birds" (Tailwinds Press), and a collection of poems, "Bone Seeker" (NYQ Books). His short fiction and flash fiction have appeared in Threepenny Review, New Orleans Review, and Kenyon Review Online. His poems can be found in The Southern Review, Cincinnati Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal.

Kaneko, associate professor of writing, is the author of the poetry books "This is How the Bone Sings" (Black Lawrence Press 2020) and "The Dead Wrestler Elegies" (New Michigan Press 2021). He is co-author with Amorak Huey, associate professor of writing, of "Poetry: A Writers’ Guide and Anthology" (Bloomsbury Academic 2018), and "Slash / Slash," winner of the 2020 Diode Editions Chapbook Prize, which will be published in 2021. 

Colin Rafferty
Colin Rafferty

Colin Rafferty

Nonfiction Reading

7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, February 11


Rafferty writes about monuments and memorials ("Hallow This Ground," Break Away Books, 2016), presidents, and more generally public and private histories. In doing research for "Execute the Office," he visited the graves of 28 presidents, toured the homes of another 16, and was allowed to handle a four-page letter written by George Washington. Rafferty has taught nonfiction writing at the University of Mary Washington since 2008. 

Rebecca Hazelton
Rebecca Hazelton

Rebecca Hazelton

Poetry Reading

7:30-8:45 p.m., Wednesday, March 17


Hazelton is an award-winning poet, writer, critic, and editor. Her first book, "Fair Copy," won the Wheeler Prize from Ohio State University Press. Her most recent book of poetry, "Gloss," was published by the University of Wisconsin University Press, and was a New York Times “New and Notable” pick. She is currently at work on a new book of poems centered around American masculinity and the role of the “husband” in contemporary marriage. She is also working on experimental essays about rape culture, the #metoo movement, and bisexuality.


Scott Blackwood
Scott Blackwood
Image Credit: Courtesy Photo

Scott Blackwood

Fiction Craft Talk: 1:30-2:30 p.m., Monday, April 5

Fiction Reading and Q&A: 7:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 5


Blackwood’s previous novel "See How Small" won the 2016 PEN USA Award for fiction, was an NPR “Great Reads” best book of 2015, a New York Times “Editor's Choice” pick, and one of 30 books chosen as a Texas Book of the Decade (2010-2019) by the Texas Observer. His previous novel, "We Agreed to Meet Just Here," earned a number of awards, including the 2011 Whiting Award. His two-volume "The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records" was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for bringing to life the origins of blues and jazz and the Great Migration story. 


Find more information about the authors and the series here.