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, Claie Vaye Watkins, Derek Palacio, Amina Gautier, Dinty W. Moore, Claudia Rankine, David Shields, Vievee Francis, Matthew Olzmann, and many others. 

Grand Valley Writers Series 2017-18

Ander Monson & Sean Lovelace

Nonfiction & Fiction Reading
Monday, October 16

Reading & Book signing: 4:30-5:45pm, Kirkhof Center 2270

Ander Monson is the author of six books: three of nonfiction (Neck Deep and Other Predicaments, Vanishing Point, and Letter to a Future Lover) two poetry collections (Vacationland and The Available World), and a novel, Other Electricities. A finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award (for Other Electricities) and a NBCC in criticism (for Vanishing Point), he is also a recipient of a number of other prizes: a Howard Foundation Fellowship, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, the Annie Dillard Award for Nonfiction, the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award in Nonfiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He edits the magazine DIAGRAM, the New Michigan Press, Essay Daily, and a series of yearly literary/music tournaments: March Sadness (2016), March Fadness (2017), and March Shredness (2018). Formerly a faculty member in the GVSU Writing Department, he currently directs the MFA program at the University of Arizona. Visit him at his website (Photo credit: Cybele Knowles)

Sean Lovelace lives in Indiana, where he teaches in the creative writing program at Ball State University. He often writes about cheese or cheese products (including a chapbook about Velveeta). He also wrote Fog Gorgeous Stag (Publishing Genius Press). He has won several national literary awards, including the Rose Metal Press Short Short Prize and the Crazyhorse Prize for Fiction. He is a former visiting faculty member in the GVSU Writing Department. He likes to run, far. 

Ander Monson

Ander Monson

Sean Lovelace

Sean Lovelace

Vu Tran

Vu Tran

Vu Tran

Fiction Craft Talk & Reading
Tuesday, November 14

Craft Talk: 2:30-3:45pm, Kirkhof Center 2266
Reading & Book signing: 6-7:30pm, Cook-DeWitt Center

Vu Tran's first novel, Dragonfish, was a NY Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of the Year.  His short fiction has appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, the Best American Mystery Stories, and many other publications.  He is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and has received fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, and the MacDowell Colony.  Born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma, Vu received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his PhD from the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.

Patricia Clark & Roger Gilles

Faculty Reading
Wednesday, February 7
Reading & Book signing: 6-7:30pm, Cook-DeWitt Center

Patricia Clark is the author of five volumes of poetry, including most recently The Canopy (2017) and Sunday Rising (2013). She has also published three chapbooks: Wreath for the Red Admiral and Given the Trees; a new one, Deadlifts, is just coming out from New Michigan Press. Her work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and has appeared in The AtlanticGettysburg ReviewPoetrySlate, and Stand. She was a scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and has completed residencies at The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Tyrone Guthrie Center (in County Monaghan (Ireland), and the Ragdale Colony. Awards for her work include a Creative Artist Grant in Michigan, the Mississippi Review Prize, the Gwendolyn Brooks Prize, and co-winner of the Lucille Medwick Prize from the Poetry Society of America. From 2005-2007 she was honored to serve as the poet laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is Poet-in-Residence and Professor in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

Roger Gilles is the author of Women on the Move: The Forgotten Era of Women’s Bicycle Racing, which will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in early 2018. For twenty years his scholarly work focused on issues relating to Writing Program Administration work, primarily placement and assessment. With Dan Royer, he co-authored “Directed Self-Placement: An Attitude of Orientation” (College Composition and Communication, 1998), which led to the publication of their co-edited volume Directed Self-Placement: Principles and Practices (Hampton Press, 2003). Royer and Gilles contributed chapters to several volumes, including “The Origins of the Department of Academic, Creative, and Professional Writing at Grand Valley State University” in A Field of Dreams: Independent Writing Programs and the Future of Composition Studies (Ed. O’Neill, Crow, and Burton, Utah State UP, 2002). He is a Professor in the Department of Writing at GVSU and currently serves as Interim Director of the Frederik Meijer Honors College.

Photo of Patricia Clark & Roger Gilles

Professors Patricia Clark & Roger Gilles

Robert Long Foreman

Nonfiction Craft Talk & Reading
Monday, March 12

Craft Talk: 4:30-5:45pm, Kirkhof Center 2270
Reading & Book signing: 6-7:30pm, Cook DeWitt Center

Robert Long Foreman's essays and short stories have won a Pushcart Prize and contests at The JournalWillow Springs, American Literary Review, and The Cincinnati Review. His first book, Among Other Things, won the Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose, and was published by Pleiades Press in 2017. Five of his essays have been listed as "Notable" in the Best American Essays anthologies. He lives in Kansas City.

Photo of Robert Long Foreman

Robert Long Foreman

Maggie Smith

Poetry Craft Talk & Reading
Thursday, April 12

Craft Talk: 10-11:15am, Kirkhof Center 2266
Reading & Book signing: 1-2:15pm, Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room

Maggie Smith is the author of Good Bones (Tupelo Press 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press 2015), winner of the Dorset Prize and the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry; Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press 2005), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award; and three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the New York Times, The Best American Poetry 2017, Plume, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and many other journals and anthologies. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and was called the “Official Poem of 2016” by Public Radio International. Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, among others. She lives and writes in Bexley, Ohio. (Photo credit: Studio127 Photography)

Photo of Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith

Be sure to check out past seasons of the Grand Valley Writers Series. Any questions about the series should be referred to Grand Valley Writers Series Coordinator and Assistant Professor Todd Kaneko (, 616-331-8064)

Page last modified June 14, 2018