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

Grand Valley Writers Series 2018-19

Marian Crotty

Fiction Craft Talk & Reading
Monday, September 17

Fiction Craft Talk: 1:30-2:45pm, KC 2270
Reading & Book signing: 6-7:30pm, Multi-purpose Room, Pew Library

Marian Crotty is the author of the short story collection What Counts as Love, which won the John Simmons Award for Short Fiction and was long-listed for the PEN/Bingham Award for Debut Fiction. She has received fellowships from the Yaddo Corporation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her fiction has appeared in journal such as the Kenyon Review, the Southern Review, and the Alaska Quarterly Review; her personal essays have appeared in journals such as Guernica, the Gettysburg Review, and the New England Review. She lives in Baltimore.
Marian Crotty's website

Marian Crotty

Marian Crotty

Lindsey Drager

CLAS Distinguished Visiting Alumni Honoree
Fiction Reading & Q&A Session
Thursday, October 4

Reading & Book signing: 2:30-3:30pm, Multi-purpose Room, Pew Library
Q&A Session: 4-5:15pm, KC 0072

Lindsey Drager is the author of the three novels: The Sorrow Proper (Dzanc, 2015), winner of the 2016 John Gardner Fiction Book Award; The Lost Daughter Collective (Dzanc, 2017), winner of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award for the novella; and The Archive of Alternate Endings (Dzanc, forthcoming 2019). Her work has received support from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the I-Park Foundation, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and was listed as notable in Best American Essays 2016. She has presented work and served on panels at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the AWP Conference, the &NOW Festival of New Writing, the NonfictioNOW Conference, and the International Society for the Study of Narrative Convention, and performed her work in venues ranging from dive bars in Minneapolis, to art galleries in Flagstaff, to classrooms in Reykjavík, Iceland. Having spent time working in the textbook publishing industry in Los Angeles and as a writing consultant at a day shelter for those experiencing homelessness in Denver, she is currently an assistant professor at the College of Charleston where she teaches in the MFA program in fiction and serves as associate fiction editor of the literary journal Crazyhorse.
Lindsey Drager's Faculty Webpage at College of Charleston

Lindsey Drager

Lindsey Drager

Michele Morano

Nonfiction Craft Talk & Reading
Thursday, November 15

Craft Talk: 4-5pm, KC 2270
Reading & Book signing: 6-7:30pm, KC 0072

Michele Morano is the author of the travel memoir, Grammar Lessons: Translating a Life in Spain. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in journals and anthologies such as Fourth Genre, Ninth Letter, The Normal School, Brevity, Best American Essays, and WaveForm: Twenty-First Century Essays by Women. She has received grants, awards, and fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the Illinois Arts Council, and the MacDowell Colony, among others. She is professor and chair of the English Department at DePaul University in Chicago.

Michele Morano's website

Michele Morano

Michele Morano
Photo by Joe Mazza

Chris Haven & Gale Marie Thompson

Faculty Reading
Tuesday, February 5
Reading: 6-7:30pm, Multi-purpose Room, Mary Idema Pew Library

Chris Haven was born in Oklahoma and came to Michigan by way of Kansas and Texas. His short fiction and flash fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Threepenny Review, New Orleans Review, Arts & Letters, Massachusetts ReviewElectric Literature, and Kenyon Review Online. His poems can be found in Cincinnati Review, Pleiades, Mid-American Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, and prose poems from his Terrible Emmanuel series appear in Denver QuarterlySycamore ReviewNorth America Review, and Seneca Review, where they won the Deborah Tall Award for Lyric Essay. He has taught writing at Grand Valley State University since 2002.
Chris Haven's GVSU Faculty Webpage

Gale Marie Thompson is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press, 2015) and two chapbooks. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, American Poetry Review, Guernica, jubilat, Bennington Review, and Colorado Review. She is the founding editor of Jellyfish Magazine, and she lives, writes, and teaches in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 
Gale Marie Thompson's Website

Chris Haven

Chris Haven

Gale Marie Thompson

Gale Marie Thompson

Janine Joseph & Oliver Baez Bendorf

Poetry Craft Talk & Reading
Thursday, March 14
Craft Talk: 6:15-7:15pm, DEV 121E
Reading: 7:30-8:30pm, University Club, Pew Campus

Janine Joseph was born in the Philippines. She is the author of Driving without a License, winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize and 2018 da Vinci Eye award, and named an Honorable Mention for the 2018 Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize from the New England Poetry Club. Her writing has appeared in The AtlanticWorld Literature Today, The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice, The Kenyon Review, Best New Poets, Best American Experimental WritingZócalo Public SquareVIDA: Women in Literary Arts, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. A librettist, her commissioned work for the Houston Grand Opera/HGOco include What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline“On This Muddy Water”: Voices from the Houston Ship Channel, and From My Mother's Mother. Janine is a co-organizer for Undocupoets and serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Poets & Writers in Tulsa. She lives in Stillwater, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University.
Janine Joseph's Website

Oliver Baez Bendorf is the author of the forthcoming Advantages of Being Evergreen, which won the 2018 Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Book Poetry Competition, a previous collection, The Spectral Wilderness, and a chapbook, The Gospel According to X. His poems have appeared in, or are forthcoming from, American Poetry Review, BOMB, Poem-a-Day, Poetry, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Vermont Studio Center, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Born and raised in Iowa, he is an assistant professor of poetry at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
Oliver Baez Bendorf's Website

Janine Joseph

Janine Joseph
Photo by Jaclyn Heward

Oliver Baez Bendorf

Oliver Baez Bendorf
Photo by Cate Berry

Sarah Einstein--CANCELED



Nonfiction Craft Talk & Reading
Monday, April 8
Craft Talk: 3-4:15pm, KC 2270
Reading: 6-7:30pm, Multi-purpose Room, Mary Idema Pew Library

Sarah Einstein is the author of Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015), Remnants of Passion (Shebooks 2014), and The Tripart Heart (Sundress, forthcoming in 2019). Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Sun, Ninth Letter, PANK and other journals. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. Currently, she is at work on a travel memoir set in the constructed West Virginia of Bethesda Game Studio's Fallout 76. She teaches creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and online for Iota: The Conference of Short Prose
Sarah Einstein's website

Sarah Einstein

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 Associate Professor Amorak Huey (

Page last modified May 3, 2019