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MFA Creative Writing | Visiting Writers Series


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    Fax: 202-885-2938
    Battelle Tompkins, Room 237

    Rangel-Mullin, Rebecca
    Sr. Administrative Assistant

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2015-2016 Visiting Writers Series Events Announced!

Ravi Howard, Driving the King

The Visiting Writers Series is proud to announce the schedule of events for the 2015-2016 academic year! 

Our first speaker, Ravi Howard, won the 2008 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for the novel Like Trees, Walking and was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. 

Howard's 2015 novel, Driving the King, focalizes American race and class through Nat Weary, childhood friend, defender, and driver of Nat King Cole.


About the Visiting Writers Series

In a city long known for its creative activity and writers—including Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Katherine Anne Porter, Sterling Brown, William Meredith, and Doris Grumbach—we continue the tradition by serving as a lively venue for creative work by both established and emerging writers.

Former visiting writers and writers in residence include Grace Paley, Amy Bloom, Thomas Mallon, Andre Dubus III and Tim O'Brien. See the partial list of past visiting writers below.

Please see also the Visiting Writers Series 2014-15 Poster and our blog, Café Américain, for interviews and excerpts from VWS authors.

Listen: VWS on iTunesU.

2015-2016 VWS Schedule

Ravi Howard
September 30, 2015

Abigail Thomas
November 4, 2015

Claudia Rankine
November 12, 2015

Annual Faculty Benefit Reading
January 27, 2016

Alexander Chee
February 10, 2016

Alumni Poetry Reading: First Books
March 2, 2016

Graduating MFA Student Reading
Date TBA

Previous Visiting Writers

Rigoberto Gonzalez

Dinaw Mengetsu

Azar Nafisi

Claude Brown

Yusef Komunyakaa

Grace Paley

Frank Conroy

Tillie Olsen

David Grossman

Edward P. Jones

Mary Gaitskill

Nick Flynn

Jamaica Kincaid

Jo Ann Beard

Allan Gurganus

Billy Collins

Tayari Jones

Amy Hempel

Ross Gay

David Wojahn


Jenny Offill

Richard Rodriguez

Tony Hoagland

Richard Yates

Thomas Mallon

John Gardner

Tim O'Brien

Jean Valentine

Manil Suri

Colm Toíbín

Allen Ginsberg

Michael Cunningham

Adam Haslett

Li-Young Lee

Mark Doty

Lynn Freed

Edward Hirsch

Eduardo C. Corral

Andrew O'Hagan


Patricia Smith

Victor Lavalle

Leila Aboulela

Richard Selzer

Paul Monette

Hanan al-Shaykh

Alice McDermott

Matthew Klam

Galway Kinnell

Major Jackson

Andre Dubus III

Marie Howe

Amy Bloom

Jericho Brown

Thomas Sayers Ellis

Naomi Shihab-Nye

Terrance Hayes

Justin Torres

Mohsin Hamid