2017-18 Visiting Writers

Gargoyle Magazine Fiction and Poetry

Wednesday, September 13, 6:00 p.m.
Battelle-Tompkins Atrium

AU alumnus and local literary impresario Richard Peabody hosts a reading to launch four volumes of Gargoyle magazine. Ten contributors will read from their work. Founded in 1976 and based in Washington, DC, Gargoyle publishes the work of emerging and unknown poets and fiction writers.

Imbolo Mbue

Wednesday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.
Abramson Family Founders Room, School of International Service

Imbolo Mbue is the author of Behold the Dreamers, which won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award and was chosen as a 2017 Oprah's Book Club selection. Described by Maya Gittelman as "an expertly wrought, wholly unique, and sorely needed masterpiece," the novel was named a notable book of 2016 by the New York Times and Washington Post, and a best book of 2016 by NPR, Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Chronicle, Guardian and St. Louis Dispatch. A selftaught writer who grew up in the seaside town of Limbe in Cameroon, Mbue immigrated to the US in 1998. She holds a BS from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University.

Jan Wagner

Wednesday, November 15, 8:00 p.m.
Abramson Family Founders Room, School of International Service

Poet and translator Jan Wagner has been hailed by the Süddeutsche Zeitung as "the best poet of his generation and one of the strongest and most original voices of contemporary German literature." He has published six collections of poetry and translated the work of numerous American poets, including Charles Simic, James Tate, Jo Shapcott, Dan Chiasson, and Kevin Young. In 2017 he received the Georg Büchner Prize, Germany's top literary honor. Wagner will read-with David Keplinger, his English-language translator and MFA program director-from The Art of Topiary, a dual-language collection published in 2017. A member of the German Academy of Language and Poetry, Wagner lives and writes in Berlin.

Annual Faculty Benefit Reading

Wednesday, January 31, 8:00 p.m.
826DC 3333 14th Street NW Metro: Columbia Heights (Green and Yellow Lines)

Our annual reading of poetry and prose by AU's creative writing faculty features Kyle Dargan, author of Honest Engine; Stephanie Grant, author of Map of Ireland; David Keplinger, author of The Most Natural Thing; Patricia Park, author of Re Jane; Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Balm; and Rachel Louise Snyder, author of What We've Lost Is Nothing.

Proceeds from this reading will benefit 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Suggested donation at the door is $5.

Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Wednesday, February 14, 8:00 p.m.
Mary Graydon Center, Room 3-4

Considered one of the most intrepid travel writers working today, Stephanie Elizondo Griest is the author of Mexican Enough: My Life between the Borderlines, which won the 2009 Southwest Book Award for Nonfiction, and Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana, named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle. About her latest work of nonfiction, All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands, Publishers Weekly writes, "[Griest] wrestles with profound questions of identity and belonging in a constantly shifting and increasingly unstable world." She is currently assistant professor and Margaret R. Shuping Fellow of Creative Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Mai Der Vang

Wednesday, April 11, 8:00 p.m.
Mary Graydon Center, Room 3-4

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland, which won the Academy of American Poets' 2016 Walt Whitman Award. Carolyn Forché, prize judge, wrote of this collection, "Here is deep attention, prismatic intelligence, and fearless truth." And New Yorker poetry critic Dan Chiasson declared, "[Afterland] is among the most satisfying débuts by an American poet in some time." Vang's poetry has appeared in Poetry magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Guernica magazine, and her essays have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle. Coeditor of How Do I Begin: A Hmong American Literary Anthology, Vang is currently a visiting writer in the Art Institute of Chicago's MFA program.

Nnedi Okorafor

Wednesday, April 18, 8:00 p.m.
Abramson Family Founders Room, School of International Service

Nnedi Okorafor is an award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism for adults and children. About her 10-plus books, the New York Times, wrote: "Okorafor has made a name for herself with novels that combine politically complex science fiction and lyrical fantasy. The worlds her characters inhabit are as messy as they are magical, the conflicts as pointed as the magic is mythical." Her many accolades include the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Binti-Part 1; the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa for Zahrah the Windseeker; and a World Fantasy Award for Best Novel for Who Fears Death, which was optioned for television by HBO in 2017. Born in the US to Nigerian immigrants, Okorafor is a professor of literature at the University at Buffalo-SUNY.

Imbolo Mbue.

Imbolo Mbue.

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