Visiting Writers Series

Visiting Writers Series & Speakeasy Readings

All readings will be followed by a brief Q&A, and books will be available for purchase on location through the VT bookstore. These events are all free and open to the public, unless indicated otherwise. Readings are sponsored by the Virginia Tech MFA Program in Creative Writing, and the Department of English.

Reading by Author Cathryn Hankla

Wednesday, September 12th at 7:30 pm

Location: Shanks Hall, 370/380

Price: Free & Open to the Public

Cathryn Hankla is the author of fourteen books in various genres, including fiction (novels and stories), poetry, and nonfiction. Her latest publications include two poetry collections, Galaxies and Great Bear (a finalist for the Library of Virginia Prize), and a memoir in essays, Lost Places: On Losing and Finding Home, a book that traces the idea of home through domestic spaces, place, region, and definitions ranging from the body and the earth to our spiritual moorings. 

Reading by Author Steve Tomasula

Wednesday, September 26th at 7:30 pm

Location: Moss Arts Center, The Cube

Price: Free & Open to the Public

Steve Tomasula is the author of The Book of Portraiture, IN & OZ, and VAS: An Opera in Flatland, the novel of the biotech revolution. He is also the author of the e-novel TOC: A New-Media Novel, which received the Mary Shelley Award for Excellence in Fiction and an E-Lit Best Book of the Year Award. Over sixty of his short stories have been in magazines like Bomb, McSweeney's, and The Iowa Review. Essays on bio-art, new narrative, and literature have appeared in Data Made Flesh; The Bloomsbury Handbook of Electronic Literature; Meta-Life: Biotechnologies; Synthetic Biology, ALife and the Arts; The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature, and elsewhere. He teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Notre Dame, where he is a professor of English.

Artist Talk with Author Brian Evenson
Tuesday, October 16th at 4:00 pm
Location: Shanks Hall, 370/380
Price: Free & Open to the Public

Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses (Coffee House Press 2016) and the novella The Warren (Tor.com 2016). He has also recently published Windeye (Coffee House Press 2012) and Immobility (Tor 2012), both of which were finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Critical Studies Program at CalArts.

Reading by Poet Stephanie Burt

Thursday, November 1st at 7:30pm

Location: Moss Arts Center, Grand Lobby

Price: Free & Open to the Public

Stephanie (also Stephen and Steph) Burt is the author of three poetry collections, Belmont, Parallel Play, and Popular Music, and several collections of critical works. Her essay collection Close Calls with Nonsense was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Burt grew up around Washington, DC, and received an A.B. from Harvard in 1994 and a Ph.D. in English from Yale in 2000. She taught at Macalester College for several years before becoming a professor of English at Harvard University. The New York Times called Burt “one of the most influential poetry critics of her generation.” The recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the Believer, and the Boston Review.

 

Reading by Poet sam sax

Thursday, February 21st at 7:30 pm

Location: Moss Arts Center, The Cube

Price: Free & Open to the Public

sam sax is a queer jewish writer, performer, educator, and organizer. He's the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017) called "a wild, resolute book" of "exposed, unbridled energy" by Terrance Hayes, a powerful debut that troubles the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health; and ‘Bury It’ (Wesleyan University Press, 2018). He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, Bread Loaf & the MacDowell Colony. He’s the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion, author of four chapbooks & winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award, American Literary Award, and Gulf Coast Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, BuzzFeed, Poetry Magazine, Tin House + other journals. He’s the poetry editor at BOAAT Press.

Reading by Poet Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Thursday, April 25th at 7:30 pm

Location: Moss Arts Center, Grand Lobby

Price: Free & Open to the Public

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of Cenzontle (BOA editions, 2018), chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin Jr. prize. Cenzontle maps a parallel between the landscape of the border and the landscape of sexuality through surreal and deeply imagistic poems. Castillo’s first chapbook, Dulce (Northwestern University Press, 2018), was chosen by Chris Abani, Ed Roberson, and Matthew Shenoda as the winner of the Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize. His memoir, Children of the Land is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020 and explores the ideas of separation from deportation, trauma, and mobility between borders.

Castillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and immigrated at the age of five with his family to the California central valley. As an AB540 student, he earned his B.A. from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His immigration case was used by the Supreme Court to justify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under president Obama. Castillo is a founding member of the Undocupoets campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” award from Poets & Writers Magazine. Through a literary partnership with Amazon Publishing he has helped to establish The Undocupoet Fellowship which provides funding to help curb the cost of submissions to journals and contests.

The Visiting Writer Series is sponsored by the VT MFA in Creative Writing. Information about our program and all upcoming readings can be found on our tumblr: vtcwmfa.tumblr.com

If you have additional questions, please contact Tali Cohen, MFA Program Assistant (tali@vt.edu / 540.231.1107) or Erika Meitner, Creative Writing Programs Director (meitner@vt.edu / 540.231.7728).