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2016–17 Writers Series

The Writers Series is designed to expose Richmond students, the greater university community, and city residents to some of today’s most celebrated writers. Their readings and the talks in the Lecture Series are free and open to the public. Most writers make themselves available, following their appearance, to answer questions from the audience and sign copies of their books.

This year’s Writers Series highlights authors and poets whose unique voices will be part of the literary landscape for years to come. While they represent diverse perspectives, each writer tackles current social issues, such as race, sexuality, and the immigrant experience, from their own point of view, driven by their personal experience.

Body Politics: An Evening with Roxane Gay
Wed., Sept 21
7 p.m.
Tyler Haynes Commons, Alice Haynes Room

Roxane Gay, author and cultural critic, garners international acclaim for her social critique and exploration of feminism. NPR named her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, one of the best books of the year and Salon declared the book “trailblazing.” Gay is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times and an associate professor of English at Purdue University.

This event is part of the WILL*/WGSS Speaker Series.

Danez Smith
Thurs., Nov. 3
6 p.m.
Carole Weinstein International Center, International Center Commons

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy, winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their second collection, Don't Call Us Dead, will be published in 2017. They are also the author of two chapbooks, hands on ya knees and black movie, winner of the Button Poetry Prize. Smith is a founder of the Dark Noise Collective.


University of Richmond Poetry Festival
April 4–5, 2017
Featuring Chen Chen, Anaïs Duplan, Tarfia Faizullah, Peter LaBerge, and Camille Rankine

Reading with Chen Chen and Camille Rankine

Tues., April 4
7 p.m.
Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and forthcoming in 2017 from BOA Editions. A Kundiman and Lambda Literary Fellow, Chen has published two chapbooks (Kissing the Sphinx and Setting the Garden on Fire) as well as poems in such places as Poetry, Buzzfeed, The Massachusetts Review, and The Best American Poetry. Chen has worked with several journals, including Iron Horse, Gabby, Underblong, and Salt Hill. He received his B.A. from Hampshire College and his M.F.A. from Syracuse University.

Camille Rankine's first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses was published in January 2016. She is also the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America's 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. She was featured as an emerging poet in the fall 2010 issue of American Poet and the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including American Poet, The Baffler, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, Narrative, Paper Darts, A Public Space, and Tin House. Camille is a visiting professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst's MFA for Poets and Writers, and lives in New York City.

Poets Panel
Wed., April 5
4 p.m.
Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room

Join all five poets for a panel discussion.

Reading with Anaïs Duplan, Tarfia Faizullah, and Peter LaBerge
Wed., April 5
7 p.m.
Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room

Anaïs Duplan is the author of Take This Stallion (2016). Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Hyperallergic, [PANK], Birdfeast, Phantom Limb, The Journal, and others. She is the director of a performance collective called The Spacesuits and the organizer of The Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program in Iowa City. She is an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Poet, editor, and educator Tarfia Faizullah was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in west Texas. She is the author of Seam (2014), as well as Register of Eliminated Villages, (forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2017). Her poems appear in Poetry Magazine, Poetry Daily, Oxford American, Ploughshares, jubilat, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and elsewhere. She co-directs the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press and Video Series with Jamaal May, and lives in Detroit, Mich.

Peter LaBerge is the author of the chapbooks Makeshift Cathedral (YesYes Books, 2017) and Hook (2015), recently included on the American Library Association's Over the Rainbow List. His work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets 2014, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, PleiadesSixth Finch, and Washington Square Review, among others. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the Bucknell University Stadler Center for Poetry and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Adroit Journal. He lives in Philadelphia, where he is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania.