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VISITING WRITERS SERIES

Visiting Writers Series 2014-15

The nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series at the University of Massachusetts Amherst presents emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Celebrating its fifty-first year, VWS enriches our literary community through free programming open to students and community members.

All Readings will be held in Memorial Hall at 8:00 pm.


February 26, 2015: Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe is a novelist, political commentator, and essayist, His newest novel, Foreign Gods, Inc., published in January, 2014 received great reviews in the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio. He began his career as a magazine editor in Nigeria, and moved to the United States in 1988 to be the founding editor of African Commentary, a magazine published by the late novelist Chinua Achebe. He earned MFA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is currently a visiting professor at Brown University.

March 5, 2015: Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles was born in Boston (1949) and she moved to New York in 1974 to be a poet. Myles is the author of 18 books including Snowflake/different streets (poems, 2012) and Inferno (a poet’s novel) (2010). Lately she is completing Afterglow, a fantastic dog memoir. Her new & selected poems I Must Be Living Twice will be published in 2015. She’s a Guggenheim fellow and in 2014 she received a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. She lives in New York.

April 2, 2015: Kiki Petrosino
Kiki Petrosino is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville. Her publications include two collections of poems, Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009), both from Sarabande Books. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, Tin House, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, the LA Review of Books, and elsewhere. She co-edits Transom, an electronic poetry journal (http://www.transomjournal.com). Petrosino holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

April 16, 2015: Claire Messud

Claire Messud is the author of The Woman Upstairs and The Emperor’s Children, a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady, and her book of novellas, The Hunters, were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and her second novel, The Last Life, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Editor’s Choice at The Village Voice. All four books were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Messud has been awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

The Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the MFA for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative, and made possible by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Massachusetts Arts Council, the College of Humanities & Fine Arts, and the English Department.