Visiting Writers Series at UMass Amherst Features Noy Holland and Leni Zumas in Nov. 12 Reading

Noy Holland
Noy Holland
Leni Zumas
Leni Zumas

AMHERST, Mass. – Writers Leni Zumas and Noy Holland will read from their work on Thursday, Nov. 12 as part of the Visiting Writers Series presented by the Master of Fine Arts for Poets and Writers program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The reading begins at 8 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

Holland, who teaches in the MFA for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst, is the author of several collections of short fiction and novellas, including “Swim for the Little One First,” “What Begins with Bird,” and “The Spectacle of the Body.”

Her first novel, “Bird,” is forthcoming from Counterpoint, and has been described by writer Joy Williams as “Noy Holland at her dazzling and disturbing best.”

“She animates what we struggle to keep unknown, the suppressed, the barely to be borne, in a prismatic, restless language that illuminates a heaven and hell of visions and want,” wrote Williams.

Holland has published work in The Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, The Quarterly, Glimmer Train, Milan Review and The Believer, among others. She was a recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council award for artistic merit and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She serves on the board of directors at Fiction Collective Two.

Zumas is the author of the novel “The Listeners,” a finalist for the 2013 Oregon Book Award, and the story collection “Farewell Navigator.” Of her debut collection, writer and filmmaker Miranda July said, “If darkness has ever been your friend, your story is in here.”

Zumas’s work appears in Always Apprentices: The Believer Presents 22 Conversations Between Writers, Quarterly West, Salt Hill, Open City, New Orleans Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Zumas teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Portland State University and is a 2004 graduate of the UMass Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers program.

Celebrating its 52nd year, the Visiting Writers Series at UMass Amherst presents emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The 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 UMass Arts Council and the English department. The reading is free and open to the public.