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Visiting Writers Series Fall 2023

The nationally renowned 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 University of Massachusetts Arts Council, and the English Department. Events are at 6pm. Readings are wheelchair accessible, free, and open to the public. Amherst Books carries books by our Visiting Writers and will be at the Old Chapel for each reading. 

September 28, 2023 at 6pm, Old Chapel: Lisa Olstein

Headshot of Lisa Olstein

Lisa Olstein is the author of five poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press: Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (2006), Lost Alphabet (2009), Little Stranger (2013), Late Empire (2017), and Dream Apartment (2023). She has also published two books of nonfiction: Pain Studies (Bellevue Literary Press, 2020), a book-length lyric essay on the intersection of pain, perception, and language; and Climate (Essay Press, 2022), an exchange of epistolary essays co-written with Julie Carr. Olstein’s honors include a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, Lannan Writing Residency, Hayden Carruth Award, Writers League of Texas Discovery Book Award, and Sustainable Arts Foundation award. She is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches in the New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs. She is also the lyricist for the rock band Cold Satellite and curates an interview series with poets about their new books for Tupelo Quarterly

October 19, 2023 at 6pm, Old Chapel: Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky, poet, posing for a photo sitting on a couch.

Dorothea Lasky is the author of seven books of poetry and prose, including The Shining (forthcoming, Wave Books) and Animal (Wave Books, 2019). She is also the editor of Essays (Essay Press, 2023) and co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney's, 2013). Currently, she lives in New York City and teaches poetry at Columbia University School of the Arts.

November 16, 2023 at 6pm, Old Chapel: Andrea Lawlor

Headshot of Andrea Lawlor

Andrea Lawlor teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College, is the recipient of a 2020 Whiting Award for Fiction, and has been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs. Their publications include a chapbook, Position Papers (Factory Hollow Press, 2016), and a novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, a 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards. Paul, originally published by Rescue Press in 2017, is out now from Vintage/Knopf (US) and Picador (UK & Ireland).

November 30, 2023 at 6pm, Old Chapel: Gabriel Bump

Headshot of Gabriel Bump

Gabriel Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His debut novel, Everywhere You Don't Belong, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and has won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for Fiction, the Heartland Booksellers Award for Fiction, and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's First Novelist Award. Bump teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.