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Visiting Writers Series

Visiting Writers Series Fall 2018

Celebrating its fifty-fifth year, 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 8 pm.  They are wheel-chair accessible, free and open to the public.

September 27, 2018 at Great Hall, Old Chapel, 144 Hicks Way: Christine Schutt

photo Christine SchuttChristine Schutt is the author of the novels Prosperous Friends; Florida, a National Book Award finalist; and All Souls, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  She is also the author of three collections of stories,  Nightwork and A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer, and most recently, Pure Hollywood. Among other honors, Schutt has twice won the O. Henry Short Story Prize.  She is the recipient of the New York Foundation of the Arts and Guggenheim Fellowships.  Schutt lives and teaches in New York.


October 18, 2018 at Great Hall, Old Chapel, 144 Hicks Way: Hoa Nguyen


Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Hoa Nguyen is the author of five books of poetry, including As Long As Trees Last and Red Juice: Poems 1998 - 2008. Her most recent book Violet Energy Ingots, also from Wave Books, received a 2017 Griffin Prize for Poetry nomination. She teaches creative writing and poetics for Ryerson University, Bard College, and Miami University as well as in a popular long-running, private workshop.   


October 25, 2018 at Memorial Hall, 134 Hicks Way: MFA Creative Writing Instructors

The MFA for Poets and Writers invites the UMass community to join us for a reading by poets and fiction writers pursuing their MFA who are instructors for undergraduate courses in creative writing (254, 354) and reading fiction (140). Readings will be followed by a panel discussion about the writing process and the many ways of being a writer, as well as information about the undergraduate Creative Writing Letter of Specialization within the English Major. Readers will include Joe Crescente, Amanda Dahill-Moore, Emmalie Dropkin, Zach Frank, Emily Hunerwadel, Taylor McGill, Alyx Raz, and Rabia Saeed. This event is free and open to the public.


November 8 at Memorial Hall, 134 Hicks Way: Martín Espada


Espada photo Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York. He has published almost twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). His many honors include the 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and has been issued in a new edition by Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. (photo: David González)


December 6, 2018 at Memorial Hall, 134 Hicks Way: Gina Apostol


Gina Apostol is the author of four novels. The latest, Insurrecto, about a road trip into the heart of Duterte's Philippines and the history of the relationship between the Philippines and the United States, is also anthologized as "The Unintended" in A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance; Manila Noir; Go Home!; and Massachusetts Review. A work-in-progress, William McKinley's World, like Insurrecto, uses her research on the Balangiga massacre and the Philippine-American war to cast a lens on our contemporary times. Her third book, Gun Dealers' Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel (Philippine National Book Award). Her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Gettysburg Review, and others. She lives in New York City and western Massachusetts and grew up in Tacloban, Philippines.