Visiting Writers Series

The English Department’s Visiting Writers Series has provided exceptional literary arts programming that is free and open to the public. Every year, our series aims to connect students, faculty, staff, and the greater Asheville community with established authors to hear their work, and the stories behind their work. Our visiting writers have engaged with students in the classroom, over meals, and during informal presentations. Recent visiting writers include Claudia Rankine, Jericho Brown, Wally Lamb, David Ebershoff, and C.J. Hauser.

Our series is funded in large part by patrons of the series. Please consider supporting this series by making a tax-deductible contribution.


Spring 2024

The Katherine Min Memorial Reading with Kayla Min Andrews and Mesha Maren

Wednesday, February 21 at 7:00 PM in Highsmith Union’s Blue Ridge Room



An evening to honor our beloved colleague and celebrate her posthumously published novel, The Fetishist.

Mesha Maren, a graduate of UNCA, is the author of the novels Sugar Run and Perpetual West. Her short stories and essays can be read in Tin House, The Oxford American, The Guardian, CrazyhorseTriquarterly, The Southern Review,and elsewhere. She is an Associate Professor of the Practice of English at Duke University.

Kayla Min Andrews teaches English to international students and is working on a novel about a mother-daughter relationship.


Natalie Baszile

Wednesday, March 20 at 7:00 PM in Highsmith Union’s Blue Ridge Room

Natalie Baszile’s debut novel, Queen Sugar, is a mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Queen Sugar was adapted into a critically acclaimed television series directed by Ava Duvernay. Baszile’s most recent book, We Are Each Other’s Harvest, is an exploration and celebration of black farming in America. 

Neema Avashia  

Tuesday, April 16 at 7:00 PM in Highsmith Union’s Blue Ridge Room

Neema Avashia’s memoir, Another AppalachiaComing Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, examines both the roots and the resonance of Avashia’s identity as a queer desi Appalachian woman. She was born and raised in southern West Virginia to parents who immigrated to the United States. Her essays have appeared in the Bitter SouthernerCatapultKenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. 


Find accessibility information for campus buildings at For accessibility questions or to request event accommodations, please contact or 828.250.3832.


Visitor Parking

Visitors may park in faculty/staff and non-resident lots from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, and on weekends, holidays, and campus breaks. Visitors are not permitted to park in resident student lots at any time.


Past Events