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.
An Evening with Donika Kelly & Melissa Febos
Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 PM in Highsmith Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Donika Kelly is the author of The Renunciations, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in poetry, and Bestiary, the winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and a Kate Tufts Discovery Award. A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, she is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and founding member of the collective Poets at the End of the World. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor in the English Department at the University of Iowa, where she teaches creative writing.
Melissa Febos is the bestselling author of four books, including Girlhood, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism and has been translated into seven languages, and Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative. Her fifth book, The Dry Season, is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf. Her work has recently appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Sun, The New York Times Magazine, The Best American Essays, Vogue, and New York Review of Books. Febos is a professor at the University of Iowa
An Evening with Crystal Wilkinson
Wednesday, October 18 at 6:00 PM in Highsmith Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Crystal Wilkinson, a recent fellowship recipient of the Academy of American Poets, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate 2021-2023. She is the award-winning author of Perfect Black, a collection of poems, and three works of fiction—The Birds of Opulence, Water Street, and Blackberries, Blackberries. She is the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry, an O. Henry Prize, a USA Artists Fellowship, and an Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, STORY, Agni Literary Journal, Emergence, Oxford American, and Southern Cultures. Praise Song for the Kitchen Ghosts, a culinary memoir, is forthcoming from Clarkson Potter/Penguin Random House. This event is part of the Thomas Howerton “Diverse Roots at the Common Table: Culinary Conversations in the American South” series.
An Evening with Eric Tran
Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 PM in Highsmith Union’s Blue Ridge Room
Eric Tran is a queer Vietnamese poet and the author of Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke, winner of the Oregon Book Award and finalist for the Thom Gunn Award, and The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer. His poetry has been featured in All Things Considered, Poetry Daily, and Verse Daily, and has received recognition from Best of the Net, Prairie Schooner, and New Delta Review, among other publications. He is a psychiatrist in Portland, OR.
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.