Visiting Writers Series

Photographs of Frank X Walker, Cris Beam, Crystal Kim, and musician Will Johnson.



Crystal Hana Kim

Author Crystal Hana Kim

7 p.m., Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Laurel Forum in Karpen Hall

Crystal Hana Kim’s debut novel, If You Leave Me, published by William Morrow of HarperCollins in 2018, earned a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and an MS in Education from Hunter College. She has received numerous awards, including PEN America’s Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, along with fellowships and support from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the Jentel Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from The Washington Post, Literary Hub, Nylon, and elsewhere. She is a Teach For America alum and has taught elementary school, high school, and collegiate writing. “Hunger, both physical and emotional, haunts the lives of the extended Lee-Yun family during the tumultuous, violent decades that define modern South Korea in the latter twentieth century. . . Kim renders her multivoiced, multilayered ancestral and cultural history into stupendous testimony and indelible storytelling.” — Booklist, starred review

This event is free and open to everyone.

Will Johnson in Conversation with Wiley Cash

Color photograph of musician Will Johnson, lead singer of the bands Centro-matic and South San Gabriel.

7 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Laurel Forum in Karpen Hall

Will Johnson is an American musician, singer-songwriter who is the lead singer of the bands Centro-matic and South San Gabriel. Called "one of the most prolific artists in American indie rock," Johnson has also released solo records, and is a member of the bands Monsters of Folk, New Multitudes and Overseas, and has also performed as part of the Undertow Orchestra.

Will Johnson, "You Will Be Here, Mine," from the album Scorpion.

This event is free and open to everyone.

Frank X Walker

Author Frank X Walker.

7 p.m., Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Manheimer Room in Reuter Center

A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, Frank X Walker is the editor of America! What's My Name? The "Other" Poets Unfurl the Flag (Wind Publications, 2007) and Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium and the author of four poetry collections: When Winter Come: the Ascension of York (University Press of Kentucky, 2008); Black Box (Old Cove Press, 2005); Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York (University Press of Kentucky, 2003), winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award; and Affrilachia (Old Cove Press, 2000), a Kentucky Public Librarians' Choice Award nominee.

This event is free and open to everyone.

Therese Anne Fowler and Denise Kiernan

7 p.m., Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Mountain View Room in Sherrill Center

Therese Anne Fowler is the author of the New York Times best-selling Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, and the forthcoming novel, A Well-Behaved Woman, based on the life of Alva Vanderbilt. Ignored by New York’s old-money circles and determined to win respect, she designed and built nine mansions, hosted grand balls, and arranged for her daughter to marry a duke. But Alva also defied convention for women of her time, asserting power within her marriage and becoming a leader in the women’s suffrage movement.

Denise Kiernan, author of The New York Times best-selling books, The Last Castle and Girls of Atomic CityThe Last Castle is a narrative nonfiction book that takes the reader on a Gilded Age journey from the height of excess to the depths of family tragedy in the glittering true story behind the largest home—ever—in America and the amazing struggles of those who resided within its walls.

This event is free and open to everyone.

Cris Beam

7 p.m., Thursday, November 8, 2018
Laurel Forum in Karpen Hall

Cris Beam’s most recent book, I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy, was published by Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt in March 2018. Her prior work, To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care (Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, 2013), was named a 2013 New York Times Notable Book, and was a best book on several year-end lists including NPR, New York Magazine and The Boston Globe. She is also the author of Transparent: Love, Family and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers (Harcourt 2007), which won a Lambda Literary Award and was a Stonewall Honor book. Her young adult novel, I am J, was released by Little, Brown in 2011 and was named a Kirkus Best Book and Library Guild Selection, and is the first book with a transgender character to land on the state of California's recommended reading list for public high schools.

This event is free and open to everyone.