Visiting Writers

Sponsored by the Department of English, the Visiting Writer Series brings interesting and diverse writers of prose and poetry to Reed to enhance our courses with readings and discussions.

Visiting Writers Series will take place in Eliot Hall Chapel. All readings begin at 6:30pm. Books are sold and refreshments are served! Free and open to the public. 

To receive details of upcoming readings in your mailbox (electronic or paper), subscribe to our mailing list by emailing vswr@reed.edu or calling the Department at 503-777-7753.

2018-19 Schedule

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Gregg Bordowitz

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, September 13, 6:30 PM

Gregg Bordowitz is an award-winning artist, writer, and activist. His films—including Fast Trip, Long Drop (1993); A Cloud in Trousers (1995); The Suicide (1996); and Habit (2001)—have shown internationally in screenings and exhibitions at museums including: The New Museum, NY; Artist Space, NY; TATE Modern, UK; MoMA, NY; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Bordowitz is the author of many books, including: The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings, 1986–2003, (2006); Glenn Ligon: Untitled (I Am a Man) (2018); General Idea Imagevirus (2010); Volition (2013); and Tenement (2016). In addition, Bordowitz has written numerous catalog and journal essays on art, literature, AIDS, and their intersections. Bordowitz was a member of the groundbreaking AIDS activist group ACT UP, and a founding member of the 1980’s film collective Testing the Limits. In 2006, Bordowitz received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for art journalism from the College Art Association, and is also the recipient of a Rockefeller Intercultural Arts Fellowship, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. A long-time faculty member of the Independent Study Program (ISP) at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Bordowitz is the Director of the Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Daniel Borzutzky

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, September 27, 6:30 PM

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry for his collection The Performance of Becoming Human, Daniel Borzutzky is a Chilean-American writer and translator living in Chicago. His other poetry books are In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy, The Book of Interfering Bodies, The Ecstasy of Capitulation, and the chapbook Failure in the Imagination. Lake Michigan is forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press in 2018. He has published one collection of fiction, Arbitrary Tales. His books of translation include Song for his Disappeared Love by Raul Zurita and Port Trakl by Jaime Luis Huenun. 

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Madeleine ffitch

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, October 11, 6:30 PM

Madeline ffitch writes and organizes in Appalachian Ohio. She was a founding member of the punk theater company, The Missoula Oblongata, and is the author of the story collection, Valparaiso, Round the Horn. Her writing is featured or forthcoming at Tin House, Guernica, Electric Literature, Granta, Vice, and Big Big Wednesday. Her first novel, Stay and Fight, will be out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in Spring 2019.

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Renee Gladman

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, November 8, 6:30 PM

Renee Gladman is a writer and artist preoccupied with lines, crossings, thresholds, and geographies as they play out in the interstices of poetry and prose. She is the author of eleven published works, including a cycle of novels about the city-state Ravicka and its inhabitants, the Ravickians—Event Factory (2010), The Ravickians (2011), Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge (2013), and Houses of Ravicka (2017)—as well as the recently released Prose Architectures, her first monograph of drawings, and Calamities, a collection of linked auto-essays on the intersections of writing, drawing, and community, which won the 2017 CLMP Firecracker Award for Creative Non-Fiction. Recent essays and visual work have appeared in The Paris Review, Gulf Coast, Granta, Harper's, BOMB magazine, and n+1. A 2014-15 fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and recipient of a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant and a 2017 Lannan Foundation Writing Residency in Marfa, TX, she makes work in New England.

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Esther Belin

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, November 15, 6:30 PM

Esther G. Belin is an award-winning Diné poet and multimedia artist. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in outlets including Wicazo Sa Review, BOMB, Democracy Now!, and Studies in American Indian Literatures. She considers the following locations her homeland: LA, Durango, Diné bike'yah. Her writing and art grows from and is an offering to the collective humanity, bila' ashdla'ii.

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Safiya Sinclair

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, February 28, 6:30 PM

Safiya Sinclair is the author of Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Addison M. Metcalf Award, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. It was selected as one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year," and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, as well as being longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Sinclair’s other honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, fellowships from Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Granta, The Nation, New England Review, Boston Review, Oxford American, the 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, and elsewhere.

She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia, and is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

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Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, March 7, 6:30 PM

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia EarhartApocalyptic Swing(a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize) and Rocket Fantastic, which will be released by Persea Books in September 2017. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer's Award, a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, TX, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review, and a residency from the Civitella di Ranieri Foundation, among others. Her poems have been published in numerous magazines and journals including the New York TimesPOETRYBoston Review, and Kenyon Review. She is an Editor at Large at Los Angeles Review of Books, and co-curates the digital maker's space Voluble. She is working on a memoir entitled The Year I Didn't Kill Myself, and a novel, The Alderman of the Graveyard. She lives in North Carolina and teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Jess Arndt

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, March 14, 6:30 PM

Jess Arndt received an MFA at Bard College and was a 2013 Graywolf SLS Fellow and 2010 Fiction Fellow at the New York Foundation of the Arts. Arndt’s writing has recently appeared in THEM journal, The LA Review of Books, Lithub, Hazzlitt, Fence, BOMB, and Night Papers, among others. Their debut story collection, Large Animals, came out on Catapult Press in May, 2017. Arndt is a co-founder of New Herring Press and she/they currently teach at CalArts, in Los Angeles.
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Aisha Sabatini Sloan

Reading (Free and open to the public)
Thursday, April 4, 6:30 PM

Aisha was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her writing about race and current events is often coupled with analysis of art, film, and pop culture. Her essay collection, The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2013. Her most recent essay collection, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, was chosen by Maggie Nelson as the winner of the 1913 Open Prose Contest and published in 2017; it is also the winner of the CLMP Firecracker award for nonfiction. A contributing editor for Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, her writing can be found in publications like Autostraddle, Guernica, Callaloo and The Paris Review. She recently joined the faculty of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan as a Visiting Professor of Creative Nonfiction.

Recordings of previous readings

Former visiting writers list