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Spring 2023 Visiting Writers Reading Series

Mark your calendars! Three of the anticipated five Spring 2023 creative writers have been scheduled as below, with the rest of the writers to be scheduled after Winter Break. 


January 24
Please join us in welcoming Mary Leader, a professor emerita at Purdue, and Donald Platt, a current professor of poetry. They will read from their new poetry collections The Distaff Side and Swansdown on Tuesday, January 24th at 7:30PM ET. Join us on Zoom OR in person for a watch party in Krannert Auditorium. For Zoom, please remember to register here.

Please consider supporting the authors and indie presses and purchasing Mary Leader’s The Distaff Side and Donald Platt’s Swansdown online.

February 7
Purdue’s Creative Writing Program welcomes Antonya Nelson to an on-campus fiction reading and book-signing on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:30pm in Krannert Auditorium. Sycamore Review magazine will host a Q & A session in HORT117 at 3:30pm. We hope to see you there! 

Antonya Nelson is the author of six collections of short stories, including The Expendables, In the Land of Men, Family Terrorists, Female Trouble, Some Fun, Nothing Right and most recently Funny Once: Stories; and four novels: Talking in Bed, Nobody’s Girl, Living to Tell and Bound. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper's, Redbook, and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories. Her books have been The New York Times Notable Books of 1992, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002. She was named in 1999 by The New Yorker as one of the "twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium." She is the recipient of the 2003 Rea Award for Short Fiction, as well as NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships.  

Born in 1961 and raised in Wichita, she now splits her time between New Mexico, Telluride and the University of Houston, where she teaches in the MFA and Ph.D. programs in Creative Writing. 

This event is free and open to the public.

February 21
CLA and the Purdue Creative Writing Program warmly welcomes the Thomas H. Scholl Visiting Poet, Jenny Xie, for a virtual reading. Jenny Xie will read from a selection of her poetry collections on Tuesday, February 21st at 7:30pm on Zoom. OR you can join us for the in-person Watch Party in RAWL1071 for a chance to win a FREE BOOK. We hope to see you there!  

Jenny Xie was born in Anhui province, China. She is the author of three books of poetry, a finalist for the National Book Award, and the recipient of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. Her most recent collection, THE RUPTURE TENSE, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been supported by fellowships and grants from Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Kundiman, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Vilcek Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. She has taught at Princeton and NYU, and is currently on faculty at Bard College. She lives in New York City. 

This event is free and open to the public. 

February 28
The Purdue Creative Writing Program warmly welcomes Michael Wang, Purdue MFA Alumnus, for our next in-person reading as part of our ongoing Visiting Writer Series.   

Wang will read from his work, including his debut novel, Lost in the Long March, on Tuesday, February 28th at 7:30pm in Krannert Auditorium. Prior to the reading, Sycamore Review will host a Q&A at 3:30pm in HORT117. We hope to see you there!  

Michael Wang was born in Fenyang, a small coal-mining city in China’s mountainous Shanxi Province. He immigrated to the United States when he was six and has lived in ten states. He holds a PhD in Literature from Florida State University and an MFA in Fiction from Purdue. His story collection, Further News of Defeat, won the 2021 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and the 2022 Great Lakes Colleges Association's New Writers Award. It was also a finalist for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Award. His debut novel, Lost in the Long March, was published via Abrams: The Overlook Press. 

His work has appeared in The New England Review, Greensboro Review, Day One, and Juked, among others. His stories have won an AWP Intro Award and been selected by the Best American Anthology as notable story of the year. He lives with his wife and pets at Russellville, Arkansas, and is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Arkansas Tech University. 

This event is free and open to the public.

March 28
The Purdue Creative Writing Program warmly welcomes Gbenga Adesina for a virtual poetry readingGbenga Adesina will read from a selection of his poetry on Tuesday, March 28th at 7:30pm ET on Zoom: 

Gbenga Adesina is a Nigerian poet and essayist. He received his MFA from New York University, where he was a Goldwater Fellow and was mentored by Yusef Komunyakaa. His chapbook Painter of Water was published as part of the New-Generation African Poets series from Akashic Books, and his poem “Across the Sea: A Sequence” won the 2020 Narrative Prize. Adesina has received fellowships and support from Poets House, New York, the Fine Arts Work Center and the Norman Mailer Center, and he was the 2019–20 Olive B. O’Connor Fellow at Colgate University, where he taught a poetry class called Song of the Human. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, the Poetry Review, Brittle Paper, the Yale Review, the New York Times and elsewhere. 

This event is free and open to the public. 

History of Purdue Literary Awards and Visiting Writers

Literary Awards has been an institution at Purdue since 1928. Speakers have included: Sherwood Anderson, Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, Eudora Welty, Robert Frost, Katharine Ann Porter, Saul Bellow, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Ashbery, Grace Paley, Adrienne Rich, Edward Albee, Derek Walcott, Louise Erdrich, Russell Banks, Seamus Heaney, Tony Kushner, Charles Wright, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sherman Alexie, Michael Chabon, Rita Dove, Annie Proulx, Charles Simic and Michael Cunningham. For more information about Literary Awards, please visit:

Recent Visiting Writers to the MFA program have included: Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Li-Young Lee, Edward P. Jones, Russell Edson, Andre Dubus III, Alicia Ostriker, Quan Barry, Michael Martone, Heather McHugh, Steve Yarbrough, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Denise Duhamel, Charles Baxter, Joyce Carol Oates, Adam Zagajewski, Peter Ho Davies, Jane Hamilton, Lan Samantha Chang, A. Van Jordan, Carl Phillips, Helena María Viramontes, Natasha Trethewey, Dorothy Allison, Dan Chaon, Julie Otsuka, Maurice Manning, Edith Pearlman, Jess Walter, Terrance Hayes and Antonya Nelson.