Creative Writing Program Reading Series

Creative Writing Program Reading Series

Distinguished writers read from their works, answer questions and sign books. All events are free and open to the public. For further information, call the Bryn Mawr College Office for the Arts at (610) 526-5210.

The 2012-2013 Creative Writing Program Reading Series Season has ended. We thank the writers, guests, and all who provided funding or volunteer support.


2012-13 Schedule
Past Events


photo of Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Goodhart Music Room

Anthony Doerr is the author of three books of fiction—The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Memory Wall—and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. The winner of the prestigious Story Prize in 2010, his short stories have won the O. Henry Prize four times, and appeared in the Best American Short Stories. In The New York Times, Nancy Willard writes of Doerr: “His prose dazzles, his sinewy sentences blending the naturalist’s unswerving gaze with the poet’s gift for metaphor.”

photo of Jean Valentine

Jean Valentine
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Goodhart Music Room

Poet Jean Valentine is the author of 11 books of poetry, including Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965-2003, which won the 2004 National Book Award. Of her work, the poet Adrienne Rich said, “This is a poetry of the highest order, because it lets us into spaces and meanings we couldn’t approach in any other way.” The recipient of the 2009 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, Valentine’s most recent book is Break the Glass.

This reading has been made possible with the support of the Jane Flanders Fund and the Marianne Moore Fund for the Study of Poetry.

photo of Mary Gaitskill

Mary Gaitskill
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Great Hall

Novelist and short story writer Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels Two Girls, Fat and Thin and Veronica—a finalist for the National Book Award—and three collections of short stories: Bad Behavior, Because They Wanted To, and Don’t Cry. Her short story “Secretary” was made into a feature film starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Writing in The New York Times, Meghan O’Rourke says, “Gaitskill’s palpable talent puts her among the most eloquent and perceptive contemporary fiction writers.”

photo of Terrence Hayes

Terrance Hayes
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Goodhart Music Room

National Book Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes is the author of four books of poems: Muscular Music, Hip Logic, Wind in a Box, and Lighthead. He has been the winner of a Whiting Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his poems have appeared regularly in the Best American Poetry series. Poet Cornelius Eady writes, “First you’ll marvel at his skill, his near-perfect pitch, his disarming humor, his brilliant turns of phrase. Then you’ll notice the grace, the tenderness, the unblinking truth-telling just beneath his lines, the open and generous way he takes in our world.”

This reading has been made possible with the support of the Jane Flanders Fund and the Marianne Moore Fund for the Study of Poetry.

photo of Robin Black

Robin Black
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.
Goodhart Music Room

Fiction writer and essayist Robin Black’s debut collection of short stories, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, was a finalist for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Award, and has been published in seven countries. In the Chicago Tribune, critic Alan Cheuse says, “Black delivers real emotion, the kind that gives you pause. I want to shout about how just when you thought no one could write a story with any tinge of freshness, let alone originality, about childhood, marriage, old age, Black has done it.” She is Bryn Mawr’s Visiting Distinguished Writer for the 2012-13 academic year.

photo of Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith
Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.
Ely Room, Wyndham

The poet Bruce Smith’s most recent book of poems, Devotions, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, poet and critic Stephen Burt calls Smith’s work “ample as well as ambitious, agile, and unpredictable as well as viscerally affecting.” The author of six books of poetry, Smith is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the winner of a “Discover”/The Nation Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches at Syracuse University.

This reading has been made possible with the support of the Jane Flanders Fund and the Marianne Moore Fund for the Study of Poetry.

photo of Salvador Plascencia

Salvador Plascencia
Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m.
Goodhart Music Room

Salvador Plascencia is the author of the novel The People of Paper, published by McSweeney’s Books and a Los Angeles Times bestseller. A recipient of the Soros Fellowship for New Americans, Plascencia was named one of Poets and Writers magazine’s “Fifty Most Inspiring Living Authors.” The novelist TC Boyle has compared him to “Calvino, Borges and García Márquez,” and according to the writer George Saunders, Plascencia is “a once-in-a-generation talent."

photo of Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis
Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Great Hall

Translator, short story writer, and novelist Lydia Davis is the author of nine books of fiction, most recently The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and she is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellowship. Her translation of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way was published in 2003 to great acclaim. Writing in The New York Review of Books, the critic Dan Chiasson says of her collected stories, “Davis has made one of the great books in recent literature, equal parts horse sense and heartache.”