MFA Creative Writing

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction | Poetry


Distinguished Writers Series

The Distinguished Writers Series is one of the signal components of the Hunter Creative Writing Program. We have a rich history and continuing tradition of presenting intimate readings and class visits to our MFA seminars from the leading voices in contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

Writers who've participated in the series and met with our students include Edwidge Danticat (above), Toni Morrison, Michael Ondaatje, Seamus Heaney, Margaret Atwood, Anne Carson, Zadie Smith, Louise Glück, Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, Salman Rushdie, Jamaica Kincaid, Robert Pinsky, Cornelius Eady, Walter Mosley, Ian McEwan, Frank Bidart, Annie Proulx, Deborah Eisenberg, Colm Tóibín, Yusef Komunyakaa, Mary Gaitskill, Edmund White, Elizabeth Strout, Claudia Rankine, Susan Faludi, Terrance Hayes, Jhumpa Lahiri, Greg Pardlo, Karen Russell, Gary Shteyngart, and Hilton Als, among many others.


Fall 2022 Series


John Murillo

Date: Thursday, September 15, at 7:30pmm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

All non-Hunter attendees must fill out this FORM before entering campus.

John Murillo is the author of the poetry collections Up Jump the Boogie, finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award, and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Poetry Society of Virginia's North American Book Award, finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, Believer Poetry Award, Maya Angelou Book Award, Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award, and NAACP Image Award. His other honors include the Four Quartets Prize from the T.S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Society of America, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, a pair of Pushcart Prizes, the J Howard and Barbara MJ Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, an NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Murillo's poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Best American Poetry 2017, 2019, and 2020. He is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the creative writing program at Wesleyan University.



Pankaj Mishra

Date: Tuesday, October 11, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

All non-Hunter attendees must fill out this FORM before entering campus.

Pankaj Mishra writes literary and political essays for The New York Times, New York Review of Books, The Guardian, The New Yorker, London Review of Books, Bloomberg View, among other American, British, and Indian publications. His work has also appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Time, The Independent, Granta, The Nation, n+1, Poetry, Common Knowledge, Outlook, and Harper's. He was a visiting professor at Wellesley College in 2001, 2004, and 2006. In 2004-2005 he received a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at New York Public Library. For 2007-08, he was the Visiting Fellow at the Department of English, University College, London. In 2009, he was nominated a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2014, he received Yale University's Windham-Campbell Literature Prize. His latest books are the essay collection Bland Fanatics: Liberals, Race, and Empire (2020), and the novel, Run and Hide (2022).



Brenda Hillman

Date: Tuesday, November 15, at 7:30pm at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

All non-Hunter attendees must fill out this FORM before entering campus.

Brenda Hillman is the author of eleven full-length collections, the most recent of which are Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2013), which received the International Griffin Poetry Prize and Extra Hidden Life, among the Days (2018), winner of the Northern California Book Award. Hillman has also received the William Carlos Williams Prize from Poetry Society of America, the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She has edited an edition of Emily Dickinson's poems for Shambhala Press, co-edited two books by Richard O. Moore, and, with Patricia Dienstfrey, co-edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood. Hillman's latest collection, In a Few Minutes Before Later, will be published in 2022. Her first book of prose essays, Three Talks, will be published in 2023. She teaches at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.

Elizabeth Nunez

Date: Tuesday, November 29, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

All non-Hunter attendees must fill out this FORM before entering campus.

Elizabeth Nunez is the award-winning author of nine novels and a memoir. Kirkus Reviews in a starred review called Even in Paradise, "A dazzling epic triumph." The novel was a special selection of The Oprah Magazine and Essence. Her awards include a PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award, an American Book Award, and an Independent Publishers Book Award. Four of her novels were selected as New York Times Editors' Choice. Her memoir Not for Everyday Use won the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Nunez received a Lifetime Literary Achievement Award from Trinidad and Tobago National Library Systems and her novel, Anna In-Between, was long-listed for an IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award. She is the cofounder of the National Black Writers Conference and executive producer of the NY Emmy-nominated CUNYTV series "Black Writers in America." She holds a PhD from NYU and is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter.

Elif Batuman

Date: Tuesday, December 6, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

All non-Hunter attendees must fill out this FORM before entering campus.

Elif Batuman's first novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Women's Prize. She is also the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. Batuman has won a Whiting Writers' Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and The Paris Review Terry Southern Prize for Humor. She holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford and has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. Her second novel, Either/Or, was published in 2022.


Spring 2022 Series




Sigrid Nunez

Date: Tuesday, February 15, at 7:30pm

Location: ZOOM

Sigrid Nunez has published eight novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, Salvation City, The Friend, and, most recently, What Are You Going Through. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. The Friend, a New York Times bestseller, won the 2018 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2019 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize. In France, it was longlisted for the 2019 Prix Femina and named a finalist for the 2019 Prix du Meilleure Livre. It was also a finalist for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award.

Nunez's other honors and awards include a Whiting Writer's Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. This year she was inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Nunez has contributed to The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, The New York Review of Books, Threepenny Review, Harper's, London Review of Books, and newyorker.com. One of her short stories was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2019. Her work has been published in thirty countries.

Nunez has taught at Columbia, Princeton, and the New School, and has been a visiting writer or writer in residence at Boston University, Amherst, Smith, Baruch, Vassar, Syracuse, and the University of California, Irvine, among others. She has also been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and of several other writers' conferences across the country. She lives in New York City.




Tom Sleigh

Date: Tuesday, March 8, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

Tom Sleigh is the author of eleven books of poetry, including his most recent, The King's Touch, available from Graywolf Press in February 2022. Other works include Army Cats, winner of the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Space Walk which won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award. In addition, Far Side of the Earth won an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Dreamhouse was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and The Chain was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize. Station Zed was published in 2015 and includes his long poem about Iraq, "Homage to Basho," a version of which received Poetry Magazine's Editors Prize.

In 2018, a book of prose collecting his essays on refugees in the Middle East and Africa, The Land Between Two Rivers: Writing In An Age Of Refugees, was published simultaneously by Graywolf Press as a companion piece to House of Fact, House of Ruin. He has also published a previous book of essays, Interview With a Ghost, and a translation of Euripides' Herakles. Widely anthologized, his poems and prose appear in The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Yale Review, Threepenny Review, The Village Voice, and other literary magazines, as well as The Best of the Best American Poetry, The Best American Poetry, Best American Travel Writing, and The Pushcart Anthology.

He has received the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, a Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, a Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, an Individual Writer's Award from the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund, a Guggenheim grant, and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, among many others. During the last decade, he has also worked as a journalist in Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya, Iraq, and Libya.




Vievee Francis

Date: Tuesday, March 15, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

Vievee Francis is the author of The Shared World, forthcoming soon; Forest Primeval, winner of the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award; Horse in the Dark, winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize; and Blue-Tail Fly. Her work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, textbooks, and anthologies, including Poetry, Best American Poetry 2010, 2014, 2017, 2019, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. She has been a participant in the Cave Canem Workshops, a Poet-in-Residence for the Alice Lloyd Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, and teaches poetry writing in the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop (USA, UK, and Barbados). In 2009 she received a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, and in 2010, a Kresge Fellowship. She is the recipient of the 2021 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.

Discussing the role of poetry in her life with Ms. Magazine, Francis noted, "In my life poetry does not provide 'healing' but it does allow for expression and it markedly demonstrates that I cannot be silenced. I explore my interior and I relate it. Black women aren't encouraged to do that. We are encouraged, even among progressives, to tow certain lines. My eccentricities don't allow for that."

Francis serves as an associate editor of Callaloo and associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.



Mary Ruefle

Date: Tuesday, April 5, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

Poet and essayist Mary Ruefle has published over a dozen books of poetry, including Dunce (2019), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, My Private Property (2016), Indeed I Was Pleased with the World (2007), and The Adamant (1989), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is also the author of the essay collection, Madness, Rack, and Honey (2012) and the work of fiction, The Most of It (2008). A Little White Shadow (2006), her book of erasures-found texts in which all but a few words have been erased from the page-reveals what Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called "haiku-like minifables, sideways aphorisms, and hauntingly perplexing koans." Ruefle's erasures are available to view on her website; a full-color facsimile of her erasure, Incarnation of Now, was published in a limited edition by See Double Press.

She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as a Whiting Writers' Award, and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems (2003), American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006), and The Next American Essay (2002). Ruefle has taught at Vermont College and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She lives in Vermont.




Kaitlyn Greenidge

Date: Tuesday, April 26, at 7:30pm

Location: ZOOM

Kaitlyn Greenidge is a novelist and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. Her most recent novel, the critically acclaimed Libertie received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, who called it, "another genius work of radical historical fiction." She is the author of the debut novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, one of the New York Times Critics' Top 10 Books of 2016, which Buzzfeed called "masterful," and Booklist praised as "wondrous."

Her essays have appeared in Vogue, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, Elle.com, Buzzfeed, Transition Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, American Short Fiction and other outlets. She was also a contributing editor for LENNY Letter. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

When asked by the Los Angeles Review of Books about how language develops within families, a theme of We Love You, Charlie Freeman, she responded, "That was the inspiration for the book. I wanted to explore how families communicate with each other, and the ways they can be truthful in their communications, and then the ways that those languages that grow within families can also be dishonest and hide the truth. They can calcify people's relationships with each other, sometimes, but can also be real sources of strength and comfort. I wanted to explore both sides of the complicated nature of that communication." Greenidge holds an MFA from Hunter College and lives in Brooklyn.

David Adjmi

Date: Thursday, May 5, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

David Adjmi is the author of the plays The Evildoers, Stunning, 3C, and Marie Antoinette. His plays have been produced all over, including at Lincoln Center, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Steppenwolf and Soho Rep.

His writing has been featured or profiled in The Guardian, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review of Books, LitHub, Electric Literature, American Theatre, BOMB, and The Rumpus.

Stereophonic, will premiere on Broadway in 2023, with music by Will Butler from Arcade Fire. The Stumble, excerpted from The Paris Review, is in development with Lincoln Center Theatre. The Blind King was workshopped at the Sundance Theatre Lab in 2019 and is currently in development with Yale Rep.

Adjmi has also written the memoir, Lot 6, which was published by HarperCollins. He is the author of two play collections: Stunning and Other Plays and 1789/1978, both from TCG. A recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, the Steinberg Playwright Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he lives in New York City.

 

Fall 2021 Series


Said Sayrafiezadeh

Date: Thursday, September 23, at 6:30pm

Location: ZOOM

American Estrangement, the most recent collection of short stories by Hunter MFA faculty member Said Sayrafiezadeh, is one of Literary Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2021. Sayrafiezadeh has been hailed by Philip Gourevitch as "a masterful storyteller working from deep in the American grain." His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and the Best American Short Stories. He won the Whiting Award for his memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free. Sayrafiezadeh's other short story collection, Brief Encounters With the Enemy, was short-listed for the 2014 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for debut fiction. He leads the Creative Nonfiction track in Hunter's MFA program.

 

Phil Klay

Date: Tuesday, October 5, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

Hunter alum and National Book Award Winner Phil Klay joins us in person. The LA Times describes Phil Klay's latest book, Missionaries, as "beautiful, violent and almost perfect." The New York Times Book Review gave this praise: "Klay's understanding of Colombia, the main theater of war in Missionaries, is the chief source of admiration for this reviewer. There are no simple wars, of course, but the Colombian conflict is as intricate as they come." In 2020, the book was featured on the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Barack Obama also selected it as one of the best books of the year. In 2014, Klay's debut short fiction collection, Redeployment, about soldiers serving in the Iraq War, won the National Book Award, and the John Leonard Award from the National Book Critics Circle for the best book in any genre. Klay is a contributor to Granta, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and was named a Hodder Fellow at Princeton.

 

Greg Pardlo

Date: Thursday, Thurs, October 21, at 6:30pm

Location: ZOOM

Greg Pardlo's poetry collection Digest won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. The Pulitzer judges cited his "clear voiced poems that bring readers the news from 21st Century America, rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private." Pardlo's book Totem won the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. His work has been praised for its "language simultaneously urban and highbrow" with "snapshots of a life that is so specific it becomes universal." His poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Poet Lore, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and on National Public Radio. In 2017, Pardlo was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University.

 

Bill Cheng

Date: Tuesday, November 9, at 7:30pm

Location: Hunter West, 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room

Now joining us in person, celebrated Hunter alum Bill Cheng is best known for his novel Southern Cross the Dog, which follows the story of a boy who survives the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and then spends several decades as a refugee, an abandoned orphan, and then an itinerant laborer. HarperCollins describes the book as "teeming with language that voices both the savage beauty and the complex humanity of the American South, Southern Cross the Dog is a tour de force of literary imagination that heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction." Cheng's fiction has appeared and been collected in Guernica, The Book of Men, and Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today's New York. He is the recipient of a 2015 Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

 

Leslie Jamison

Date: Tues, November, 16, at 6:30pm

Location: ZOOM

One of the most anticipated books of 2018, Leslie Jamison's The Recovering is a deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage that turns the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that recovery can be as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Jamison is also the bestselling author of The Empathy Exams for which she won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. In the New York Times, Olivia Lang wrote, "It's hard to imagine a stronger, more thoughtful voice emerging this year." A graduate of Harvard, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Yale, Jamison directs the nonfiction concentration in writing at Columbia University.

 

Spring 2021 Series


R.O. Kwon

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021, at 6:30pm

R.O. Kwon's nationally bestselling first novel, The Incendiaries, was published by Riverhead (US) and Virago/Little Brown (UK), and is being translated into seven languages. Named a best book of the year by over forty publications, The Incendiaries received the Housatonic Book Award and was a finalist or nominated for seven other prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best First Book and Los Angeles Times First Book Prize. Kwon was named one of four "writers to watch" by The New York Times. She coedited Kink, which is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in 2021.

Kwon's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, on NPR, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Born in Seoul, Kwon has lived most of her life in the United States.

 

Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Date: Thursday, March 4, 2021, at 6:30pm

Marie Mutsuki Mockett's latest book, American Harvest, is set in seven agricultural and heartland states. It was published by Graywolf Press in 2020 and was a finalist for the Lukas Prize for Nonfiction under the former title A Kernel in God's Eye.

Her memoir, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, explores how the Japanese cope with grief and tragedy, set against the backdrop of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Tohoku, Japan, and her family's 350 year old Buddhist temple. The memoir was a New York Times Editors' Choice, a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick, a Finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015 and a Finalist for the Indies Choice Best Book for Adult Nonfiction for 2016.

Marie received her MFA from the Bennington Writers Seminars and teaches fiction and nonfiction at the Rainier Writing Workshop, in Tacoma, Washington. For the 2019-2020 academic year, she was a Visiting Writer in the MFA program at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. She lives in San Francisco.

 

Helen Macdonald

Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 5:30pm

Helen Macdonald is best known for H is for Hawk, which won the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and Costa Book Award. In 2016, it also won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France. Her other books include Shaler's Fish (2001), Falcon (2006), and her most recent, Vesper Flights (2020).

Macdonald has written and narrated several radio programs, and appeared in the BBC Four documentary series, Birds Britannia, in 2010. She also helped make the film "10 X Murmuration" with filmmaker Sarah Wood as part of a 2015 exhibition at the Brighton Festival. In H is for Hawk: A New Chapter, part of BBC's Natural World series in 2017, she trained a new goshawk chick.

Presently, Macdonald is an Affiliated Research Scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge.


Victoria Chang

Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021, at 6:30pm

Victoria Chang's fifth and most recent book of poems, OBIT, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her prior book of poems, Barbie Chang, was also published by Copper Canyon, in 2017. Her third book of poetry, The Boss, was published by McSweeney's in 2013 and won a PEN Center USA literary award and California Book Award. Her first book, Circle, 2005, won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Virginia Quarterly Review, Slate, Ploughshares, and The Nation, and Tin House.

She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017, a Lannan Residency Fellowship in 2020, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship in 2017, a Poetry Society of America Alice Fay di Castagnola Award in 2018, as well as a Pushcart Prize and a MacDowell Fellowship. She lives in Los Angeles where she is the Program Chair of Antioch University's MFA Program.




Carl Phillips

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6:30pm

Referred to as "one of America's most original, influential, and productive of lyric poets," Carl Phillips is the author of a dozen books of poetry and two works of criticism. His recent books of poetry are Pale Colors in a Tall Field (2020), Wild Is the Wind (2018), Reconnaissance (2015), Silverchest (2013, nominated for the Griffin Prize), Double Shadow (2011, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and a finalist for the National Book Award), and Speak Low (2009, finalist for the National Book Award).

Phillips's honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress. He is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Academy of American Poets Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and he has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006, and since 2011 he has served as the judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is Professor of English at Washington University.

 

Fall 2020 Series


Alex Halberstadt

Date: Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 6:30pm

There have been stacks of great reviews to quote from but we choose the celebrated writer John Jeremiah Sullivan, to sum up the magic Halberstadt has wrought.

"I remember being in a bar with Alex Halberstadt almost twenty years ago, talking about our families, when he said, 'Did I ever tell you my grandfather was Stalin's bodyguard?' He hadn't. I suggested that he write a book about it. Not in my most hopeful imaginings could that book have turned out to be as surprising, sad, funny, and engrossing as the one he wrote. This is history as memoir, and vice versa. Describing Russia in the twentieth century as a place where 'the buffer between history and biography became nearly imperceptible,' he made me feel how this is true of all places, for all of us."

 

Hernan Diaz

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at 6:30pm

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Hernan Diaz has published stories and essays in Cabinet, The New York Times, The Kenyon Review, Playboy, Granta, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. His first novel, In the Distance, was the winner of the Saroyan International Prize, the Cabell Award, and the New American Voices Award, among other distinctions. It was also a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of the Year, one of Lit Hub's Top 20 Books of the Decade, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award and one of this year's fellows at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

 

Major Jackson

Date: Thursday, October 29, 2020, at 6:30pm

Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America's Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers' Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard A. Dennis Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.

 

Claudia Rankine

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 6:30pm

Recipient of the 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don't Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Citizen: An American Lyric was the winner of the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (it was also a finalist in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award's history to be a double nominee), the NAACP Image Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the LA Times Book Award for poetry. She lives in New Haven, CT and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.



ZZ Packer

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 6:30pm

ZZ Packer's collection of short stories Drinking Coffee Elsewhere won the Commonwealth First Fiction Award, an ALEX Award and was a National Book Award 5 under 35 winner. It became a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2004, and was selected for the Today Show Book Club by John Updike. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Story, Ploughshares, Granta, Zoetrope All-Story, Best American Short Stories 2000 and Best American Short Stories 2003 and, 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories published in 2015. Her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, The Believer, The American Prospect, The Oxford American, The Guardian, and The New York Times Book Review. She has appeared on MSNBC as a Huffington Post contributor. She was a Stanford Wallace Stegner Fellow, a Princeton Lewis Center for the Arts Hodder Fellow, and a Lillian Golay Knafel fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.


Spring 2020 Series

Lisa Brennan-Jobs  - Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 7:30pm

Jia Tolentino - Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 2:30pm & 5:30pm

Laila Lalami  - Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 1:00pm & 3:30pm

Téa Obreht  - Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 4:00pm & 5:30pm

Bruce Smith  - Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 4:00pm & 5:30pm

 

Fall 2019 Series

Roxana Robinson  - Tuesday, September 24, 7:30pm

Mira Jacob - Tuesday, November 5, 7:30pm

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah - Tuesday, November 12, 7:30pm

Paisley Rekdal  - Tuesday, December 10, 7:30pm

 

Spring 2019 Series

Elizabeth Strout - Tuesday, March 5, 7:30pm

Tarfia Faizullah - Tuesday, March 19, 7:30pm

Deborah Eisenberg - Tuesday, April 9, 7:30pm

Yiyun Li - Tuesday, April 16, 7:30pm

Monica Youn - Tuesday, April 30, 7:30pm

 

Fall 2018 Series

Paul Beatty - Tuesday, October 2, 7:30pm

David St. John - Tuesday, October 16, 7:30pm

Susan Faludi - Tuesday, November 13, 7:30pm

Donna Masini & Catherine Barnett - Tuesday, November 27, 7:30pm

Lauret Savoy - Tuesday, December 11, 7:30pm


Spring 2018 Series

Nathan Englander - Tuesday, February 6, 7:00pm

Peter Carey & Tom Sleigh - Tuesday, March 20, 7:30pm

David Shields - Tuesday, March 27, 7:30pm

William Finnegan - Tuesday, April 17, 7:30pm

Mary Karr - Tuesday, May 15, 7:30pm

 

Fall 2017 Series

Téa Obreht - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dana Spiotta - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Margo Jefferson - Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chris Merrill - Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Marlon James- Tuesday, November 7, 2017

 

Spring 2017 Series

Azar Nafisi -Tuesday, February 21, 2017

David Rivard - Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Maggie Nelson  - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kay Ryan - Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Olivia Laing - Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Fall 2016 Series

Paul Auster - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ellen Bryant Voigt - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Adam Haslett  - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Alan Shapiro - Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hisham Matar - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

 

Spring 2016 Series

Colum McCann - Tuesday, February 9, 2016 

Terrance Hayes - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Colson Whitehead - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Richard Russo
- Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rachel Kushner - Tuesday, May 3, 2016

 

Fall 2015 Series

Hisham Matar - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

David Wojahn - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Emma Brockes  - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Don Share - Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Walter Mosley - Tuesday, December 8, 2015

 

Spring 2015 Series

Peter Carey & Tom Sleigh - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

C.K. Williams - Monday, March 2, 2015

Robert Polito - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Karen Russell
- Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hilton Als - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Edwidge Danticat - Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Fall 2014 Series

Salman Rushdie - Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wallace Shawn & Deborah Eisenberg - Wednesday, September. 24, 2014
 
Roxana Robinson - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kim Addonizio
- Thursday, November 6, 2014

Peter Godwin - Tuesday, November 18, 2014

 

Spring 2014 Series

Tracy K. Smith - Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dani Shapiro - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A. M. Homes - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Claire Messud - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Michael Collier - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

 

Fall 2013 Series

Colm Tóibín - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eve Ensler - Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Colum McCann - Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Augusten Burroughs - Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Joyce Carol Oats - Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victoria Redel - Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Spring 2013 Series

Rosanna Warren - Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dana Spiotta - Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ian McEwan - Friday, March 22, 2013

Les Murray - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cheryl Strayed - Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chris Adrian - Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fall 2012 Series

Margaret Atwood - Thursday, October 4, 2012

David Ferry - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Patrick McGrath - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Margaux Fragoso - Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Aleksandar Hemon - Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Spring 2012 Series

Hugo Hamilton - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sharon Olds - Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Téa Obreht - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Michael Ondaatje - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MFA Faculty Reading with Peter Carey, Tom Sleigh, Nathan Englander and Kathryn Harrison - Monday, April 23, 2012

Robert Pinsky and the Ben Allison Jazz Trio - Wednesday, May 9, 2012

 

Fall 2011 Series

Alexandra Styron - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Zadie Smith - Thursday, October 6, 2011

Carol Muske-Dukes - Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nick Flynn - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alice Fulton - Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spring 2011 Series

Wesley Stace and Alex Ross - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Peter Balakian - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Billy Collins - Monday, April 11, 2011

Darin Strauss - Monday, May 9, 2011

Nicole Krauss - Monday, May 16, 2011


Fall 2010 Series

Robert Hass — Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hari Kunzru - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ZZ Packer - Monday, October 25, 2010

Greg Grandin - Monday, November 29, 2010

 

Spring 2010 Series

Mary Gaitskill - Monday February 8, 2010

Lynne Greenberg & Meena Alexander - Tuesday February 23, 2010

Michael Greenberg - Wednesday March 3, 2010

Seamus Heaney - Wednesday April 21, 2010

Peter Carey - Wednesday May 12, 2010


Fall 2009 Series

Carolyn Forché - Thursday October 1, 2009

Mona Simpson & Patrick McGrath - Tuesday October 27, 2009

Alice Notley & Claudie Rankine - Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jonathan Safran Foer - Monday November 30, 2009





Spring 2009 Series

Kamila Shamsie, May 6
Mark Strand, April 20
Mary Karr, April 6
Don DeLillo, March 16
Kent Haruf, March 25
Paul Muldoon, February 26

 

Fall 2008 Series
Edward Hirsch, November 13
Darin Strauss and Jeff Talarigo, October 20
Yusef Komunyakaa and Michael Thomas, October 7
Edmund White, September 23
 

Spring 2008 Series

Russell Banks*, April 17
Frank Bidart*, April 9
Anne Carson, March 13
Frank McCourt, March 4
Anne Winters and Gary Shteyngart*, February 21

 

Fall 2007 Series

Lynn Emanuel, December 6
Michael Cunningham, Nov 13
Robert Pinsky, October 25
Annie Proulx, October 4
Kathryn Harrison, Sept 20

   

Spring 2007 Series

Peter Carey & Tom Sleigh, May 1
Claire Messud, April 24
Eavan Boland*, April 12
Nathan Englander*, March 13
Colum McCann, February 13

   

Fall 2006 Series
 

Marie Howe, November 30
Ian McEwan*, November 6
Deborah Eisenberg*, Oct 12
Richard Price*, September 26

   

Spring 2006 Series
 

Sharon Olds, Robert Pinsky,
C.K. Williams
, May 4
Jonathan Franzen*, April 4
Eva Hoffman, March 21
Junot Diaz*, March 13
Philip Gourevitch, February 28

   

Fall 2005 Series
 

Derek Walcott, December 8
Colson Whitehead
, Nov 15
Louise Gluck*, October 27
Adrienne Rich, Cornelius Eady, Joy Harjo, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jan Heller Levi and Donna Masini, October 6
Walter Mosley*, September 13

   

Spring 2005 Series
 

Jean Valentine*, May 10
Jhumpa Lahiri, April 21
Julian Barnes, April 13
Mark Doty, March 9
Paul Auster, February 15

   

Fall 2004 Series
 

Tribute to Lucille Clifton, featuring
Toni Morrison, Sharon Olds, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Maxine Kumin, Li-Young Lee, Elizabeth Alexander, Quincy Troupe, Kevin Young, Haki R. Hadhubuti, Gerald Stern, Galway Kinnell, Walter Mosley and Sonia Sanchez, November 18
Jamaica Kincaid, November 1
Andrew Sean Greer*, September 28
Salman Rushdie*, Sept 21

   

Spring 2004 Series
 

Toni Morrison, May 20
Anne Carson, May 6
Michael Ondaatje, April 15
Wallace Shawn, March 9

   
Other visiting writers, 2002-03

Siri Hustvedt & Robert Hughes, December 2, 2003
Paul Auster, Ariel Dorfman & Edith Grossman, Nov 11, 2003
Carol Muske-Dukes
, May 15, 2003
Nancy Milford, Dec 4, 2002
Gary Shteyngart, Oct 1, 2002

 

Blair Writers-in-Residence
1999-2003

Brenda Hillman*, 2003
Li-Young Lee*, 2002
Mona Simpson*, 2002
Cristina Garcia*, 2001
Philip Levine*, 2000
Grace Paley*, 2000
Michael Cunningham*, 1999

   
Blair Reading Series
1999-2003

Brenda Hillman*, Mar 26, '03
Li-Young Lee
*, April 18, 2002
Mona Simpson*, Mar 21, 2002
Mark Doty*, April 4, 2001
Peter Ho Davies, Mar 15 2001
Dorianne Laux, Feb 26, 2001
Cristina Garcia*, Nov 7, 2000
David Mura*, October 5, 2000
Billy Collins & Cornelius Eady, May 5, 1999
Lucia Cordell Getsi & Joan Larkin, April 13 1999
Pearl Abraham & Emer Martin, March 25, 1999
Cristina Garcia*, Feb 11, 1999

   

In the list above, all writers gave readings of their work.
*Marks writers that also led an MFA craft class or workshop. From Fall 2008, all visiting writers have led an MFA craft class or workshop.

 

Program Directors & Executive Directors


Adam Haslett Program Director 2022 - present
 
Peter Carey Executive Director 2007 - 2021
  Program Director 2003 - 2007
     
Tom Sleigh Program Director 2007 - 2021
     
Donna Masini Interim Director 2002 - 2003
     
Chang-rae Lee Program Director 1999 - 2002
   

FICTION Faculty, Past and Present

Adam Haslett

Sigrid Nunez

ZZ Packer

Rivka Glachen

Peter Carey

Colum McCann

Nathan Englander

Jenefer Shute

Colson Whitehead

Andrew Sean Greer

Susan Daitch

David Gates

Chang-rae Lee

 

 

POETRY Faculty, Past and Present

Tom Sleigh

Donna Masini

Catherine Barnett

Meena Alexander

Jan Heller Levi

William Pitt Root

Mark Doty

Sharon Olds

   

CREATIVE NONFICTION Faculty, Past and Present

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

Mychal Denzel Smith

Alexandra Styron

Kathryn Harrison

Meena Alexander

Louise DeSalvo

Eva Hoffman

Nuala O'Faolain


Professors and teachers:

Bring your students to Hunter readings. We welcome you.