Creative Writers Reading Series

Smith Creative Writers Reading Series

Celebrated writers of poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction visit campus several times each year to give lectures, readings, discussions, and book signings. Presentations are held at 6:00 p.m. (preceded by receptions at 5:30 p.m.) in the Smith Chapel. All events are free and open to the public. Presented with the support of the Clarence A. and Eugenie Baumann Smith Fund. 

Behrend Reads! Event

Thursday, March 5 at 6:00 p.m., Smith Chapel

Come join us for our annual celebration of Behrend's community of writers. Members of our faculty and staff and special guest Tony Vallone, Professor of English at Penn State Dubois, will share short selections of their poetry and prose.

You will be dazzled. You will be changed. Or, at least, at this time in the evening, you'll probably be able to find a great parking space. Hope to see you there!

Poster describing Behrend Reads Event

Readers include: Tom Noyes, George Looney, Aimee Pogson, Elizabeth Fogle, Joshua Shaw, Ruth Pflueger, Evan Ringle, Nate Carter, and guest Tony Vallone


Laura Kaschiske, Poetry

Thursday, March 26 – 6:00 p.m. in Smith Chapel

Laura Kaschiske, Poet

Laura Kasischke has published eight novels, a collection of short stories, and eight collections of poetry, including her latest The Infinitesimals. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, several Pushcart Prizes, and the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for Space in Chains. She lives in Chelsea, Michigan, with her husband and son, and teaches in the MFA program 

Thom Conroy, Fiction

Thursday, April 2 at 6:00 p.m. in Smith Chapel

Thom Conroy, Fiction

Thom Conroy’s novel The Naturalist appeared with Random House-New Zealand in 2014. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University, New Zealand. His short fiction has appeared in various journals in the US and New Zealand, including Landfall, Sport, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Kenyon Review. His fiction has been recognized by Best American Short Stories 2012 and won various other awards, including the Sunday Star-Times Short Fiction Competition and the Katherine Ann Porter Prize in Fiction.


Sarah Gerkensmeyer, Fiction

Thursday, April 30 at 6:00 p.m. in Smith Chapel

Sarah Gerkensmeyer, Fiction

Sarah Gerkensmeyer’s debut collection of stories, What You Are Now Enjoying, won the 2012 Autumn House Fiction Prize. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and the Italo Calvino Prize for Fabulist Fiction, Sarah has received scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Ragdale, Grub Street, and the Vermont Studio Center, and she was the 2012-13 Pen Parentis Fellow. Her stories have appeared in Guernica, The New Guard Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among others. She received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University.