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.


September 1 – Martin Espada, Poet

Martin Espada

Called by Sandra Cisneros “the Pablo Neruda of North American poets,” Martín Espada has published almost twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist, and translator. His new collection of poems from Norton is titled Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

September 15 – Stephen Dunn, Poet




Mark Brazaitis

October 6 – Mark Brazaitis, Fiction

Mark Brazaitis is the author of seven books, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award; The ?Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose; and Julia & Rodrigo, winner of the 2012 Gival Press Novel Award. His latest book, Truth Poker: Stories, won the 2014 Autumn House Press Fiction Competition. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and technical trainer, he is a professor of English and the director of the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop at West Virginia University.


March 2 - Annual Behrend Reads Event!


Teresa Milbrodt


March 30 - Teresa Milbrodt, Fiction

Teresa Milbrodt is the author of a short story collection, Bearded Women: Stories (Chizine Publications); a novel, The Patron Saint of Unattractive People (Boxfire Press); and a flash fiction collection, Larissa Takes Flight: Stories (Pressgang). Her second novel, The Unicorn Maker, is forthcoming from Break Away Books. Milbrodt lives and writes in Columbia, Missouri, where she is earning her Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri.


April 13 - Mecca Sullivan, Fiction


April 20 - Mary Biddinger, Poet


Sweet Sorrow Reading Series

Please join us sending a goodbye with good luck to our graduating seniors as they read from their penultimate thesis projects.
Each reading will take place at 6:00 p.m. in Smith Chapel.

December 1

December 8

April 6

April 27


Previous Visiting Authors:

Previous visiting authors have recently included: Corey Zeller, Al Maginnes, John Gallaher, Wendell Mayo, Lia Purpura, Paisley Rekdal, Caitlin Horrocks, Robert Michael Pyle, Alice Friman, John Minichillo, Laura Kaschsiske, Thom Conroy, Sarah Gerkensmeyer, Heather Slomski, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Katie Ford, Michael Byers, Charles Baxter, and many more.