Delbrook Visiting Writers Series

Butler University | Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series

For 30 years, the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series has regularly hosted public readings and Q&A sessions with some of the most influential people in contemporary literature. Visiting authors such as Toni Morrison, Billy Collins, Kurt Vonnegut, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Atwood, Allen Ginsberg, Sharon Olds, Amy Tan, and Colson Whitehead not only share their work with the Indianapolis community but also interact directly with undergraduate and graduate students in Butler’s English classes and MFA program.

Butler offers a 300-level English course that features the work of authors in the Visiting Writers Series. Students taking this class are invited to join English faculty in a private dinner with each writer when they visit campus, and have the opportunity to formally introduce the writers at their public readings.

The Visiting Writers Program is coordinated by the Department of English and offers 10–12 events each year, all of which are free and open to Butler students, faculty, and staff as well as the Indianapolis community, making the Butler University Visiting Writers Series one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country.

Fall 2022 Speakers

Maurice Broaddus

Award Winning Writer, Editor, and Afrofuturist at Kheprw Institute

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 7:30PM

Shelton Auditorium

An accidental teacher (at the Oaks Academy Middle School), an accidental librarian (the School Library Manager which is part of the IndyPL Shared System), and a purposeful community organizer (resident Afrofuturist at the Kheprw Institute), Maurice Broaddus’ work has appeared in such places as Magazine of F&SF, Lightspeed Magazine, Black Panther: Tales from Wakanda, Weird Tales, and Uncanny Magazine, with some of his stories having been collected in The Voices of Martyrs. His novels include the science fiction novel, Sweep of Stars, the steampunk novel, Pimp My Airship and Buffalo Soldier; and the middle grade detective novel series, Unfadeable and The Usual Suspects. He’s an editor at Apex Magazine. His gaming work includes writing for the Marvel Super-Heroes, Leverage, and Firefly role-playing games as well as working as a consultant on Watch Dogs 2. Learn more about him at

Kaveh Akbar
Pushcart Prize Winning Poet and Levis Reading Prize Winner
Paige Lewis
Author of Space Struck and Curator of Ours Poetica YouTube Series

Monday, October 3, 2022, 7:30PM

Schrott Auditorium

Kaveh AkbarKaveh Akbar’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, The New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the author of two books of poetry—Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf 2021) and Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James 2017). He is also the author of a chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry, 2017). The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the Levis Reading Prize, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, Akbar is the founding editor of Divedapper, a home for interviews with major voices in contemporary poetry. Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson. Currently he serves as the Poetry Editor for The Nation.

Paige LewisPaige Lewis is the author of Space Struck (Sarabande Books, 2019). Their poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, the Georgia Review, and elsewhere. Lewis is the curator of the YouTube series Ours Poetica. They currently teach at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA program at Randolph college.

Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize Recipient and Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry Winner

Wednesday, November 2, 2022, 7:30PM

Shelton Auditorium

Alice NotleyAlice Notley is the author of over 40 books, numerous essays, and talks on poetry, and she has edited and co-edited books. She edited the magazine CHICAGO in the 70s and was co-editor of the magazines SCARLET and Gare du Nord in the 90s. She is the recipient of various prizes and awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Award (for Mysteries of Small Houses, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), the Griffin Prize (for Disobedience), the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize (for Grave of Light, Selected Poems 1970-2005), and the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Prize, a lifetime achievement award. She is also a collagist and cover artist. Her most recent books are For the Ride and Eurynome’s Sandals. Forthcoming from Archway Editions is an artbook called Runes and Chords. Notley has been living in Paris, France for the past 30 years.

Viet Thanh NguyenPulitzer Prize Winning Novelist and MacArthur Genius Fellow

Wednesday, November 9, 2022, 7:30PM

Shelton Auditorium

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s remarkable debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize and made the finalist list for the PEN/Faulkner award. The Committed, the long-awaited follow-up to The Sympathizer, was published in 2021 and has been called “a masterwork” and “revelatory.” Viet’s book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War was a finalist for the National Book Award. His collection of short stories, The Refugees, explores questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. In 2018, Viet called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee.

Viet was the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. The MacArthur foundation noted that Viet’s work “not only offers insight into the experiences of refugees past and present, but also poses profound questions about how we might more accurately and conscientiously portray victims and adversaries of other wars.” Along with teaching at the University of Southern California, he works as a cultural critic-at-large for The Los Angeles Times. Viet lives in LA with his wife and two children.

Jo Ann Beard

Essayist and Creative Nonfiction Writer; Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient

Thursday, December 1, 2022, 7:30PM

Shelton Auditorium

Jo Ann Beard is the author of two collections, Festival Days and The Boys of my Youth, and a novel, In Zanesville.  She is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation.  She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

The Visiting Writers Series appreciates the generous support of the Vivian S. Delbrook Fund and the NEH Ayres Fund.

To make special arrangements for school groups, book clubs, and community organizations, call 317-940-9861.

All Visiting Writers Series events take place in Shelton Auditorium, located at 1000 West 42nd Street on Butler University’s South Campus. All events are free with free on-site surface parking available in the lots off Haughey Street and West 42nd Street.