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 2023 Speakers

Whiting Award Winner for Nonfiction

Wednesday, September 20, 7:30PM

Schrott Center for the Arts

Born in Puerto Rico, Jaquira Díaz was raised between Humacao, Fajardo, and Miami Beach. She is the author of Ordinary Girls: A Memoir, winner of a Whiting Award, a Florida Book Awards Gold Medal, a Lambda Literary Awards finalist, and a number of other literary prizes. Ordinary Girls was optioned for television and is currently in development at FX with Díaz as Co-Executive Producer.

The recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and fellowships from MacDowell, the Kenyon Review, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, VCCA, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute, Díaz has written for The Atlantic, The Guardian, Time Magazine, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and The Fader, and her stories, poems, and essays have been anthologized in The Best American Essays, The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, Best American Experimental Writing, and The Pushcart Prize anthology. In 2022, she held the Mina Hohenberg Darden Chair in Creative Writing at Old Dominion University’s MFA program and a Pabst Endowed Chair for Master Writers at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and Randolph College’s low-residency MFA program. Díaz’s debut novel, I Am Deliberate, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books. She splits her time between Las Vegas and Colorado with her spouse, the writer Lars Horn.

Award-Winning Poet and Former Poetry Editor of The New York Times Magazine

Monday, October 2, 7:30PM

Shelton Auditorium

Poet, translator, professor and editor Matthew Zapruder is the author of the poetry collections, Father’s Day (Copper Canyon, 2019), Sun Bear (Copper Canyon, 2014), Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon, 2010), The Pajamaist (Copper Canyon, 2006), and American Linden (Tupelo Books, 2002). He is also the author of Why Poetry (Ecco, 2017), an impassioned call for a return to reading poetry, which the New York Times Book Review called “a roaring success.” Zapruder collaborated with painter Chris Uphues on For You in Full Bloom (Pilot Books, 2009) and cotranslated, with historian Radu Ioanid, Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu’s last collection, Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems (Coffee House Press, 2008). His next book is Story of a Poem, coming from Unnamed Press in April 2023.

Zapruder’s poems have been included in the anthologies Best American Poetry (2017, 2013, 2009), Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll (2007), and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (2006), as well as Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook (2010). His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including Tin House, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Boston Review, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Real Simple, and The Los Angeles Times.

Zapruder is cofounder of Verse Press, which later became Wave Books in 2005. From 2016-17 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine.

Zapruder’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the May Sarton Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has taught writing at various universities around the country and is currently an associate professor in the Saint Mary’s College of California MFA Program in Creative Writing.

National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Award and Winner of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction

Wednesday, October 25, 7:30PM

Schrott Center for the Arts

Dantiel Moniz is the recipient of a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Award, a Pushcart Prize, a MacDowell Fellowship, the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, and a “Writer to Watch” by Publishers Weekly. Her debut collection, Milk Blood Heat, is the winner of a Florida Book Award, and was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award, the PEN/ Robert W. Bingham Prize, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, as well as longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Milk Blood Heat was hailed as “must-read” by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Elle, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others.

Her writing has appeared in the Paris Review, Harper’s Bazaar, American Short Fiction, Tin House, Ploughsahres, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. Moniz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches fiction.

Moniz grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and received her BA in English from Florida State University and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

National Book Award Finalist and Recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships

Wednesday, November 1, 7:30PM

Shelton Auditorium

Lauren Redniss is the author of several works of visual non-fiction and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” Her book Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future won the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her writing and drawing has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times which called her 2020 book, Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West, “brilliant” and “virtuosic” and nominated her work for the Pulitzer Prize. She has been a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers, the New America Foundation, and Artist-in-Residence at the American Museum of Natural History.

Redniss graduated from Brown University and later earned her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts. She teaches at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Pulitzer Prize Finalist and National Book Award Finalist for Fiction

Tuesday, November 28, 7:30PM

Shelton Auditorium

A finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize, Lydia Millet has written more than a dozen award-winning and bestselling novels and story collections. Millet’s books often deal with the ties between people and other animals, the crisis of extinction, and climate change. Her 2020 novel A Children’s Bible was a finalist for the National Book Award and named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review. Her novel Magnificence was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the L.A. Times Book Prize. Along with her writing for adults, she’s penned several middle-grade and YA novels that made multiple “Best Of” lists. The Dissenters is an eco-fantasy series. Pills and Starships is set in “a dystopic future brought about by global warming.” Lydia Millet has worked at the Center for Biological Diversity since 1999.

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 or Schrott Center for the Arts, both of which are located on Butler University’s campus. Shelton Auditorium is located at 1000 West 42nd St. on Butler University’s South Campus. This location offers free on-site surface parking in the lots off Haughey Street and West 42nd Street.