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. During their time at Butler University, 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. Towards this end, 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.
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 events start at 7:30 PM and are free and open to the public without tickets.
We will continue to closely monitor the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Please continue to check back here or on our Facebook page for specific event information.
Spring 2022 VWS
PEN USA Literary Award and Academy of Arts & Letters Literature Award Winner
Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 7:30 PM
Percival Everett is the author of more than 30 novels and story collections, including The Trees, Telephone, So Much Blue, Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, I Am Not Sidney Poitier, and Erasure. Everett has won the Dos Passos Prize, the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, The 2010 Believer Book Award, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, a Creative Capital Award, BS the Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Born in Georgia, Everett grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. Considered an important Southern author, he has lived the majority of his life in the West. He maintains no online presence and eschews publicity and self-promotion. He holds a philosophy degree from the University of Miami, and a Master’s in Fiction from Brown University, where he wrote his first book, Suder (1983). Currently, he is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles.
Poet & Memoirist / National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Monday, February, 7, 2022, 7:30 PM
Rachel Zucker's poetry is known for its blunt, witty, and complicated takes on marriage, motherhood, familial relationships, and daily challenges. She is the author of 10 books, including most recently, SoundMachine (2019) and a double collection of poetry and prose The Pedestrians (2014). Her other poetry collections include Eating in the Underworld (2003), The Last Clear Narrative (2004), and The Bad Wife Handbook (2007). Zucker’s fourth collection Museum of Accidents (2009) was named one of the best books of poetry in 2009 by Publishers Weekly and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. A graduate of Yale and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Zucker has received numerous honors, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Zucker has also won the Salt Hill Poetry Award, the Barrow Street Poetry Prize, the Center for Book Arts Award, and Prairie Schooner’s Strousse Award.
Zucker teaches graduate and undergraduate poetry classes at New York University’s Creative Writing Program and is the founder and host of the podcast Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People). She lives in New York with her husband and three sons.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning TV Critic and Essayist
Thursday, March 3, 2022, 7:30 PM
Emily Nussbaum has been the television critic for The New Yorker since 2011. She has written about “The Good Wife,” “Girls,” “Mad Men,” and “Scandal,” among other shows. Previously, she worked at New York for seven years, editing the Culture Pages (and creating the Approval Matrix) and writing both features and criticism. She won a 2014 National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary. She has also written for Slate, The New York Times, Lingua Franca, Nerve, among other publications. In 2016 she won the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism “for television reviews written with an affection that never blunts the shrewdness of her analysis or the easy authority of her writing.”
She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Clive Thompson and her two children. She doesn't have a favorite television show, but under pressure, she'll choose "Slings and Arrows."
New York Times Best Selling Poet and Fiction Writer; Hugo Award Winner
Monday, March 28, 2022, 7:30 PM
Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of 40 works of speculative fiction and poetry, including Space Opera, The Refrigerator Monologues, Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (and the four books that followed it). She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Sturgeon, Prix Imaginales, Eugie Foster Memorial, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus, Romantic Times’ Critics Choice, and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards.
She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner / National Book Award Finalist
Monday, April 11, 2022, 7:30 PM
The poems of Ada Limón explore the large, unavoidable subjects that come with being human: death and loss, art and faith, and the strange, vulnerable miracle of existing in a body. Her writing is precise in its attention to the details of our everyday, intimate, private lives while at the same time being conscious of broader political and social concerns that intersect with those lives.
Limón has published five books of poetry, most recently The Carrying, winner of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. Her other books are Lucky Wreck (2006), This Big Fake World (2006), Sharks in the Rivers (2010), and Bright Dead Things (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her new book of poetry, The Hurting Kind, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in May 2022.
Limón grew up in Sonoma, California, and now lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where she writes, teaches remotely, and hosts the critically-acclaimed poetry podcast, The Slowdown.
For accessibility information or to request disability-related accommodations, please visit www.butler.edu/event-accommodations/.
All Visiting Writers Series events take place in Shelton Auditorium, located at 1000 West 42nd Street on Butler University's South Campus. Free on-site surface parking is available in the lots off Haughey Street and West 42nd Street.