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Visiting Writers Series

The Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series regularly hosts public readings and Q & A sessions with some of the most influential people in contemporary literature. During their time at Butler Univesrity, visiting authors such as Toni Morrison, Billy Collins, Kurt Vonnegut, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Atwood, Allen Ginsberg, Amy Tan, and Colson Whitehed 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 given for each writer when they visit the 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 as well as the Indianapolis community, making the Butler University Visiting Writers Series one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country.

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

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

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For accessibility information or to request disability-related accommodations, please visit www.butler.edu/event-accommodations/.

 

Spring 2018 Schedule

Author/cartoonist Lynda Barry and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Glück will be among the speakers this spring in Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

The series begins February 1 with poet/novelist Kazim Ali and continues with novelist Ali Eteraz (February 15), Barry (March 1), poet Danez Smith (March 22), novelist/biographer Edmund White (April 3), and Glück (April 18).

All events begin at 7:30 PM and all are free and open to the public without tickets. The locations of each event are below.

For more information, call 317-940-9861

 

 

Kazim Ali

Kazim Ali 
Thursday, February 1, 7:30 PM
Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall

Kazim Ali’s books include several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include The Secret Room: A String Quartet, and among his books of essays is Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice.
Ali is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College. His new book of poems, Inquisition, and a new hybrid memoir, Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies, are scheduled for release in 2018.

 

 

 

Ali EterazAli Eteraz 
Thursday, February 15, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Ali Eteraz is the author of the debut novel Native Believer, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice selection. He also is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Children of Dust, which was selected as a New Statesman Book of the Year, won the Nautilus Book Award Gold, and was featured on PBS with Tavis Smiley, NPR with Terry Gross, C-SPAN2, and numerous international outlets. O, The Oprah Magazine, called it “a picaresque journey” and the book was long-listed for the Asian American Writers Workshop Award.

Previously, he wrote the short story collection Falsipedies and Fibsiennes. Other short stories have appeared in The Adirondack Review, storySouth, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Forge Journal.

Eteraz is an accomplished essayist and has been spotlighted by Time Magazine and Pageturner, the literary blog of The New Yorker

 

 

 

Lynda BarryLynda Barry
Thursday, March 1, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Lynda Barry is the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. In 1979 while pursuing a career as a painter, she began drawing a weekly comic strip that incorporated stories considered to be incompatible with comics at the time: stories, as Barry puts it, “that had a lot of trouble in them.” Widely credited with expanding the literary, thematic, and emotional range of American comics, Barry’s ground-breaking weekly strip, Ernie Pook's Comeek, ran for 30 years. Her graphic novel, What It Is, won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work, and in 2016 she was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame. 

Barry has authored seventeen books, worked as a commentator for NPR, and had a regular monthly feature in Esquire, Mother Jones Magazine, and Mademoiselle, and on Salon.com. She created an album-length spoken word collection of stories called, The Lynda Barry Experience, and was a frequent guest on the Late Show with David Letterman.

She also adapted her novel The Good Times Are Killing Me into a long-running off-Broadway play. In 2008, her book One! Hundred! Demons! was required reading for all incoming freshmen at Stanford University. Her novel Cruddy has been translated into French, Italian, German, Catalan, and Hebrew. She is currently at work on an illustrated novel called Mr. Birdis and a documentary in comic book form about industrial scale wind farms in Wisconsin.

 

Danez SmithDanez Smith
Thursday, March 22, 7:30 PM
Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall

Danez Smith is the author of Don't Call Us Dead (2017, Graywolf Press), finalist for the National Book Award in poetry; [insert] Boy (2014, Yes Yes Books), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and the chapbook Black Movie (2015, Button Poetry). Their work has been featured widely on platforms such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Kinfolks, as well as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Buzzfeed.

Smith is a two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, three-time Rustbelt Poetry Slam Champion, and a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective.

Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Foundation and is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow.

 

Edmund White
Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Edmund White is America’s preeminent gay writer. In biography, social history, travel writing, journalism, the short story, and the novel, this prolific and versatile author has chronicled the gay experience in the United States from the closeted 1950s through the AIDS crisis and beyond.

His first novel, Forgetting Elena, published in 1973, is the story of an amnesia victim, set at a stylish resort reminiscent of Fire Island. With the classic coming-of-age tale A Boy’s Own Story, White cemented a place for himself—and for gay fiction—in the cultural consciousness. His celebrated fiction also includes Nocturnes for the King of NaplesCaracoleThe Beautiful Room Is Empty (winner of the 1988 Lambda Literary Award), The Farewell SymphonyThe Married ManFanny: A Fiction, Hotel de Dream, and Jack Holmes and His Friend. His latest is Our Young Man.

White has been involved in the gay rights movement since the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969 and has acted as one of its canniest observers. His pioneering The Joy of Gay Sex: An Intimate Guide for Gay Men to the Pleasures of a Gay Lifestyle was published in 1977 and served as a national coming-out announcement for the entire gay community.

White has also made his mark as a highly accomplished biographer. Genet: A Biography is recognized as a definitive work on writer and playwright Jean Genet, and in 1993 it won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award. He also authored the well-received Marcel Proust and Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel. His memoir Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris recounts the fifteen years he spent living there—one of the most productive and creative phases in his career.

White is a regular contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, and Vanity Fair, and is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

 

Louise GluckLouise Glück 
Wednesday, April 18, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Louise Glück is the author of twelve books of poetry and served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2003-2004. In 1993 Glück won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection The Wild Iris. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations and from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other honors include the Academy of American Poets Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, the Bobbitt National Poetry Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her most recent book of poems Faithful and Virtuous Night received the 2014 National Book Award. Her book of essays Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry (1994) was awarded the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction, and her book Vita Nova (2001) won the first New Yorker Readers Award. In 2001 Yale University recognized her lifetime achievement by awarding her its Bollingen Prize for Poetry.  Glück is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and currently serves as the Rosenkranz Writer in Residence in the Department of English at Yale University.