2017-18 VCU Visiting Writers Series Begins!

September 11, 2017

The Department of English MFA Program in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University annually invites writers to campus for public readings. The department also sponsors the Levis Reading Prize and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. In addition, we are delighted to be co-sponsoring the Humanities Research Center event featuring acclaimed author, Junot Díaz.

You can find out more about the events and the writers on our Visiting Writers page.

 Junot DíazHumanities Research Center Speaker

Junot Díaz

September 12, 2016 – 6PM
VCU Cabell Library

 Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-VanegasMark DotyMark Doty
Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

October 5, 2017 – 7PM
VCU Cabell Library

Mark Doty is the author of nine books of poems including FIRE TO FIRE: New and Selected Poems, recipient of the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008, and My Alexandria, winner of the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award and the first book by an American poet to win the T.S. Eliot Prize in the United Kingdom. 

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas graduated with both a creative nonfiction writing and a literary translation MFA from the University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown/Sever/Sing and Don’t Come Back

Jade ChangCabell First Novelist Award
Jade Chang
(The Wangs vs. The World)

November 16, 2016 – 7PM
VCU Cabell Library

 Jade Chang is the winner of the 2017 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for her novel, The Wangs vs. The World. Chang has covered arts and culture as a journalist and editor. She is the recipient of a Sundance Fellowship for Arts Journalism, the AIGA/Winterhouse Award for Design Criticism, and the James D. Houston Memorial scholarship from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. The Wangs vs. the World is her debut novel. She lives in Los Angeles.

For more information please visit the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award web site at: www.firstnovelist.vcu.edu

Headshots of Elliot, Long, Phillips and StoneMFA Alumni Spotlight Event
Roselyn Elliott
Nathan Long
Emilia Phillips
Michele Young-Stone

February 1, 2018 – 7PM
VCU Cabell Library

Roselyn Elliott is the author of four poetry chapbooks: Ghost of the Eye, Animals Usher Us to Grace, At the Center, and The Separation of Kin). 

Nathan Long lives in Philadelphia and teaches creative writing and literature at Stockton University. His fiction and essays appear in over a hundred publications, including Tin House, Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly, and Crab Orchard Review.

Emilia Phillips is the author of three poetry collections from the University of Akron Press: Signaletics, Groundspeed, and the forthcoming Empty Clip. Her poems and lyric essays appear widely in literary publications including Agni, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and elsewhere. 

Michele Young-Stone is the author of the novels Lost in the Beehive (forthcoming in April, 2018), Above Us Only Sky, and The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, which The Boston Globe called “an exceptionally rich and sure-handed debut.” She lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband and son.

 Solmaz SharifLevis Reading Prize

Solmaz Sharif

March 29, 2018 – 7PM
VCU Cabell Library

Solmaz Sharif is the winner of the 2017 Levis Reading Prize, awarded by the Department of English and its MFA in Creative Writing Program at Virginia Commonwealth University, for her poetry collection Look.

David JaussTarumoto Short Fiction PrizeTarumoto Short Fiction Prize
Winner TBA
With a reading by David Jauss

April 5, 2018 – 7PM
VCU Cabell Library

The Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize is sponsored by the family of Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto in her memory to honor her devotion to the art of writing fiction, to expand the audience for outstanding short stories, and to encourage literary excellence among writers early in their careers.