2022–2023 VCU Visiting Writers Series

Devon Walker-Figueroa author photo2022 Levis Reading Prize
Devon Walker-Figueroa
(Philomath)

September 30, 2022 – 7PM
Hosted at VCU Cabell Library Third Floor Lecture Hall (will also be made available via Zoom)

Devon Walker-Figueroa is the winner of the 2022 Levis Reading Prize for her poetry collection Philomath.

The prize is awarded annually for the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year and chosen by the MFA in Creative Writing program at Virginia Commonwealth University. The prize honors the memory of poet Larry Levis, who was a VCU faculty member at the time of his death in 1996. Walker-Figueroa will receive an award of $5,000 and will give a reading from her work at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2022 in the James Branch Cabell Library on the VCU campus, scheduled as a hybrid event held both in person and available online.

Philomath, Walker-Figueroa’s debut full-length poetry collection, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2021 and was selected by Sally Keith for the 2020 National Poetry Series. Philomath also was shortlisted for the National Book Critic Circle’s 2021 John Leonard Prize for Best First Book. Walker-Figueroa’s writing has also appeared in The Nation, POETRY, the American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere. She is a 2022-2023 Amy Lowell Traveling Scholar and the recipient of the New England Review’s 2018 Emerging Writer Award, the 2021 Poetry Society of America’s Lucille Medwick Award, and several notable scholarships. Walker-Figueroa received her education from Cornell University, Bennington College, the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and New York University, where she was the Jill Davis Fellow in fiction.

The Levis Reading Prize is presented on behalf of VCU's M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in partnership with the James Branch Cabell Library Associates and VCU Libraries. Additional sponsors are the VCU Department of English, Barnes & Noble @ VCU and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, and the family of Larry Levis.

The event is free and open to all.  Advance registration required.

 


Elissa Washuta

Elissa Washuta
(White Magic)

October 17, 2022 – 7PM
VWS Virtual Event hosted VCU Cabell Library

Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. She is the author of White Magic, My Body Is a Book of Rules, and Starvation Mode. With Theresa Warburton, she is co-editor of the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. She’s a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient, a Creative Capital awardee, and an assistant professor of creative writing at the Ohio State University.

This virtual reading is free and open to all.  Advance registration required.

 


Dawnie Walton author photo2022 Cabell First Novelist Award
Dawnie Walton
(The Final Revival of Opal & Nev)

November 10, 2022 – 7PM
Hosted at VCU Cabell Library Third Floor Lecture Hall (will also be made available via Zoom)

Dawnie Walton, and her debut novel, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, is the winner of the 2022 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.  Walton’s work explores identity, place, and the influence of pop culture. Formerly an editor at Essence and Entertainment Weekly, she has received fellowships from MacDowell and Tin House, and holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

The Cabell First Novelist Award is presented on behalf of VCU's M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in partnership with the James Branch Cabell Library Associates and VCU Libraries. Additional sponsors are the VCU Department of English, Barnes & Noble @ VCU and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

For more information please visit the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award web site at:

www.firstnovelist.vcu.edu

The event is free and open to all.  Advance registration required.

 


author photo

Humanities Research Center

Diane Wilson
(The Seed Keeper)

Hosted by the VCU Humanities Research Center
November 17, 2022 – 6PM
Hybrid Event hosted VCU Cabell Library

Diane Wilson (Dakota) is a writer, speaker, and educator, who has published two award-winning books, a middle-grade biography, as well as essays in numerous publications. Her new novel, The Seed Keeper, was released by Milkweed Editions.  Her other books include Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past and Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life. Wilson is the former Executive Director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a national coalition of tribes and organizations working to create sovereign food systems for Native people. She is a Mdewakanton descendent, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation

The event is free and open to all.

 


 

More information on the VCU Visiting Writers Series schedule for Spring 2023 is forthcoming!

 


Previous VCU Visiting Writers

Dorothy Allison • Jimmy Santiago Baca • Richard Bausch • Bruce Beasley • Aimee Bender • Charles Bernstein • John Bresland • Linda Bierds • Robert Olen Butler • Ron Carlson • John Casey • Jade Chang • Victoria Chang • Leila Chatti • Kelly Cherry • Joan Connor • Rebecca Curtis • Dennis Danvers • Samuel R. Delany • Junot Díaz • Mark Doty • Camille Dungy • Stephen Dunn • Stuart Dybek • John Englehardt •  Angela Flournoy • Nick Flynn • Ru Freeman • Mary Gaitskill • Amina Gautier • Beckian Fritz Goldberg • Linda Gregerson • Jennifer Grotz • Elizabeth Hand • Ron Hansen • Terrance Hayes • Fanny Howe • Barbara Hurd • Richard Jackson • Allison Joseph • Alison Kennedy • Ilya Kaminsky •  Yusef Komunyaaka • Raven Lailani • Nick Lantz • Katherine Larson • Rickey Laurentiis • Dana Levin • Philip Levine • Kelly Link • Bret Lott • Thomas Lux • Elizabeth McCracken • Erin McGraw • Ling Ma • Thomas Mallon • Khaled Mattawa • Dinty Moore • Melinda Moustakis • Emily Nemens • Craig Nova • Larry Palmer •  Kiki Petrosino •  Stanley Plumly • Lia Purpura • Roger Reeves • Paisley Rekdal • Sheri Reynolds • David Rivard • Shawna Kay Rodenberg • Mary Ruefle • George Saunders • Christine Schutt • Rion Amilcar Scott • Alan Shapiro • Solmaz Sharif • Tom Sleigh • Karen Solie • Gerald Stern • Darin Strauss • Jean Thompson • Natasha Trethewey • Ellen Bryant Voigt • Helene Wecker • Colson Whitehead • CK Williams • Charles Wright • Jenny Xie • Dean Young • Michele Young-Stone • Matthew Zapruder

All events are free and open to the public. The series is presented on behalf of VCU's M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in partnership with the James Branch Cabell Library Associates and VCU Libraries. Additional sponsors are the VCU Department of English, Barnes & Noble @ VCU and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

In addition, the Graduate Writers Association sponsors The Moveable Feast, a series of readings given by MFA students. Each spring the series features thesis readings by students in their final year in the program.