University of Mississippi


2014-2015 Visiting Writers Schedule
(* indicates part of the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series)
All events are open to public EXCEPT the Richard Ford craft classes

FALL 2014 Visiting Writers Schedule

*Jennifer Egan, Tues. Sept. 16, 7pm in Bondurant Auditorium.  Egan is the author of The Invisible Circus, which was released as a feature film by Fine Line, Emerald City and Other Stories, Look at Me, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the bestsellingThe Keep.  Her new book, A Visit from the Goon Squad, a national bestseller, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the L.A. Times Book Prize.

T Cooper, Friday Oct. 10, noon, Overby Auditorium.  Cooper is the author of four novels, including the bestselling “Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes” and “The Beaufort Diaries” (a graphic novel). His most recent book is the nonfiction “Real Man Adventures” (McSweeney’s), which Vanity Fair has called “brave and hilarious.” Cooper is also co-author of a new four-part Young Adult novel series called “Changers,” the first book of which (“Changers Book One: Drew”) was published earlier this year. Cooper was also co-editor of a politically-minded anthology of original stories called “A Fictional History of the United States With Huge Chunks Missing.” His shorter work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, O: The Oprah Magazine, One Story, Bomb, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Review, among many others. He is currently visiting professor in fiction at Emory University, and sometimes writes for television. For more info:  This event is co-sponsored with The Isom Center for Gender Studies.

Christopher Ricks, Mon. Oct. 13,  6pm in Bondurant Auditorium. British literary scholar and critic

*Phong Nguyen, Monday Oct. 20.  Nguyen’s first story collection, Memory Sickness, won the Elixir Press Fiction Award and was published in 2011. His second story collection, Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History, will be published by Queen’s Ferry Press in 2014.  Together with the poet Wayne Miller, he is an editor of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing and Reviews, and he teach fiction-writing and literature at the University of Central Missouri.

*Stephen Dunn, Wed. Oct. 29, The Depot, 7pm. Stephen Dunn (born 1939) is an American poet and educator. Dunn has written fifteen collections of poetry. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 2001 collection, Different Hours and has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his other awards are three National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Rockefeller Foundations Fellowship. A collection of essays about Dunn’s poetry was published in 2013.

*Jack Pendarvis: Adventures with Adventure Time.  Tues. Nov. 11, 7pm, Overby Auditorium.  Pendarvis, a writer for the Cartoon Network animated show Adventure Time, will show clips of episodes and discuss writing for the show.  The evening will be moderated by Bill Griffith, and is co-sponsored by Cinema and The Southern Documentary Project.

Southern Sin: True Tales of Women Behaving Badly, 5pm Wed. Nov. 19.  Overby Auditorium.  River Jordan, Elane Johnson, and Sonja Livingston, all essay contributors to the recently published anthology, join anthology editor and moderator Beth Ann Fennelly for this Sarah Isom Center for Gender Studies panel.

SPRING 2015–more info TBA:

*Keetje Kuipers, Feb. 10  Kuipers’ first collection, Beautiful in the Mouth, contains, as The Rumpus put it, “pitch-perfect poems about topics that are expected in a poetry collection, but that are crafted so well that they transcend cliché to flower into these plainly beautiful chunks of text.” Still obsessed with restlessness and isolation, Kuipers second book, The Keys to the Jail, is due out from BOA Editions in April 2014. It contains poems that examine the crimes we commit against ourselves—our acts of faithlessness, and the redemption of returning home to the self we left behind. As Kuipers herself has said, “[Poems] are beautiful, necessary attempts, the same way that standing on top of a mountain and shouting your name into the uninhabited air is an attempt—we must declare ourselves over and over again, and still never really find a way to understand how we exist.”

Wednesday, February 18th at 7 PM, Brooklyn-based writer/performer David Mills will be offering his one-man show, “David Mills:  An Evening With Langston Hughes,” at the Meek Auditorium on the campus of the University of Mississippi.  The event is free and open to the public.  At the conclusion of his one-hour presentation, Mills will break character and dialogue with the audience about Hughes’s life and times.  For more information, please contact Dr. Adam Gussow, Department of English (; 915-7333)

Tues. Feb. 24, 5pm, Off Square Books: Current MFA, Caroline Williams, and her mother, best-selling author Alice Randall, sign and read from Soul Food Love, Healthy Recipes Inspired by 100 Years of Cooking in a Black Family. This event will be sponsored by the MFA Program, the Center for Southern Culture, and the Southern Foodways Association.

Panel with Former MFAs: M.O. Walsh, Alex Taylor, and Jacob Rubin “From There to Here: 3 Recent MFAs Share their Routes to Publication.”  It is open to current MFAs/other interested parties, Friday, March 20 from 3-4pm in the Hannah-Ford Room for Writers (Bondurant c208).  After the panel, these three authors will be reading and signing their books at 5pm at Square Books – March 20th. 

Tues. March 23, 7pm, Harrison Scott Key gives a reading/craft talk on the use of humor in nonfiction in the Hannah-Ford room.  Harrison Scott Key is the author of the memoir The World’s Largest Man (HarperCollins), out in May 2015, and a humor columnist for Oxford American magazine. His nonfiction has appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, Outside, Reader’s Digest, Image, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere, and his work has been adapted for the stage and performed by Chicago’s Neo-Futurists in their show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. He teaches English and writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia, where he lives with his wife and three children.


Friday, March 27, 1:15 pm: keynote speaker for the Sarah Isom Center/Oxford Conference for the Book is David Simon. Mr. Simon is a former investigative journalist and the creator of the influential TV shows The Wire, HomicideTreme, Generation Kill and he is a MacArthur Fellow.

Richard Ford, Richard Ford craft classes for MFA students only.  Dates TBA.

Book Conference, Mar. 25-March 27

John Waters reads and talks Saturday, March 28 at the Ford Center, in conjunction with with Sarah Isom Center for Gender Studies.

Tues. March 31st, 2015, 3pm, Hannah-Ford Room a poetry reading and craft discussion by Anne-Marie Fyfe and C. L. Dallat

Anne-Marie Fyfe (b. Cushendall, Co. Antrim, Ireland) has four collections of poetry including Understudies: New and Selected Poems and a fifth collection, House of Small Absences, due from Seren Books in 2015; has won the Academi Cardiff International Poetry Prize; has run Coffee-House Poetry’s readings and workshops at London’s leading live literature venue, the Troubadour, since 1997, organises the annual Hewitt Spring Festival in the Glens of Antrim, and was chair of the UK-widePoetry Society from 2006-2009. &

C.L. Dallat, poet, musician and critic, was born in Ballycastle, County Antrim, in Ireland, and now lives in London where he has reviewed literature and the arts for the TLS and Guardian among others, and has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Review since its inception in 1998. His first poetry collection, Morning Star, was published in 1998, he won theStrokestown International Poetry Competition in 2006 and his latest collection is The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff Press, 2009).

Greg Alan Brownderville, Monday, April 27th at 7p.m. in the Hannah Ford Room for Writers (Bondurant C208)

In 2011 Greg Alan Brownderville published his first collection of poems, entitled Gust (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly), which made the Poetry Foundation’s Best-Seller List and was included among “Top Picks” by the Library Journal. In 2012 Brownderville published Deep Down in the Delta (Butler Center Books), a collection of folkloristic poems based on fieldwork he conducted in and around his home community of Pumpkin Bend, Arkansas. Deep Down also features paintings by outsider artist Billy Moore, of Memphis, Tennessee. Brownderville’s third book, a collection of poems entitled A Horse with Holes in It, will be released by LSU Press on Dave Smith’s Southern Messenger Poets series in the fall of 2016. Brownderville has been awarded prizes and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, New Millennium Writings, and the Porter Fund. Since 2012 Brownderville has been an assistant professor of English at SMU in Dallas, where he teaches creative writing, primarily poetry. He has also taught poetry workshop at Ole Miss, Hendrix College, and Lincoln University. Brownderville holds an MFA from Ole Miss.

The University of Mississippi English Department is proud to announce a reading by prize-winning poet CLAUDIA RANKINE at 7 p.m. on October 28, 2015, place TBA. 

Claudia Rankine has published several collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), a finalist for the National Book Award and the first two-category finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004); and Nothing in Nature is Private (1994), which won the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. She has coedited American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language (2002), American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics (2007), and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind  (2014). Rankine has been awarded fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation. In 2013, she was elected as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2014 she received a Lannan Literary Award. She has taught at the University of Houston, Case Western Reserve University, Barnard College, and Pomona College.

Craig Santos Perez, Tuesday, November 11, 2015.  Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is the co-founder of Ala Press, co-star of the poetry album Undercurrent (2011), and author of three collections of poetry: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008) from unincorporated territory [saina] (2010), and from unincorporated territory [guma’] (2014). He has been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize for Poetry and the winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award. He is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Creative Writing Program in the English Department at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa.

 But that’s not all!  Click HERE to check out the upcoming events from the Trobar Ric Reading Series, co-directed by two University of Mississippi MFA grads!


Madison Smartt Bell
Nick Carbo
Michael Chabon
Lucille Clifton
Billy Collins
Mark Doty
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Jeffrey Eugenides
Carolyn Forche
Richard Ford
Louise Glück
David Halberstam
Robert Hass
Terrence Hayes
Carl Hiaasen
Jane Hirshfield
Andrew Hudgins
Greg Iles
Rodney Jones
Galway Kinnell

Yusef Komunyakaa
John Lane
Philip Levine
J. D. McClatchy
W. S. Merwin
Czeslaw Milosz
Sharon Olds
Alan M. Parker
Robert Pinsky
Wyatt Prunty
Pattiann Rogers
William Jay Smith
W. D. Snodgrass
Robert Stone
Clifton Taulbert
Cecilia Woloch
and many others…

We also bring in agents and editors to conference with our students.  Thank you to Dan Conaway of The Writer's House in NYC, pictured here being interviewed by one of his writers, Megan Abbot, about how writers and agents work together.  Previous years we welcomed Lisa Gallagher of Sanford J. Greenburg and Stella Connell of the Stella Connell Agency.

We also bring in agents and editors to conference with our students. Thank you to Dan Conaway of The Writer’s House in NYC, pictured here being interviewed by one of his writers, Megan Abbot, about how writers and agents work together. Previous years we welcomed Lisa Gallagher of Sanford J. Greenburg and Stella Connell of the Stella Connell Agency.