University of Mississippi


2016-2017 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


2017 Spring Readings

Amber Dermont, Monday, February 20th at 7 p.m. in the Hannah / Ford Room.  Amber Dermont is the author of the New York Times Best-Selling novel, The Starboard Sea, and the short story collection, Damage Control, both from St. Martin’s Press. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Amber received her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Her work has recently appeared in American Short Fiction, Crazyhorse, Open City, Tin House, TriQuarterly, Zoetrope: All-Story and the anthologies Best New American Voices, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Worst Years of Your Life and Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform. She is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ander Monson, Tuesday, March 21st at 7 p.m. in the Depot.  Ander Monson is the author of six books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, most recently Letter to a Future Lover (Graywolf). He directs the MFA program at the University of Arizona and edits the magazine DIAGRAM <>, the New Michigan Press, Essay Daily <>, and March Fadness <>.

Shane McCrae, Wednesday, April 12th at 7 p.m. in the Hannah / Ford Room.  Shane McCrae teaches at Oberlin College and at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing Program. His most recent books are In the Language of My Captor (Wesleyan University Press, 2017) and The Animal Too Big to Kill (Persea Books, 2015). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a fellowship from the NEA, and a Pushcart Prize.

Click HERE for our Spring 2017 Broken English Schedule.

2016 Fall Readings

*Sandra Meek on Tuesday, September 20, will be giving a poetry reading at 7 p.m. in the Hannah/Ford Room.  Sandra Meek is the author of five books of poems, Road Scatter (Persea Books, 2012) Biogeography, winner of the Dorset Prize (Tupelo 2008), Burn (2005), and Nomadic Foundations (2002), and An Ecology of Elsewhere, is forthcoming from Persea Books May 2, 2016. She is also the editor of an anthology, Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad (Ninebark 2007), which was awarded a 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal. A recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the 2015 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has twice been awarded Georgia Author of the Year, in 2006 for Burn, and in 2003 for Nomadic Foundations, which also was awarded the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry. Meek served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Manyana, Botswana, 1989-1991, where she taught English at Boswelakgosi Junior Secondary School. She is Co-founding Editor of Ninebark Press, Director of the Georgia Poetry Circuit, Poetry Editor of the Phi Kappa Phi Forum, and Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

*The Conversation Oxford, Monday, October 17th, 7pm at Shelter (1221 Van Buren Avenue).  The Conversation will be a week-long tour of 3 states:  Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. 17 writers from varying places in the spectrum of Blackness and various birth cities, come down to Oxford, Mississippi and continue with us as we move Southeast to Tuscaloosa, ending in New Orleans. This year the conversation will occur October 16th – 22nd.



Mary Swander in a performance of “Vang,” a play, 7:30 pm on October 25 at the Powerhouse.  In 2009 Governor Chet Culver appointed Mary Swander the Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa. Her most recent book of poetry is The Girls on the Roof (Turning Point/Word Tech, 2009), a Mississippi River flood narrative. Swander has worked with the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre to create an performance piece of The Girls for the stage. Swander’s memoir, The Desert Pilgrim (Viking, 2003, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.) has just been re-issued by Ice Cube Press as has memoir called Out of this World (Viking, 1995) by the U. of Iowa Press. Swander is the author of three additional books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House (Alfred Knopf, 1994), Driving the Body Back (Alfred Knopf, 1986), Succession (University of Georgia Press, 1979), as well as a book of literary interviews, Parsnips in the Snow (with Jane Staw, University of Iowa Press, 1990). Ms. Swander has won numerous awards including an Iowa Author’s Award (2006), a Whiting Award (The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, 1994), a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts (1986), two Ingram Merrill Awards (1980, 1986) , the Carl Sandburg Literary Award (The Chicago Public Library, 1981), and the Nation-Discovery Award (The Nation magazine, 1976) . Publisher’s Weekly named Parsnips in the Snow one of the best books of 1990, and the Garden Writers Association of America awarded Swander their Quill and Trowel Award for best magazine writing of 1993.

*Tyehimba Jess will be giving a poetry reading/ performance on Thursday, November 3rd, at 7 pm in Bishop 112.  Detroit native Tyehimba Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, his second collection, was published by Wave Books in April 2016. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000 – 2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island. Jess’ fiction and poetry have appeared in anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Beyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex, Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry. His poetry has appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, Brilliant Corners, Ploughshares, Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, Warpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas, Mosaic, American Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Nashville Review and 580 Split.

 Click HERE for our Fall 2016 Broken English Schedule.


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.