Kenyon Review Reading Series

All events sponsored in whole or in part by the Kenyon College English Department, GLCA New Writers Award, Ohio Arts Council, the Kenyon Review, and the KR Associates Program.

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Fall 2016

September 13th

2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellows Welcome Reading
4:10 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

HEADSHOT_Diaz, JaquiraJaquira Díaz, the Kenyon Review Fellow in Prose, holds a B.A. from the University of Central Florida and an M.F.A. from the University of South Florida and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and an NEA Fellowship to the Hambidge Center for the Arts. She’s been awarded fellowships or scholarships from The MacDowell Colony, the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her work appears in Ploughshares, the SunSouthern Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. Her story “Ghosts,” which appeared in the Kenyon Review’s Winter 2014 issue, was a Notable Story in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014 and received a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. “Ordinary Girls,” which originally appeared in The Kenyon Review, will be reprinted in The Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen. 

Little-Margaree-PhotoMargaree Little, the Kenyon Review Fellow in Poetry, received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College. Her first book, Rest, is forthcoming from Four Way Books. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Tyrone Guthrie Center, and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. She was the 2015 John Ciardi Scholar in Poetry at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a 2016 Bread Loaf Bakeless Fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. Her criticism appears in American Poetry Review and Kenyon Review Online, and her poems appear in American Poetry ReviewNew England ReviewMissouri ReviewSouthern Review, and Quarterly West, among other journals.

September 15th

Stephanie Danler
4:10 P.M., Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery

danler-stephanieStephanie Danler is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School.



September 27th

John Koethe
4:10 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

koethe-microinterview-carouselJohn Koethe’s latest book, The Swimmer, has just been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His previous books include North Point North: New and Selected (2002), Ninety-Fifth Street (2009), which received the Lenore Marshall Award, and ROTC Kills (2012).

October 12th

Writers on Writing: Wendy MacLeod
4:10 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

MacLeod-WendyWendy MacLeod’s play The House of Yes became an award-winning Miramax film starring Parker Posey, and was widely produced by many theaters including The Magic Theater in San Francisco, Soho Rep in New York, The Washington Shakespeare Company, The Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin, and The Gate Theater in London. Her other works for the stage include Sin and Schoolgirl Figure, both of which premiered at The Goodman, Juvenilia and The Water Children, both of which premiered at Playwrights Horizons, and Things Being What They Are, which premiered at Seattle Repertory Theatre, had an extended run at Steppenwolf in Chicago and was recently done at The Road Theatre in LA. She was the first writer selected for The Writer’s Room residency at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia, where she wrote Women in Jeopardy! which was selected for the original Kilroys’ List, and is now being done around the country. Her prose has appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney’s, Salon, POETRY magazine, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, she is the James E. Michael Playwright-in-Residence at Kenyon College and the Artistic Director of the Kenyon Playwrights Conference. Her newest play Slow Food was developed at the 2015 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and she is working on a commission for ACT Theater in Seattle.

October 15th

Parents Weekend Reading: Julie Barton
3:30 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

Barton-JulieJulie Barton is a writer, mother of two and animal lover who lives in Northern California. Her memoir, Dog Medicine, How My Dog Saved Me From Myself was published by Penguin Books on July 19, 2016 and is a New York Times bestseller. (The book was initially published 11/15 by Think Piece Publishing.) Barton has a B.A. in English literature from Kenyon College, an M.F.A. in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a M.A. in women’s studies from Southern Connecticut State University. Her writing has been published in Brain Child Magazine, South Carolina Review, Louisiana Literature, Two Hawks Quarterly, Westview, The Huffington Post and more. Mostly she just tries to be kind to people and animals, avoid judgement, appreciate nature and write every chance she gets.

November 4th

Literary Festival: Daniel Mark Epstein
8:00 P.M., Peirce Lounge

Epstein-DanielMarkDaniel Mark Epstein is a biographer, poet, and dramatist whose work has been widely published and performed. Born in Washington, D.C. in 1948, he was educated at Kenyon College. In the 1970s his poetry first appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and New Republic. His first volume of poems was published by Liveright in 1973. His plays appeared soon thereafter in regional theater and Off-Broadway, and in 1978 he received the Prix de Rome for his poetry and dramatic works. In the 1980s he wrote his first biography, Sister Aimee: The Life of Aimee Semple McPherson, now in its fourth printing. His biography Nat King Cole was a 1999 New York Times Notable Book, reviewed on the cover of the NYT Book Review, and his biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay was a New York Public Library Honoree, “Books to Remember” for 2001. The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, was named one of the Best Books of 2008 by both The Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Sun-Times. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1974, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984, and an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006.

November 5th

Literary Festival: Hilary Mantel
8:00 P.M., Rosse Hall

mantel-photoDame Hilary Mantel CBE is the author of fourteen books, including Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (1988); Fludd (1989), winner of the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, the Cheltenham Prize and the Southern Arts Literature Prize; A Place of Greater Safety (1992), winner of the Sunday Express Book of the Year award; A Change of Climate (1994); An Experiment in Love (1995), winner of the 1996 Hawthornden Prize; the memoir Giving Up the Ghost (2003); Beyond Black (2005), shortlisted for a 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize and for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and Wolf Hall (2009), winner of the Man Booker Prize. In 2012 she released a sequel to Wolf Hall, Bring Up The Bodies, which won the 2012 Man Booker Prize, an unprecedented achievement. She is currently at work on the third book in the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy.

Mantel studied Law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. She lived in Botswana for five years, followed by four years in Saudi Arabia, before returning to Britain in the mid-1980s. She worked as a social worker (which later inspired her novels Every Day is Mother’s Day and Vacant Possession), a sales assistant, a teacher, and a book reviewer. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for Travel Writing, and she became the film critic for The Spectator. When she wasn’t writing, she sat on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, Society of Authors, and the Advisory Committee for Public Lending Right.

She reviews widely for a range of newspapers and publications, including The Guardian and the London Review of Books. In 2006, she was awarded a CBE. She was made a Dame in 2014.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage adaptation Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two enjoyed a sell-out run in London and tremendous success in the U.S. A Wolf Hall mini-series aired around the same time on the BBC.

She lives in Devon with her husband, Gerald.

November 15th

Diane Seuss
4:10 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

SeussDiane Seuss’s most recent collection, Four-Legged Girl, was published in 2015 by Graywolf Press and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (2010) won the Juniper Prize and was published in 2010. Her first book, It Blows You Hollow, was published by New Issues Poetry and Prose. Her poetry has been published in a broad range of literary magazines, including American Poetry Review, Poetry, Iowa Review, New England Review, and The New Yorker. Her work has received a Pushcart Prize and been included in Best American Poetry. Seuss’s fourth collection, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2018. She is Writer in Residence at Kalamazoo College.

Spring 2017

February 23rd

Solmaz Sharif
4:10 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

sharif-microinterview-carouselBorn in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in New Republic, Poetry, the Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Witness and others. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Sharif’s work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from NYU and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a winter fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, an NEA fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship. She has most recently been selected to receive a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award as well as a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Sharif is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. Her first poetry collection, LOOK, was published by Graywolf Press in 2016.

March 1st

Robert Lowell 100th Birthday Celebration: Saskia Hamilton
8:00 P.M., Peirce Lounge, Peirce Hall

Saskia Hamilton is the author of three books of poetry, including Corridor, which was named one of the best poetry books of 2014 by the New Yorker and the New York Times Book Review. She is also the editor of The Letters of Robert Lowell (2005) and The Dolphin Letters: Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Hardwick and Their Circle (forthcoming 2018), and co-editor of Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008). She teaches at Barnard College.

March 22nd

Science Writing Symposium: Lauren Redniss
8:00 P.M., Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery

rednissLauren Redniss is the author of three works of visual non-fiction. Her most recent book, Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future, won the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Her previous book, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout, was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Award. She is also the author of Century Girl: 100 years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies. Her writing and drawing has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, which nominated her work for the Pulitzer Prize. She has been a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers, and Artist-in-Residence at the American Museum of Natural History. She teaches at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.

March 30th

Val Brelinski
4:10 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

brelinki-author-photo_credit-tim-brelinski-and-max-boydVal Brelinski was born and raised in Nampa, Idaho, the daughter of devout evangelical Christians. From 2003 to 2005, she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she was also a Jones Lecturer in fiction writing. She received an MFA from the University of Virginia, and her recent writing has been featured in Vogue, MORE, Salon, VQR and the Rumpus. Brelinski has received prizes for her fiction from the San Francisco Chronicle, the Charlottesville Weekly, and the Boise Weekly, and she was also a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She lives in Northern California and teaches creative writing in Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program. Her debut novel, The Girl Who Slept with God, is now available in paperback.

April 4th

Writers On Writing: Thomas Swick
4:10 P.M., Cheever Room, Finn House

swickThomas Swick grew up in New Jersey and, after receiving a B.A. in English from Villanova University, lived in France, Greece and Poland. (He speaks French and Polish.) In 1989 he became the travel editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a position he held until 2008.

Swick is the author of a travel memoir, Unquiet Days: At Home in Poland; a collection of travel stories, A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Traveler; and The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them, a book that examines the reasons and the ways people travel.

His work has appeared in a number of publications, including the American Scholar, Oxford American, Missouri Review, Southwest Review, Wilson Quarterly, Ploughshares, the Smithsonian and the Best American Travel Writing 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2014.

Swick teaches an online travel writing course as part of the MFA program of Lesley University. He lives with his wife Hania in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

April 12th

Science Writing Symposium: Lauret Savoy
7:00 P.M., Hayes 109, Hayes Hall

savoyLauret Edith Savoy’s life and work draw from her need to put the eroded world into language, to re–member fragmented pasts into present. A woman of African American, Euro-American, and Native American heritage, she explores the stories we tell of the American land’s origins—and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. For her, writing of the complex intertwinings of natural and cultural histories is a way of seeking home among the ruins and shards that surround us all. The work is as necessary as breath.

Lauret’s newest book is Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape (Counterpoint Press), which was a finalist for both the PEN American Open Book Award and Phillis Wheatley Book Award, as well as shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. She co-edited with Alison Hawthorne Deming The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World (Milkweed Editions). She also compiled and edited Bedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology (with Eldridge and Judy Moores) and co-authored Living with the Changing California Coast (with Gary Griggs and Kiki Patsch).

Lauret’s essays and other writings have appeared in the Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Huffington Post, Travel & Leisure, ArtForum, Christian Science Monitor and Orion magazine, as well as in books such as Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. She is a professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, a photographer, and pilot. Winner of Mount Holyoke’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Lauret has also held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

April 13th

Science Writing Symposium: Andrea Wulf
7:00 P.M., Higley Auditorium

wulfAndrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She lives in Britain where she trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art. She is the author of The Brother Gardeners and the co-author of This Other Eden. Her book Founding Gardeners was published to great acclaim in spring 2011. Her Chasing Venus was published in 2012 in eight countries in conjunction with the last transit of Venus in our century. And her latest book The Invention of Nature has received rave reviews and is a New York Times bestseller. She has written for the New York Times, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, the Guardian and many others.

Wulf has lectured widely to large audiences at the Royal Geographical Society and Royal Society in London, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Monticello and the New York Public Library among many others. She is a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013. She’s a member of PEN American Center.

April 27th

Poem in Your Pocket Day
7:00 P.M., Horn Gallery

KR will mark National Poetry Month with Kenyon College’s annual “Poem in Your Pocket Day” celebration on April 27th, hiding poems all over campus and offering a chance for the KR student associates to share their poems with each other. In the evening, we will host a music and poetry performance of an original song cycle composed by musician Gregory Uhlmann and featuring poems by KR’s poetry editor David Baker. Please plan to join us in the Horn Gallery at 7pm!

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