Information about all of our past Distinguished Writers Events, organized by month, can be found in our online archiveAll readings will take place in the drawing room of the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities and are free and open to the public.

Distinguished Writers Series: Dorianne Laux and Kevin Young

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 4:30PM

Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Green Hall/Free and Open to the Public

Dorianne Laux’s fifth collection, The Book of Men was the winner of The Paterson Prize.. Her fourth book of poems, Facts about the Moon won The Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry (finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award) and Smoke, as well as The Book of Women, and Dark Charms.  Co-author of The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry, she’s the recipient of three Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She directs the Program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty of Pacific University's Low Residency MFA Program.

Kevin Young is the author of Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad RebelsDear DarknessFor the Confederate DeadBook of Hours and the film noir in verse Black Maria. Young was a 1993 Nation Poetry Series winner for Most Way Home, a finalist for the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets for To Repel Ghosts: Five Sides in B Minor, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Jelly Roll: A Blues. Young is also the author of a non-fiction book, The Grey Album, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the 2013 PEN Open Book Award. He is the editor of several collections, most recently The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010 and The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink. Young is currently Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English, and curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University.



Distinguished Writers Series: Ha Jin

Monday, March 30, 2015, 4:30PM

Newhouse Center, Green Hall/Free and Open to the Public

Born in China in 1956, Pulitzer nominated author Ha Jin was a teenager when China entered the Cultural Revolution. He became a member of the People’s Liberation Army at the age of fourteen. His novel Waiting, which won him the National Book Award in 1999, and the PEN/ Faulkner in 2000, was based on his experiences during his five-year service in the Red Army. He was awarded the PEN/ Faulkner again in 2005 for War Trash.  His latest book, A Map of Betrayal, was published in 2014.



Distinguished Writers Series: Salar Abdoh and Gina Nahai

Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 4:30PM

Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Green Hall/Free and Open to the Public

Salar Abdoh was born in Iran, and splits his time between Tehran and New York City, where he is codirector of the Creative Writing MFA Program at the City College of New York. He is the author of The Poet Game and Opium. His essays and short stories have appeared in various publications, including the New York Times, BOMB, Callaloo, Guernica, and on the BBC. He is the recipient of the NYFA Prize and the National Endowment for the Arts award. He is the editor of Tehran Noir and the author of Tehran at Twilight, his latest novel.


Gina B. Nahai is a best-selling author, and a professor of Creative Writing atUSC. Her novels have been translated into eighteen languages, and have been selected as “One of the Best Books of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.  Nahai’s books include Cry of the Peacock (1992), Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith (1999), Sunday’s Silence (2001) and Caspian Rain (2007),. Her new novel, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S., was published by Akashic Books in October, 2014.