Visiting Writers Series

The Wells College Visiting Writers Series was established in 1973.
Under the auspices of the Series, which is supported by Wells College, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Virginia Kent Cummins Fund (for poets), the Mildred Walker Fund (for fiction writers), and gifts from friends and alumnae, the college presents four to five events each semester featuring authors who have distinguished themselves in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama. These writers not only give public readings of their work; they also conduct writing workshops, participate in classes and discussions, and often hold individual conferences with interested student writers. Every poet's visit is commemorated with a hand-printed, limited-edition broadside, printed by Wells College Press. All Visiting Writers Series events are free to attend.
Contact Us

If you have questions about these events, please contact Daniel Rosenberg, Ph.D., head of the Visiting Writers Series at Wells College.

See Our Past Visiting Writers

Readings by Sung J. Woo  •  JR Tappenden  •  Adam Clay  •  Jessica Cuello  •  Jerry Mirskin  •  Martha Collins  •  Martin Rock  •  Steph Burt  •  Contributors and Editors for Journals The Healing Muse and Stone Canoe

The Visiting Writers Series is supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

visiting writer in the art exhibit room
handmade prints of poems
view of wells campus from the sky
visiting writer with lectern and microphone
dan rosenberg reading in faculty parlors
summer view of smith hall and main building

Among the hundreds of writers Wells has hosted over the years, many have been top figures in their field who have won such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. One (the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky) was even a Nobel Prize winner. Yet, the Visiting Writers Series selects only those writers who can bring something special to the close-knit Wells community, which has had its continuously growing share of ambitious and committed undergraduate writers.

Visiting writers are frequently editors and publishers, or are involved in graduate writing programs, and all have wide publishing experience, so they can help students learn about practical matters relating to the literary scene and publishing in addition to providing hands-on advice and criticism. Sometimes there are group readings by editors and writers representing journals, such as THE HEALING MUSE and STONE CANOE, and by publishers, such as Michael Czarnecki of FootHills Publishing, enabling students to gain exposure to the vital work being done all over the country by small presses and literary magazines.

Spring 2018 Visiting Writers

Amy Butcher

February 20, Art Exhibit Room, 6:30 pm
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. February 21 in Faculty Parlors, Main Building
Butcher is an award-winning essayist and author of a memoir, Visiting Hours. Her work has been recognized by the Solas Awards, Best American Essays series, and earned an Iowa Review Award. Her essays have appeared in Harper’s, NY Times, The Washington Post, and more.

Sabrina Orah Mark

March 19, Art Exhibit Room, 6:30 pm
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. March 20 in Faculty Parlors, Main Building
Mark is the author of the poetry collections The Babies and Tsim Tsum. Mark’s awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award. Her writing has appeared in Tin House (Open Bar), jubilat, B O D Y, and more.

Shira Dentz & Geoffrey Babbitt

March 30, AER, 6:30 pm
Dentz is the author of four full-length books and two chapbooks. Her writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, New American Writing, NPR, and more. She teaches at RPI and is special features editor at Tarpaulin Sky.
Babbitt is the author of Appendices Pulled from a Study on Light. His poems and essays have appeared in North American Review, Pleiades, Colorado Review, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. He teaches at HWS Colleges, where he coedits Seneca Review.

Jenny Gropp

April 4, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. April 4 in Faculty Parlors, Main Building
Gropp is the author of The Hominine Egg, and her poetry and prose appears in or is forthcoming from Fence, Denver Quarterly, Best New Poets, Seattle Review, and DIAGRAM, among others. The former editor of Black Warrior Review, Gropp is now managing editor of the Georgia Review and a freelance editor for W.W. Norton & Co.

Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology Reading

April 9, Art Exhibit Room, 6:30 pm
Ghost Fishing presents a rich terrain of contemporary environmental poetry with roots in many cultural traditions. This reading features anthology editor Melissa Tuckey and contributor Mukoma Wa Ngugi. Co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability and the Environment.

Cole Swensen

April 20, Art Exhibit Room, 6:30 pm
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. April 20 in Faculty Parlors, Main Building
Swensen is the author of 17 volumes of poetry and one of critical essays. She has won the Iowa Poetry Prize, The San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, and the National Poetry Series. A translator of contemporary French poetry, creative non-fiction, and art criticism, she has published over 20 translated volumes.

Spring 2017 Season (PDF)

Fall 2016 Season (PDF)

Spring 2016 Season (PDF)

Fall 2015 Season (PDF)

Visiting Writers Series Broadsides

For each visiting writer, the Book Arts Center and Press collaborates with Wells' English department to prepare a handmade broadside of the writer's work. View previous broadsides available for purchase here.


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