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. 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
J.R. Tappenden's Independent City, winner of the 2016 wells college press chapbook contest
wells' campus
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 2017 Visiting Writers

Bruce Bennett

February 13, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
Bruce Bennett is the author of ten books of poetry and more than two dozen poetry chapbooks. His most recent collection is Just Another Day in Just Our Town, Poems: New And Selected, 2000-2016, from Orchises Press. Bruce taught at Wells College from 1973 to 2014, and is currently Professor Emeritus of English.
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Faculty Parlors, Main Building

Martha Collins and Martin Rock

March 8, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
Martha Collins is the author of Admit One: An American Scrapbook, Day Unto Day, White Papers, and Blue Front as well as four other collections of poems, three books of co-translations from the Vietnamese, and two chapbooks. She is currently editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press.

Martin Rock is the author of Residuum and the chapbooks Dear Mark and Fish, You Bird. He has taught writing at NYU and Berkeley College in Manhattan and has been on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers' Conference and University of Houston's Boldface Writers' Conference.

Stone Canoe Launch

March 22, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
A reading and discussion in celebration of the 11th issue of the journal of arts, literature, & social commentary managed by the Syracuse YMCA's Downtown Writers Center. The award-winning journal features poetry, fiction, non-fiction, & visual art.

Stephen Burt

March 27, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
Steph Burt is a poet, accomplished literary critic, and Harvard University professor with eight published books. The recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, their writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, the Boston Review, and more.
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in Faculty Parlors, Main Building

Joshua Corey

April 7, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
Joshua Corey's poetry collections have earned a Dorset Prize and Fitzpatrick-O'Dinn Award. He is the author of Beautiful Soul: An American Elegy and co-editor of The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral. Partisan of Things, his translation of the prose poems of Francis Ponge, was recently published by Kenning Editions.

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.


Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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