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.

Fall 2017 Visiting Writers

Sabrina Orah Mark

September 13, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
Mark is the author of The Babies and Tsim Tsum, and her work has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, jubilat, and more. Her 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.

Lauren Haldeman

September 29, Art Exhibit Room, 6 pm
Artist-in-Residence Lauren Haldeman is the author of Instead of Dying (winner of the 2017 Colorado Prize for Poetry), Calenday, and the artist book The Eccentricity is Zero. A comic book artist and poet, she has received the 2015 Sustainable Arts Foundation Award and fellowships from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

T. Geronimo Johnson

October 16, Art Exhibit Room, 6:30 pm
Johnson’s novels have been selected by the Wall Street Journal Book Club, included on Time Magazine’s list of the top ten books of 2015, awarded the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and much more. He has taught at Stanford, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, San Quentin, and elsewhere, and he was a 2017 National Book Award judge.
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. in Faculty Parlors, Main Building

Annie Lighthart

October 18, Art Exhibit Room, 7 pm
Annie Lighthart’s Lantern won the 2017 Wells College Press Chapbook Contest, and this reading is the official release! Her work has been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, chosen for inclusion in the Poems for Patience project at Galway University Hospitals in Ireland, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. in Faculty Parlors, Main Building

The Healing Muse

October 26, Art Exhibit Room, 6:30 pm
In celebration of their 15th issue, contributors to The Healing Muse, the annual journal of literary and visual art published by SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Center for Bioethics & Humanities, will join us at Wells.

Matt Hart

November 9, Art Exhibit Room, 6:30 pm
Matt Hart is the author of seven books of poems. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, and his awards include a Pushcart Prize, individual artist grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. Hart co-founded and edits Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety.
Public Master Class at 12:30 p.m. in Faculty Parlors, Main Building

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.


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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