Visiting Writers Series

The Wells College Visiting Writers Series was established in 1973.
Under the auspices of the series, Wells College presents three to five events each semester featuring authors who have distinguished themselves in poetry, fiction and/or nonfiction. 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, and the public is welcome to join us.
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.

Ashley Woodfolk holds a master class with Wells students in fall 2019
Cassie Donish gives a public reading, fall 2019
visiting writer in the art exhibit room
handmade prints of poems
view of wells campus from the sky
dan rosenberg reading in faculty parlors

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, and their works regularly appear on "best of the year" lists by the New York Times, National Public Radio and other prestigious media outlets. One visiting author (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 or Stone Canoe, or 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.

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The Visiting Writers Series 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 the College's alumnae, alumni and other friends and supporters.

Visiting Writers Series: Spring 2022

The Wells College English Department is thrilled to welcome these writers to campus virtually and in person. Masks and adherence to all College public health guidelines are required for in-person events. Visit for more details.

Madeline ffitch

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022
MASTER CLASS: "Snakes, Styrofoam, and Sugar Maples: Writing Our Environment"—5:00 p.m., Faculty Parlors, Main Building
READING—7:30 p.m., Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall
Madeline ffitch writes and organizes in Appalachian Ohio. She was a founding member of the punk theater company, the Missoula Oblongata, and is the author of the story collection, Valparaiso, Round the Horn. Madeline has been awarded residencies at Yaddo and at the MacDowell Colony. She is also the author of the novel Stay and Fight from Farrar, Straus and Giroux—a finalist for the PEN Hemingway Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Washington State Book Award. This event is co-sponsored with the Wells College Center for Sustainability and the Environment.

G'Ra Asim

Thursday, March 10, 2022
MASTER CLASS—5:00 p.m., Faculty Parlors, Main Building
READING7:30 p.m., Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall
G’Ra Asim, a writer and musician, is an assistant professor of creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis. His nonfiction debut, Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother, was released in May 2021 via Beacon Press. He has served as a writing director at the African American Policy Forum and a graduate teaching fellow in Columbia University’s Undergraduate Writing Program. His work has appeared in Slate, Salon, Guernica, the Baffler, and the New Republic. When not writing prose or teaching, he sings, plays bass, and writes lyrics for DIY pop punk quintet, babygotbacktalk.

Ryka Aoki

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
VIRTUAL MASTER CLASS5:00 p.m. Zoom (click here for Zoom link)
VIRTUAL READING7:30pm, Zoom (click here for Zoom link)
Ryka Aoki (she/her) is a poet, composer, teacher, and novelist whose books include Light from Uncommon Stars, He Mele a Hilo and two Lambda Award finalists, Seasonal Velocities and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. Ryka’s work has appeared or been recognized in publications including Vogue, Elle, Bustle, Autostraddle, PopSugar, and Buzzfeed. Her poetry was featured at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and she was honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” This event is co-sponsored with the program in Women's, Transgender, and Queer Studies. 

Jaswinder Bolina

Thursday, April 28, 2022
MASTER CLASS: “The Personal Political”—5:00 p.m., Faculty Parlors, Main Building
READING7:30 p.m., Art Exhibit Room, Macmillan Hall
Jaswinder Bolina is the author of three collections of poetry—Carrier Wave, Phantom Camera, and The 44th of July, which was long-listed for the 2019 PEN America Open Book Award and a finalist for the 2019 Big Other Book Award. He has also published a collection of essays, Of Color, with McSweeney’s. His individual poems and essays have appeared in the Best American Poetry series, the Norton Reader, on the Poetry Foundation website, and have been featured in many other literary journals and anthologies. He is on the faculty of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at the University of Miami.

Previous Seasons


FALL 2020 (PDF)


FALL 2019 (PDF)


Fall 2018 Season (PDF)

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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