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: Fall 2020

Kiki Petrosino

Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

An acclaimed poet, Kiki came to campus back in 2015 and created a whole generation of fans with her gorgeously lush language, her brilliant insights into race and identity, and her love of Star Trek. Her new book is entitled White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia, and it explores her genealogical and intellectual roots in Virginia while also examining the complex legacies of slavery and discrimination. It's simply breathtaking.


Monday, Oct. 5, 2020
Bob Proehl is the author of The Nobody PeopleThe Somebody People and A Hundred Thousand Worlds, a Booklist best book of the year. He has worked as a bookseller and programming director for Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, New York; a DJ; a record store owner; and a bartender. He was a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction and a resident at the Saltonstall Arts Colony. His work has appeared on Salon, as part of the 33⅓ book series, and in American Short Fiction

Meredith Talusan

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020
MASTER CLASS: "Fiction in Memoir, Memoir in Fiction”—5:00 p.m. 
Meredith Talusan is the author of Fairest (Viking Press), a widely praised memoir which was excerpted in the New York Times and selected as a most anticipated book of 2020 by O: The Oprah Magazine. Meredith is founding executive editor of them., Condé Nast’s first-ever platform devoted to the queer community. An award-winning journalist and author, Meredith has written for the Guardian, New York Times, the Atlantic, VICE, Wired, and the Nation. Meredith grew up a boy in the Philippines, moved to California at 15, and medically transitioned in her 20s. She embraces a gender-nonbinary identity and considers herself an intersectional journalist.

Joshua Harmon and Andrew Zawacki

Monday, Oct. 19, 2020
Two acclaimed poets will read from their new collections. Joshua Harmon is the author of three books of poetry—The Soft Path, Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie, and Scape—and three books of prose. Andrew Zawacki is a former Rhodes Scholar and Fulbright Scholar and the author of five poetry books—Unsun: f/11; Videotape; Petals of Zero Petals of One; Anabranch; and By Reason of Breakings—as well as several translations.  

Sarah Pinsker

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020
Sarah Pinsker's debut novel, A Song for a New Day (Berkley), won the 2019 Nebula for Best Novel while her story, "Our Lady of the Open Road," won the 2016 Nebula award for Best Novelette. Her fiction has also won the Philip K. Dick Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and been a finalist for the Hugo, World Fantasy and Tiptree Awards. Her stories have been published in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, and Uncanny, and in numerous anthologies and year's bests.


Previous Seasons


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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