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Visiting Writers Series

All events are free and open to the public. Tickets are recommended in advance for Colson Whitehead, Erik Larson, and Zadie Smith.

Tickets may be obtained by calling 828.328.7206 or going to the box office in PE Monroe Auditorium on LR's campus. The Box Office opens for the 2017-2018 season on August 25, 2017.

2017-2018 VWS Series Schedule

Sept. 14 - Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead
Thursday, September 14, 2017
7 pm - 8 pm
PE Monroe Auditorium

Colson Whitehead was raised in Manhattan and attended Harvard University. After graduation he began working for Village Voice as a reviewer of books, movies, and music. His first novel, The Intuitionist, was the winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award. Whitehead is the author of Lenoir-Rhyne’s 2017-2018 Campus Read, The Underground Railroad, which was a New York Times bestseller and Time Magazine’s Book of the Year for 2016. The novel follows Cora, an escaped slave fleeing for the north with the assistance of the Underground Railroad—only in this novel, the Railroad isn’t just a system of people helping escaped slaves, but a network of hidden tracks and tunnels. CBS called the novel “Ingenious” and USA Today said it is “one of the finest novels written about our country’s still unabsolved original sin.”

Whitehead is the author of several other novels, including John Henry Days, which was the winner of the 2002 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Young Lions Fiction Award, and Sag Harbor, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also written a collection of essays about New York City entitled The Colossus of New York, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Whitehead has written for many publications, including The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and Harper’s. In his 2012 piece entitled “How to Write”, he advises writers, “Don’t go searching for a subject, let your subject find you. You can’t rush inspiration.” He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Dos Passos Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship, and has taught at many universities across the United States, including New York University, Princeton University, and Wesleyan University. He currently lives in New York City.

Sept. 28 - Amor Towles

Amor Towles
Thursday, September 28, 2017
7 pm - 8 pm
Belk Centrum
Sponsored by the Hickory Public Library

Amor Towles is a Boston native currently living in Manhattan with his family. He attended Yale College and was a Scowcroft Fellow at Stanford University, where he received his M.A. in English. In 1989, Towles published a short story cycle called “The Temptations of Pleasure” in Paris Review 112. Previously an investment professional, his 2011 debut novel, Rules of Civility, was a New York Times, LA Times, and Boston Globe Bestseller. NPR said of Towles’ style, “Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change.” The book was published in 15 languages and its French translation received the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald; the novel was also optioned in 2012 to be made into a film by Lionsgate.

His most recent book, A Gentleman in Moscow, was chosen by NPR, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune as a best book of the year for 2016. Ron Charles of The Washington Post called the novel “an endearing reminder of the graciousness of real class.” The book tells the story of Count Alexander Rostov, an aristocrat sentenced to spend the remainder of his life inside a hotel across from the Kremlin as the result of a Bolshevik tribunal. Rostov watches from his window as some of the most tumultuous years of Russian history unfold, and through his experience he discovers what it truly means to have purpose. Towles said he was inspired to write the book after he returned to a hotel in Geneva and saw some of the same people he had in previous years; he imagined a story about a man who was forced to stay in a hotel and his “mind immediately leapt to Russia—where house arrest has existed since the time of the Tsars.” He is currently working on his next novel.

Oct. 12 - Iggy McGovern

Iggy McGovern
Thursday, October 12, 2017
7 pm - 8 pm
Belk Centrum

Iggy McGovern is the author of three collections of poetry, The King of Suburbia (2005), Safe House (2010), and A Mystic Dream of 4 (2013). A review in Poetry Ireland Trumpet said of A Mystic Dream of 4 “[It] succeeds very well both as poetry and as a story of [William Rowan] Hamilton’s life. The sonnets are accomplished and the book has an impressive unity.” McGovern co-edited Science Meets Poetry 3 and edited the anthology 2012: Twenty Irish Poets Respond to Science in Twelve Lines. He holds degrees in physics from Queen’s University in Belfast and was a Professor of Physics at Trinity College Dublin until he retired in 2013; he has since been named a Fellow Emeritus in the School of Physics at Trinity. He began writing when he took a night class creative writing “to become more interesting”, and has attended several other workshops since.

McGovern has received many awards, including the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award for Poetry and the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary. McGovern has read widely on the international stage, appearing in cities such as Beijing, Philadelphia, Prague, and Berlin. He has given lectures on the common ground between Literature and Science, served as a judge (alongside Michael Schmidt) for the 2012 Strokestown International Poetry Prize, and was a 2006 Distinguished Fellow (Poetry and Physics) at La Trobe University. In 2015 he was appointed the Alexander von Humboldt Visiting Researcher at ELINAS, Friedrich-Alexander Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg. When asked what advice he would give for writers just starting out, he said, “Remember that the fun is in the writing. Once you have a poem, you’ve had your fun already. Anything else is extra, a bonus, the sending out and all that.”

Oct. 26 - Erik Larson

Erik Larson
Thursday, October 26, 2017
7 pm - 8 pm
PE Monroe Auditorium

Sponsored by the Hickory Public Library

A native of New York City, Erik Larson is the author of seven novels, five of which are New York Times bestsellers. His most recent novel, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, hit #1 on the list. His previous book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, also hit #1 on the Times list and has had movie rights optioned by Universal Studios and Tom Hanks’ Playton. The Devil in the White City spent a combined total of over six years on the New York Times bestseller list, won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for a National Book Award. Leonardo DiCaprio has acquired the option to make a movie of the book; Martin Scorsese will direct, Billy Ray will write the screenplay, and the studio will be backed by Paramount.

Larson has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Harper’s, among other magazines, and was nominated for a Pulitzer for investigative journalism at The Wall Street Journal. He received his undergraduate degree in Russian History, Language and Culture from the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude, and his Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. He has taught nonfiction writing at the University of Oregon and San Francisco State, as well as the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. He lists Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett as influences, and his writing routine, which includes getting up at 4:30 a.m. to work on writing one page a day, was partially inspired by novelist Graham Greene. When describing his primary goal as a writer, he said, “My primary goal is to produce as rich a historical experience as I possibly can. So readers can sink into the past and feel like they’ve spent some time there. That they’ve lived another life, however briefly.”

Nov. 16 - Angela Davis-Gardner

Angela Davis-Gardner
Thursday, November 16, 2017
7 pm - 8 pm
Belk Centrum

Angela Davis-Gardner received her BA in English from Duke University, and her MFA from UNC Greensboro. Her first teaching job was in Tokyo at Tsuda College, and upon returning from Japan, she worked as a journalist before teaching at Guilford College, UNC Greensboro, and NC State University, where she spent the majority of her career before retiring and being named a Distinguished Professor Emerita. Her first novel, Felice, was published in 1982, and she has written several essays, stories, and books since, including the books Butterfly’s Child and Plum Wine, both of which were influenced by her interest in Japanese-American relations and Japanese culture. Felice was adapted into an opera and was recently staged at Opera Breve. Another major theme of Gardner’s work is the complexity of family relationships, as shown by the praise the LA Times gave for her novel, Forms of Shelter, “Rarely has an author confronted more honestly one of the deepest betrayals of the notion of family….A deeply moving piece of literature.”

Davis-Gardner has won many awards, including two grants from the North Carolina Arts Council and two Fellowships from the Japan Foundation. In 2007 she was Duke University’s William Blackburn Visiting Fiction Writer, and she has spent several residencies at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Plum Wine was named a Notable Novel by the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize and was the winner of the Fiction Award from the Southern Independent Bookstore Alliance. Her essays and shorter works have appeared in magazines such as Shenandoah and The Greensboro Review. Her story, “Writing It Down,” was recently featured as Narrative Magazine’s Story of the Week. In addition to her writing, she continues to teach private classes and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Jan. 18 - Jennifer Horne

Jennifer Horne
Thursday, January 18, 2018
7 pm - 8 pm
Belk Centrum

Jennifer Horne is a blogger, poet, teacher, journalist, and editor currently living in Alabama. She is the 2017-2018 Visiting Writer in Residence and will teach at Lenoir-Rhyne during the spring semester. Horne is the author of two collections of poetry, Little Wanderer (2016) and Bottle Tree (2010), two poetry chapbooks, Miss Betty’s School of Dance and Tineretuluias, as well as a collection of short stories, Tell the World You’re a Wildflower. Her short story “The Other Shoe” was published in The Shoe Burnin’: Stories of Southern Soul and her article, “Sara Mayfield: A Woman of Her Times” was published by the Alabama Heritage Magazine in the spring of 2016. She co-edited All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality, Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality, and Belles’ Letters II (due out in 2017) and edited Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets.

Horne received her BA in Humanities from Hendrix College. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, MA in English, and MA in Community Counseling from the University of Alabama, where she currently teaches. She was the recipient of the 2015 Druid City Literary Arts Award and has been a finalist for several poetry contests, including the 2014 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize Honoring Jake Adam York and the 2012 Arkansas Arts Center Ekphrastic Poetry Contest. She is widely traveled, having lived in places such as Bucharest, Romania and Oxford, England, and has received fellowships from the Seaside Institute in Florida and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. In 2013 she gave the opening address for the International Fitzgerald Society meeting and in 2015 gave the Rhoda Coleman Ellison Lecture at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and a memoir-influenced book about Sara Mayfield, biographer of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

March 22 - Zadie Smith and Nick Laird

Zadie Smith and Nick Laird
Thursday, March 22, 2018
7 pm - 8 pm
Belk Centrum

London-born author Zadie Smith is the author of seven novels, her most recent being Swing Time, which was a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. In a review of the novel, The New York Times wrote, “Smith has a knack for unearthing the deeper truths that lie beneath common experience.” Her novel, On Beauty, was the winner of the 2006 Orange Prize for fiction and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Another novel, NW, was one of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2012. An excerpt from NW, “The Embassy of Cambodia”, was awarded a 2014 ASME National Magazine award for fiction. In 2002 she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Smith has also edited the anthology Piece of Flesh and contributed writing to The New Yorker.

Nick Laird is a former lawyer turned full-time author who currently teaches at Columbia University. He has received many awards, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Award, and the Betty Trask Prize. Laird is the author of five books and poetry collections, including To a Fault, which won the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. The Daily Telegraph praises his most recent collection of poems, Go Giants, calling it, “Both playful and powerful” and The Times says, “Here are some of Laird’s most successful and mature poems.” Though he has written successful novels, Laird said about writing, “I have always written fiction and I think I'm not bad at it, and while there is no hierarchy between oranges and apples, poetry is my first love and remains special to me as a unique art form that can do things like nothing else."

April 14 - Robert Beatty

Robert Beatty
Saturday, April 14, 2018
12 pm - 1 pm
PE Monroe Auditorium

Robert Beatty is the author of the 2017-2018 Little Read book, Serafina and the Black Cloak, which was a New York Times, Barnes and Noble, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly best seller. The mystery-thriller tells the story of a young girl secretly living with her father in the basement of the Biltmore Estate; she teams up with the nephew of the Biltmore Estate’s owners to discover why children around the property have suddenly begun disappearing. The sequel to Serafina and the Black Cloak, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, was released in July 2016 and received a "Starred Review" from Kirkus Reviews. The third book in the series, Serafina and the Splintered Heart, was released in the summer of 2017, and he says for this book he was partly inspired by old folk songs from the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Serafina Series has been taught in thousands of classrooms across the US and was the Winner of the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. The character Serafina was inspired by his middle daughter, and the setting by his close location to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Biltmore Estate.

Beatty was the founder, CEO, and chief architect of Plex Systems and is a patented inventor who was named an Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. Beatty has served numerous roles with Narrative Magazine, including Chairman of the Board. He publishes a robotics tech blog, beatty-robotics.com, with his daughters, and Beatty Robotics has evolved into a company that builds robots for science centers and museums. President Obama invited the Beattys to the White House in 2014, holding them up as an example of the American entrepreneurial spirit. Beatty and his family are all licensed wildlife rehabilitators, and they currently live in the mountains of Asheville, NC.

April 19 - Terry Gifford

Thursday, April 19, 2018
7 pm - 8 pm
Belk Centrum

Terry Gifford is an English author, editor, and professor who has written a wide array of works, from poetry to criticism. He received his Bachelors in English and Education from the University of Lancaster, his Masters in English Literature from the University of Sheffield, and his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Lancaster. He has taught at many universities, including the University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, and University of Chichester. He served as the Founding Director of the annual International Festival of Mountaineering Literature for twenty-one years and is a member of GEICO (literature and environment), a Spanish research group based at the University of Alcala. Gifford is the current Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Writing and the Environment at Bath Spa University in the UK and a Senior Research Fellow and Profesor Honorifico at Universidad de Alicante in Spain.

Many of Gifford’s works are characterized by a focus on the connection of literature and the environment. His critical works include Green Voices: Understanding Contemporary Nature Poetry, Reconnecting with John Muir: Essays in Post-Pastoral Practice, and Teaching A Level English Literature: A Student Centred Approach. He has written or co-written eight books of poetry, including Ten Letters To John Muir and The Unreliable Mushrooms: New and Selected Poems, and his editorial work includes the books The Cambridge Companion to Ted Hughes and Culture, Creativity and Environment: New Environmentalist Criticism (co-edited with Fiona Becket). He has given research seminars at Shanghai Normal University, Trinity College Dublin, Massey University, amongst others. He has also been invited as a lecturer to many universities, including Brigham Young University, Western Carolina University, California State University, and Lenoir-Rhyne University (then Lenoir-Rhyne College). Gifford’s latest works, Pastoral and A Feast of Fools (poetry), are due out in 2018.

2017-2018 Campus Read

About the Book

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned - Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse; Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from a brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

About the Author

Colson Whitehead was raised in Manhattan and attended Harvard University. After graduation he began working for Village Voice as a reviewer of books, movies, and music. His first novel, The Intuitionist, was the winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award. Whitehead is the author of Lenoir-Rhyne’s 2017-2018 campus read, The Underground Railroad, which was a New York Times bestseller and Time Magazine’s Book of the Year for 2016. The novel follows Cora, an escaped slave fleeing for the north with the assistance of the Underground Railroad—only in this novel, the Railroad isn’t just a system of people helping escaped slaves, but a network of hidden tracks and tunnels. CBS called the novel “Ingenious” and USA Today said it is “one of the finest novels written about our country’s still unabsolved original sin.”

Whitehead is the author of several other novels, including John Henry Days, which was the winner of the 2002 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Young Lions Fiction Award, and Sag Harbor, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also written a collection of essays about New York City entitled The Colossus of New York, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Whitehead has written for many publications, including The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and Harper’s. In his 2012 piece entitled “How to Write”, he advises writers, “Don’t go searching for a subject, let your subject find you. You can’t rush inspiration.” He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Dos Passos Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship, and has taught at many universities across the United States, including New York University, Princeton University, and Wesleyan University. He currently lives in New York City.

Campus Read Week Events

Resources

Honors and Recognition
Pulitzer Prize
National Book Award

Contact VWS

Dr. Rand Brandes

Titles: Martin Luther Stevens Professor of English, Director of the Visiting Writers Series, Director of the Lineberger Center
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7077

Lisa Hart

Titles: Program Consultant, Lineberger Center, Program Consultant, The Little Read, Program Consultant, Visiting Writers Series
Email:
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7502

Previous Authors

2016-2017

Alina "Tita" M. Ramirez
Anna Lena Phillips Bell
Julie Funderburk
William Stribling
Marlon James
Sarah Vowell
Leslie Rindoks
Denise Kiernan
Reginald Dwayne Betts
Dan Santat - Little Read Curriculum

2015-2016

Jaki Shelton Green
Jeff Hobbs
Chuck Klosterman
Garrison Keillor
Anne Lamott
Paul Muldoon
Will & Mary Pope Osborne

2014-2015

George Saunders
Joshua Bennett
Rebecca Skloot
Colum McCann
Jesmyn Ward
Katherine Howe
Nadia Bolz-Weber
Joyce Hostetter

2013-2014

Jon Meacham
Martin Marty
James Dodson
Junot Diaz
A.S. Byatt
Lou Berney
Belle Boggs
Isabel Wilkerson
Joseph Bathanti
Sherman Alexie
Mary Pope Osborne

2012-2013

Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Carr
Bernice L. McFadden
John Burnham Schwartz
Sandra Beasley
Philip Schultz
Cynthia Lord

2011-2012

Wes Moore
Natasha Trethewey
Edward P. Jones
Isaac Anderson
Judy Goldman
Sandra Cisneros
Lynne Cherry
Alexander McCall Smith

2010-2011

John Feinstein
Cathy Smith Bowers
Joan McBreen
Rhett Iseman Trull
A. J. Jacobs
Luis Alberto Urrea
John Granger
W. S. Merwin
Amina McIntyre
Kevin Young
David Baldacci
Deborah Wiles

2009-2010

Richard Rodriguez
Marisha Pessl
Tess Gallagher
Paula Meehan
Jeannette Walls
Paula Vogel
Mitchell Gold
Abigail DeWitt
Julia Alvarez

THE SPIRIT OF BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE:
Ted Pope
Lee Ann Brown
Lisa Jarnot
Thomas Meyer
Jeff Davis
Michael Rumaker
Thomas Rain Crowe


2008-2009

Galway Kinnell
Anna Quindlen
Jonathan Kozol
Terry McMillan
Julie Fay
Geraldine Brooks
Bruce Lansky

2007-2008

Thomas Rain Crowe
Duchess of Abercorn
Walter Isaacson
Frank McCourt
Tracy Kidder
Mark Powell
Jane Smiley
Jon Scieszka

2006-2007

James Bradley
John Updike
Anthony S. Abbott, Davidson College -- Visiting Writer in Residence
Nikkey Finney, U. Kentucky
Gary Snyder, U. California, Davis
James McBride
Christopher Paul Curtis

2005-2006

le thi diem thuy, Smith College
Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, NPR
Joyce Carol Oates, Princeton U.
Kelly Link, Northhampton MA
Naomi Shihab Nye, San Antonio, TX
Tim O'Brien, Southwest Texas State U.

2004-2005

Ron Whitehead, U. of Louisville
Anne Fadiman, Yale U.
Jonathan Lethem, New York
Thomas Lynch, Milford, Michigan
Sharon Olds, NYU
Bob Inman, Charlotte, NC
Alice Walker, Northern California
Adrian Rice, Lenoir-Rhyne College
Dale Bailey, Lenoir-Rhyne College

2003-2004

Billy Collins, Lehman College, NYC
Joan McBreen, Sligo, Ireland
Kathy Reichs, UNC-Charlotte and Quebec, Canda
Richard Ford, New Orleans, LA and Montana
Michael Knight, U. Tennessee-Knoxville
Karen Joy Fowler
Martin Espanda, U. Off Massachusetts-Amherst

2002-2003

Coleman Barks, U. of Georgia
Seamus Heaney, Harvard U.
Bill Bryson, New Hampshire
Marilyn Nelson, U. of Connecticut
Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Howard U.
Mary Hood, Georgia
Saleem Peeradina, India, Wake Forest U.

2001-2002

Richard Chess, UNC-Asheville
Robert Conley, Tahlequah, OK
Nicolae Dabija, Moldova
Bret Lott, C. of Charleston
Josephine Humphreys, Charleston, SC
John Stone, M.D., Emory U., Alanta GA
Nikki Giovanni, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
R. T. Smith, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA
Kyle Gann, Bard College, Annadal-on-Hudson, NY
Leroy Quintana, El Cajon, California

2000-2001

Carolyn Kizer, San Francisco, CA -- Pulitzer Prize Winner
Ernest Suarez, Catholic U., Washington, D.C.
Pat Conroy, SC
Eavan Boland, Stanford U.
Joe Connelly, NYC
Afaa M. Weaver, Simmons College, Boston
Ron Rash, Clemson, SC
Michael Strickland, New Jersey City U.
Lucinda Roy, Virginia Tech
Benjamin Alire Saenz, U. of Texas, El Paso

1999-2000

Yusef Komunyakaa, Princeton U.
Linda Beatrice Brown, N. Carolina
Donald Hall, New Hampshire
Adrian Rice, Northern Ireland
Nathalie Anderson, Swarthmore College
Jill Jones, N. Carolina
Robert Morgan, Cornell U.
Sue Ellen Bridgers, N. Carolina
Luis Rodriguez, Chicago, IL
Orson Scott Card, N. Carolina
Joseph Bathanti, N. Carolina
Leslie Marmon Silko, Tuscon, AZ
Connie Briscoe, Maryland

1998-1999

Lee Smith, N. Carolina
Lee Eric Shackleford, Alabama
Lewis Nordan, Pennsylvania
E. Ethelbert Miller, Howard U.
Jan Karon, Blowing Rock, NC
Jorge Velasco Mackenzie, Equador
Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh, Appalachian State U.
Shelby Foote, Mississippi
John Shelton Reed, UNC-Chapel Hill
Kathryn Stripling Byer

1997-1998

Jill McCorkle, Boston, MA
Billy Collins, NYC
Paul Muldoon, Princeton U.
Dori Sanders, S. Carolina
Robert Inman, Charlotte, NC
Saleem Peeradina, Siena Heights C.
Ernest J. Gaines, Louisianna
J. California Cooper, San Francisco, CA
Todd McEwen, New York

1996-1997

Michael Longley, Belfast, N. Ireland
Clyde Edgerton, N. Carolina
Wilma Dykeman, N. Carolina
Eleanora E. Tate, N. Carolina
Terry Gifford, England
Ron Whitehead, U. of Louisville
Peter Fallon, Ireland
James Welch, Missoula, MT
Nigel Jenkins, Wales
Menna Elfyn, Wales
Iwan Llwyd, Wales

1995-1996

Steven Yount, N. Carolina
Kathryn Stripling Byer, Western Carolina U.
Julie Kate Howard, CCC&TI
Betty Adcock, Meredith C.
Kate Gibbons, N. Carolina
Mark & Gail Mathabane, South Africa
Todd McEwen, New York
Marie Heaney, Ireland
Ruthanne Lum McCunn, California

1994-1995

Ellen Gilchrist, Arkansas
Scott Owens, Charlotte, NC
Bret Lott, C. of Charleston
Kate Daniels, Wake Forest U.
Dannye Romine Powell, N. Carolina
Ciaran Carson, Belfast, N. Ireland
R. S. Gwynn, Lamar U. Beaumont, Texas
Terry Gifford, Bretton Hall C. Sheffield, England
Billy Collins, City U. of NY-NYC

1993-1994

Reynolds Price, Duke U.
James Applewhite, Duke U.
Deborah Pope, Duke U.
Susan Ludvigson, Winthrop U.
Linda Lightsey Rice, U.T. Knoxville
Donald Davis, N. Carolina

1992-1993

Lee Smith, NC State U.
Gerald Barrax, NC State U.
Chuck Sullivan, N. Carolina
Fiona Cheong, Howard U.
Fred Chappell, UNC-Greensboro
Linda Lightsey Rice, U.T. Knoxville
John Montague, Ireland

1991-1992

Michael Yeats, Ireland
Declan Kiberd, University C., Dublin
Dori Sanders, SC
Sarah Gilbert, Columbia, S. Carolina
Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Ireland
Nola Richardson, Tennessee
Betty Adcock, Meredith C.
Seamus Heaney, Harvard U.

1990-1991

Derek Mahon, New York U.
Helen Vendler, Harvard U.
Eamon Grennan, Vassar C.
David Bottoms, Georgia State U.
Olga Broumas, Boston C.
Charles Simic, U. of New Hampshire
Donald Seacrest, U. of Iowa
Linda Lightsey Rice, U.T. Knoxville
Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Trinity College, Dublin
John Skoyles, Warren Wilson C.
Linda Brown Bragg, Guilford C.
Betty Adcock, Meredith C.
Richard Murphy, Dublin

1989-1990

Robert Hedin, Wake Forest U.
Nathalie Anderson, Swarthmore C.
Michael Waters, Sweet Briar C.
Jennifer Jordan, Howard U.

1988

Paul Muldoon, Princeton U.

Learn More

Every year, for the past twenty-five years, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series (VWS) has provided outstanding literary arts programming that is free and open to the public. Many communities have arts festivals or even more specifically literary festivals, but very few have literary arts series.

Every year, VWS invites authors to tell the stories behind their own works in a relaxed environment before university and community audiences. We believe the beauty and power of words help us make sense of the world.

We hope that you will join the hundreds of other supporters to continue to bring world-class writers to our community by becoming a 2016-2017 Patron of the Series. A contribution at any level guarantees you two tickets for Sarah Vowell and Erik Larson. Patrons at the $500+ level will also be invited to all VIP receptions throughout the year as well as being invited to special Series events. You may make a donation online or call 828.328.7321 (or 1.800.361.2704). Please consider designating your contribution to the Writers Series Endowment Fund.

Purpose

The primary purpose of the Writers Series is to provide exceptional cultural opportunities for our students and at the same time to improve the quality of life in Western North Carolina.

The Writers Series’ mission is “to build a community of readers” because we believe that a community that reads is a more creative, open, and tolerant community. The Series is particularly committed to collaborating with local and regional arts and civic organizations as well as non-profits that serve our diverse communities. We need to be reminded, by reading and hearing a variety of accents and stories, that our African-American, Latino, and Asian neighbors among others are members of cultures with rich artistic traditions and important experiences to share.

Mission Statement

The Visiting Writers Series of Lenoir-Rhyne University believes that reading is an essential element in the creation of vibrant communities. We invite authors to read from their own works in a relaxed environment before university and community audiences. We believe the beauty and power of words help us make sense of the world. Children's writers, mystery writers, essayists, poets, novelists all participate in this celebration of the written and spoken word. We believe that a community of readers is a better community.

Support the VWS

Celebrating twenty-five years of outstanding literary programming, the Visiting Writers Series at Lenoir-Rhyne University would not be possible without the generosity of our patrons and sponsors. Your support will help keep VWS events free and open to the public.

GIVE TO VWS

Sponsors

Footcandle Film Society
Hickory Public Library
NC Arts Council
National Endowment for the Arts
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Our State
Crowne Plaza Hickory
United Arts Council of Catawba County
WFAE 90.7