Acclaimed national writers scheduled for annual reading series

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of international playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger.

Jacqueline Goldfinger

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's Department of English launches its annual Gwen Frostic Reading Series this month, hosting acclaimed creative writers from across the country on campus through the spring.

The first speaker is international playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger, co-founder of Foundry @ PlayPenn in Philadelphia, a membership program supporting emerging playwrights, on Thursday, March 14.

All series events begin at 7 p.m. in Rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center, unless noted, and are free and open.

Goldfinger is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Yale Drama Prize, Smith Prize, Brown Martin Award, Barrymore Award and Philadelphia Critics Award. Her plays have been developed and/or produced by theaters, including The National Theatre/London, Wilma Theatre, The Kennedy Center, La MaMa, Disquiet/Lisbon, Florida Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Works and the NYC International Fringe Festival.

Other writers in the series

Photo of poet and essayist Kevin Young.

Kevin Young

  • Thursday, March 28, Room 2452 of Knauss Hall—Poet and essayist Kevin Young is the author of 10 books of poetry and is the poetry editor for the New Yorker. Young is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and previously was the curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. His many other honors include a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and an honorary doctorate from Beloit College. His most recent book is titled "Bunk." His talk is presented in partnership with WMU's Center for Humanities.
  • Thursday, April 4—New Issues Poetry and Prose will feature Nina Puro and Lauren K. Alleyne. Puro is the author of "Each Tree Could Hold a Noose or a House" and has had work appear in Guernica, the PEN/America Poetry Series and Jubliat. A member of the Belladonna Collaborative, Puro is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Brooklyn Community Pride Foundation, Deming Fund and the Wurlitzer Foundation. Alleyne, currently assistant director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and associate professor of English at James Madison University, is the author of "Honey Fish and Difficult Fruit." Her work has been published in such journals and anthologies as The Atlantic, Ms. Muse, Women's Studies Quarterly, Guernica, The Caribbean Writer and Crab Orchard Review. She also has earned several honors, most recently first place in the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Contest and a 2017 Philip Freund Prize.
  • Photo of author Nina Puro.

    Nina Puro

    Thursday, April 11—Writer, teaching artist and storyteller Abbey Mei Otis is the author of the story collection "Alien Virus Love Disaster." She studied at the Michener Center and Clarion West, and she now teaches fiction at Oberlin College. Her stories have recently appeared in Tin House, Electric Literature, The Offing and Guernic.
Photo of author Lauren K. Alleyne.

Lauren K. Alleyne

The reading series concludes with WMU graduate student authors being featured as part of the University's M.F.A./Ph.D. Festival. The student readings start at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in Rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center.

Photo of writer Abbey Mei Otis.

Abbey Mei Otis

Gwen Frostic Reading Series

The Gwen Frostic Reading Series presents acclaimed creative writers from across the nation and beyond. Every year, a diverse range of readings that encompasses poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama attract both campus and off-campus audiences.

For more information is available online about the Gwen Frostic Reading Series.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.