Department of Writing, Literature, & Publishing

Reading Series

2014-15 WLP Reading Series

(View the most current event)

Jeffrey AllenJeffrey Renard Allen
October 21, 2014

Q&A at 4:00 pm | Charles Beard Room, Little Building, 2nd Floor, 80 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
Reading at 6:00 pm | Bill Bordy Theater, UBank Building, 216 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

Jeffrey Renard Allen is an accomplished novelist, essayist, and poet. His many accolades include the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and The Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize. The New York Times hailed his latest novel, Song of the Shank, as an "imaginative work only a prodigiously gifted risk-taker could produce." Allen is currently an Associate Professor of English at Queens College of the City University of New York.


Richard BlancoRichard Blanco
February 3, 2015

Q&A at 4:00 pm | Cabaret, Little Building, 2nd Floor, 80 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
Reading at 6:00 pm | Bill Bordy Theater, UBank Building, 216 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

Richard Blanco was named the fifth inaugural poet of the United States following the re-election of President Barack Obama. He has received widespread acclaim for his poetry, earning such accolades as the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's Fresh Air. Blanco's latest book, and first memoir, is entitled The Prince of Los Cocuyos.

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Roxanne GayRoxanne Gay
March 19, 2015

Q&A at 4:00 pm | Cabaret, Little Building, Basement, 80 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
Reading at 6:00 pm | Cabaret, Little Building, Basement, 80 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, West Branch, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK. She is also the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, and Hunger, forthcoming from Harper in 2016.

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Roxanne GayClaudia Rankine
April 29, 2015

Q&A at 4:00 pm | Bright Family Screening Room, Paramount, 555 Washngton Street, Boston, MA 02116
Reading at 6:00 pm | Bright Family Screening Room, Paramount, 555 Washngton Street, Boston, MA 02116

Claudia Rankine is the author of Citizen: An American Lyric; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; Plot; The End of the Alphabet; and Nothing in Nature is Private. In 2014 she was a National Book Award Finalist and also received Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, awarded to an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition. Rankine co-edited the anthologies The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind and American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, and her work is included in several anthologies, including Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry.


2014-15 Faculty/Alumni Reading Series

(View the most current event)


Assistant Professor Benoit Denizet-Lewis and Gregg Shapiro, BFA '83
September 24, 2014

Reading and Q&A at 4:30 pm | Charles Beard Room, Little Building, 2nd Floor, 80 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116


Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a contributor to the New York Times Magazine where he has authored dozens of features and cover pieces about sexual identity, youth culture, addiction, sports, and dogs. In 2014, The Advocate named Benoit one of the 50 most influential LGBT people in media. He is the author of three books of nonfiction. his latest book, Travels with Casey, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and was named People and Times book of the week.



Gregg Shapiro is a pop culture journalist, poet and fiction writer whose creative work has been published in a multitude of literary journals including Blithe House Quarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Illinois Review, Folio, and The Washington Review, to name just a few. Shapiro is a 1999 inductee into Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame and a recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Support OMA (Outmusic Award). He iHe has written for the Bay Area Reporter and GoPride.com, among others. His new collection of short stories is entitled Lincoln Avenue.


Adjunct Professor Alden Jones and Joanna Luloff, MFA '01
November 5, 2014

Reading and Q&A at 6:30 pm | White Room, Iwasaki Library, Walker Building, 3rd Floor, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Alden Jones teaches creative fiction and nonfiction at Emerson College. Jones has received extensive praise for her book The Blind Masseuse, which won the Independent Publishers Book Award in Travel Essays, the IndieFab Book of the Year in Travel Essays, and was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spievogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Her story collection Unaccompanied Minors won the 2013 New American Fiction Prize.


Joanna Luloff earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. A writer of short stories, Luloff’s work has appeared in The Missouri Review, Confrontation, Memorious, and New South. Her first collection of short stories, The Beach at Galle Road, was published in 2012.


Senior Writer-in-Residence Richard Hoffman and Anthony D'Aries, BFA '04
December 2, 2014

Reading and Q&A at 4:30 pm | CoLab Room, Iwasaki Library, Walker Building, 3rd Floor, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Richard Hoffman is author of Love & Fury, his newest memoir, Half the House: a Memoir, the poetry collections Without Paradise and Gold Star Road, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the 2009 New England Poetry Club Sheila Motton Book Award, and Emblem, as well as the short story collection Interference & Other Stories. His work, both verse and prose, has appeared in Agni, Ascent, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, Poetry, Witness, and other magazines. He has been awarded a number of fellowships and prizes, including two Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowships in fiction, The Literary Review's Charles Angoff Prize for the essay, and a Boston Foundation Brother Thomas Fellowship Award.


Anthony D'Aries is the author of The Language of Men: A Memoir, winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Awards and named ForeWord Magazine's Memoir of the Year. His essays have appeared in Solstice, The Good Men Project, Shelf Awareness, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. For the past six years, he has taught literacy and creative writing in correctional facilities. He was recently appointed to the board of PEN/New England as a member of the Freedom-to-Write Committee and is currently the nonfiction fellow at The Writers' Room of Boston and an Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Regis College.


Senior Lecturer Steve Himmer and Mary Helen Specht, MFA '05
March 27, 2015

Reading and Q&A at 6:00 pm | CoLab Room, Iwasaki Library, Walker Building, 3rd Floor, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Steve HimmerSteve Himmer is a senior lecturer at Emerson College and editor of the webjournal Necessary Fiction. Himmer's work has appeared in The Millions, Ploughshares online, and the Los Angeles Review. His first novel, The Bee-Loud Glade, was named a 2011 Great Summer Read by NPR's On Point. Himmer recently released his second novel, Fram, and has another novel, Scratch, forthcoming in 2016.

Mary Helen Specht holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She has been published in the New York Times, The Colorado Review, and Night Train. She received Night Train's Richard Yates Short Story Award and has been nominated for multiple Puschart Prizes. Specht recently released her debut novel, Migratory Animals.

MFA News Highlights

Janaka Stucky Poet Janaka Stucky (BFA '00) reads at the 50th anniversary of the international poetry reincarnation.

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Emerson College Emerson College is the highest ranked local school in College Magazine's "Top Ten Best Schools for English Majors" list.

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Sara Novic BFA Alum Sara Novic's first novel Girl at War receives rave reviews in the New York Times Book Review.

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Brionne Thompson Congratulations to our Graduate Award Winners: Brionne Thompson (Best Thesis), Stephen Shane (WLP Thesis Award), Mary Nolan (Outstanding Publishing Project and Bookbuilders), Mireidys Garcia (Bookbuilders) Madison Bakalar (Fiction), Caitlin McGill (Nonfiction and President's Award), and Cheryl Buchanan (Poetry).


Asako Serizawa Asako Serizawa (MFA '01) is the recipient of a fiction writing fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.


Senior Lecturer Mary Kovaleski Senior Lecturer Mary Kovaleski is the recipient of the inaugural Emerson College Alumni Award for Teaching Innovation, presented by the Alumni Association to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in innovation by engaging students in active learning in and out of the classroom.


Christina Pugh Poet Christina Pugh (MFA '00) was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Fulbright ScholarshipSarah Chaves (BFA '11) was awarded a Fulbright 2015-2016 Grant. Chaves will spend one year, fully-funded, in Portugal working on her memoir.

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The Wilderness of RuinRoxane Gay visited campus on March 19 for a question-and-answer session with students followed by a reading of some of her essays. Both events are part of the Writing, Literature & Publishing Reading Series.

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The Wilderness of RuinMFA '98 Roseanne Montillo's article about 14-year old serial killer Jesse Pomeroy appeared on CBS News Crimsider. Montillo's latest book The Wilderness of Ruin explores the hunt for the child killer during Boston's Gilded Age and the Great Fire of 1872.

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All the Old KnivesMFA '99 Olen Steinhauer's new book, All the Old Knives was recently reviewed by The New York Times.


Lacy EyeProfessor Jessica Treadway is featured in the Boston Globe for her new novel “Lacy Eye.” In the Q&A with the Globe, Treadway discusses her writing habits, including writing drafts in longhand.

Read the Globe piece»


Columbian ArtistsA group of nine young, emerging artists from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellín recently presented their artwork at Emerson College Los Angeles and are visiting Emerson College in Boston this month.

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Stephen ShaneCreative Writing MFA Stephen Shane (2015) and his colleague David Knight created a short documentary on Boston busing called Desegregated, Yet Unequal, and it was recently named an Editors' Pick by The Atlantic.

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Steve YarbroughProfessor Steve Yarbrough has been elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and, in addition, will receive the 2015 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction this spring from the same organization.

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Thomas McBeeWLP alum and writer Thomas Page McBee's memoir Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man was named on Publisher's Weekly's "Best Books of 2014."

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Ladette RandolphLadette Randolph's new memoir Leaving the Pink House was featured on Oprah.com as a suggested memoir. Randolph teaches in WLP and is Editor-in-Chief of Ploughshares literary magazine.

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Greg NicholsGreg Nichols (MFA '11) released his first book, Striking Gridiron, A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History. The book was named a Junior Library Guild Fall 2014 Selection.

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Marko TameraLecturer Tamera Marko's writing collective with Emerson maintenance workers from Latin America and undergraduates presented a bilingual presentation: "Proyecto Carrito II: When the Student Receives an 'A' and the Worker Gets Fired: Driving our Own Narrative" at the Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.

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Megan MarshallRecent MA in Publishing & Writing alumni collaborated to launch a new literary genre journal called Strangelet. Alumni include Executive Editor Casey Brown (MA ’13), Managing Editor Leah Thompson (MA ’12), Production Editor Franco Alvarado (MA ’13), and Creative Director Chandra Asar (MA ’12).

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Megan MarshallWLP Professor Megan Marshall and the emersonWRITES program participate in the launch and unveiling of Boston as the country's first Literary Cultural District.

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Michelle Bailat JonesMichelle Bailat-Jones (MFA '05) won the inaugral Christopher Doheny award for her novel Fog Island Mountains. The award recognizes a book-lenth work exploring the experience of serious illness and includes a $10,000 prize and publication and promotion of the book.

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