Writing Now, Reading Now 2017

All Writing Now, Reading Now events are hosted on Wichita State's main campus. All events are free and open to the public.

Lee Clay Johnson

Lee Clay Johnson

5:30 p.m. | Thursday, Feb. 16 | Ulrich Museum

One of a new generation of shockingly talented novelists, Lee Clay Johnson is an electric personality and a dynamic reader whose first book, Nitro Mountain (Knopf), has been praised widely, including in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times Book Review, and O Magazine. The novel, set within the ruined-pastoral landscapes of southern Appalachia, explores addiction, abuse, and the power of music to ennoble and transform; the great writer Joy Williams called it “Perturbingly good. Hazardous. Addictive. Harrowing and hilarious too.” Raised in a family of bluegrass musicians, Lee has toured internationally as a musician and also worked as a gardener for a homeless shelter, a bartender, and a professor. He is an adjunct lecturer at Wichita State this Spring and will be teaching the Writer's Tutorial in Fiction.

Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang5:30 p.m. | Thursday, March 9 | Ulrich Museum

We are thrilled to welcome to campus the Director of the famous Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Lan Samantha Chang, who has received many of the most esteemed fellowships for writers, including awards from Stanford, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her award-winning story collection Hunger was described by the New York Times as "a taut, incisive study of Chinese immigrants in America and their almost wordless struggle to adapt to a new life," while her novel Inheritance is a love story that spans almost a century, from China to Taiwan to America. Meanwhile, her most recent novel, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost, is set within a prestigious, fictional creative writing program in the Midwest!

Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood5:30 p.m. | Tuesday, March 28 | Ulrich Museum

How many poets have gone viral on the internet or amassed 59,000 Twitter followers? Not many. And how many of them have simultaneously achieved widespread critical acclaim? Fewer still. Lastly, how many write poems that freshly illuminate the Father and Mother of American poetry (Dickinson and Whitman) with a bawdy gurl-esque embrace of "tit-pics" as a central metaphor? Only the absolutely unique Patricia Lockwood, whose reading on March 28 you won't want to miss. As The New Yorker said, "her sexual-political target is all manner of straight-male privilege, every objectifier and braggart, whom she outflanks on both counts...[with] a genius for writing in the language of vulgar misogyny as she speaks to its absurdity." Lockwood is the author of two poetry collections, including Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, a New York Times Notable Book, and Priestdaddy, a forthcoming memoir.

Robin Coste Lewis

Robin Coste Lewis5:30 p.m. | Thursday, April 13 | Ulrich Museum

Rarely is our campus graced with such an eminent visitor from the world of letters as Robin Coste Lewis, the winner of last year's National Book Award in Poetry. Her stunning debut collection, Voyage of the Sable Venus, is "a meditation on the black female figure throughout time.” Bookended by virtuosic poems of lyric autobiography, the center poem is an epic narrative comprised solely of "the titles, catalog entries, or exhibit descriptions of Western art objects in which a black female is present, dating from 38,000 BCE to the present." Lewis masterfully arranges this language to create a narrative of the horror and insanity of the racialized imagination, a story of white pathology as much as black oppression. No discussion of race in Western civilization will again be complete without this groundbreaking work. Lewis is the Distinguished Visiting Poet this Spring in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Wichita State.

MFA 2017 Graduation Reading

2 to 4 p.m. | Sunday, April 30 | Ulrich Museum

Please join us for our final reading of the year as we honor Wichita State's 2017 Graduating class of MFA Creative Writing Students. Fiction Writers Kayla Haas, Abraham Fitzpatrick, and Benjamin Hojem, and poets Johnna Crawford and Jeremy Richard will read selections from the work they've developed over their tenure at Wichita State.

Thank you to our program partners:
Department of English, Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of Academic Affairs, Ulrich Museum, University Libraries and Watermark Books & Cafe