In the most basic sense, a reading series allows us to hear the work of writers who are currently writing. It gives voice to modern texts, allows writers to provide anecdotal context and for us to enjoy hearing poetry, fiction, nonfiction in the voice of the writer who wrote it. It is an entirely different enterprise than reading a story, poem or essay silently to one’s self. A reading series elevates the text heard to a group “experience.”
The taproot of any reading series is the fact that the origin of literature is oral. Last but not least, a reading series is a reminder to all of the value of what it means to actually listen, it is an opportunity to practice the art of listening.
All readings are free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who may require special services should contact Disability Support Services at 410.617.2062 at least 48 hours prior to the event.
Richard Ford: Reading
Thursday, April 5 at 5 p.m.
Richard Ford is the author of seven novels and three collections of stories. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Independence Day and the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in short fiction. Richard Ford is the author of the Bascombe novels, which include the Sports Writer and its sequels, Independence Day—the first novel to win the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award—and The Lay of the Land, as well as the short story collections Rock Springs and A Multitude of Sins, which contain many widely anthologized stories. His latest book is a memoir, Between Them, about his parents. He is the 2016 recipient of the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature in Spain. He lives with his wife Kristina in East Boothbay, Maine.
Eliza Griswold: Poetry Reading
Monday, April 23 at 4 p.m.
Knott Hall B01
Eliza Griswold’s book, Wideawake Field was published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her poems have been published in Granta, the New Yorker and the Paris Review. She won a 2010 Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Most recently, as a Berggruen fellow at Harvard Divinity School, Griswold has been using data to map the Syrian poets, artists, filmmakers who’ve fled the country. Her translations of Afghan women’s folk poetry, I am the Beggar of the World, won the 2015 PEN/Prize in Poetry Translation.
Eliza Griswold: Tracking the World
Monday, April 23 at 6 p.m.
Eliza Griswold was a fellow at the New America Foundation from 2008 to 2010 and is a former Nieman Fellow. Her journalism has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, Slate and the New York Times Magazine.
Eliza Griswold is the author of The Tenth Parallel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), a book that explores the fraught space where Christianity and Islam meet in Africa and Asia. Griswold’s new book is, Burden of Proof: The Blessing and Curse of Energy in Amity, Pennsylvania (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) which explores water, poverty, fracking and the resource curse in America. Griswold was a 2014 Ferris Professor at Princeton University and currently teaches at the Arthur L.Carter Journalism Institute of New York University as a Distinguished Writer in Residence.
Khaled Mattawa: Poetry Reading
Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.
Born and raised in Benghazi, Libya, poet Khaled Mattawa relocated to the United States as a teenager in 1979. He received an undergraduate degree in political science and economics from the University of Tennessee; an MA and an MFA from Indiana University, where he also won an award from the Academy of American Poets; and a PhD from Duke University.
Mattawa has published several collections of poetry, including Tocqueville (2010), Amorisco (2008), Zodiac of Echoes (2003), and Ismailia Eclipse (1995). He has translated numerous volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry, including Shepherd of Solitude: Selected Poems of Amjad Nasser (2009) and Miracle Maker: Selected Poems of Fadhil Al-Azzawi (2004), in addition to co-editing the anthologies Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Arab American Fiction (2004) and Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing (1999). His own work has been widely anthologized as well.
Mattawa has been awarded several Pushcart Prizes and the PEN Award for Literary Translation, in addition to a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and a MacArthur fellowship. He has taught at Indiana University; California State University, Northridge; and the University of Michigan.
The reading series was founded in the late 1980’s by Karen Fish and is supported with a grant from the Loyola College Humanities Center. Previous readers include: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Fagles, Denise Levertov, Ralph Angel, Carolyn Chute, Thylias Moss, Robert Coles, Tobias Wolff, Louise Gluck, Russell Banks, Eavan Boland, Mark Strand, Stanley Plumly, Andrew Hudgins, Madison Smartt Bell, Elizabeth Spires, Sherod Santos, David St John, Larry Levis, James Robison, Lynn McMahon, Jorie Graham, James Fenton, Alice Fulton, Darryl Pinckney, Gretel Ehrlich, James McConkey, Brenda Hillman, Jane Shore, Howard Norman, David Wojahn, Bobbie Ann Mason, Michael Ryan, Deborah Digges, Ralph Lombreglia, Jo Ellen Kwiatek, Marvin Bell, Bin Ramke, Ellen Bryant Voight, Deborah Eisenberg, Francine Prose, James Richardson, Jayne Anne Phillips, Ann Beattie, Richard Russo, Khaled Mattawa, Tom Horton, Tatyana Tolstaya, Stephanie Vaughn, Jane Hirshfield, Jo Ann Beard, Patricia Bizzell,Laurence Joseph, Joanna Scott, James Longenbach, Susan Stewart, Simon Armitage, Czeslaw Milosz, William Gass, Lydia Davis, Lorrie Moore, Edmund White, Paul Muldoon, Denis Johnson, Susan Sontag, Adam Gopnik, Rachel Aviv, Richard Ford and on the day her Nobel Prize for Literature was announced, Nadine Gordimer.