RSS Zell Visiting Writers Series

The Zell Visiting Writers Series is presented by the Helen Zell Writers’ Program in partnership with the University of Michigan Museum of Art, with support from the Department of English Language & Literature, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and Janey Lack. 

All of the events are free and open to the public. For additional information, including information about Q&A sessions in the Hopwood Room, please contact Airea D. Matthews at aireadm@umich.edu or 734.615.3710, or visit www.lsa.umich.edu/english/grad/mfa.

Gary Snyder Reading Co-sponsorship with One Pause Poetry

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 09/17/2015; 7:00 PM
Location: White Lotus Farms 7217 West Liberty Road Ann Arbor, MI
Detailed Information:

Gary Snyder Reading at White Lotus Farms

One Pause Poetry and White Lotus Farms are pleased to welcome Gary Snyder, who has been called "the poet laureate of Deep Ecology" and "the Thoreau of the Beat Generation," for a reading at the farm on September 17.

Roxane Gay Q&A

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 09/24/2015; 2:00 PM
Location: Hopwood Room
Detailed Information:

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.

Roxane Gay Reading & Booksigning

Department: writers
Date: 09/24/2015; 5:30 PM - 6:40 PM
Location: UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium
Detailed Information:

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.

Cathy Park Hong Q&A

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/01/2015; 2:00 PM
Location: Hopwood Room
Detailed Information:

Cathy Park Hong's first book, Translating Mo'um was published in 2002 by Hanging Loose Press. Her second collection, Dance Dance Revolution, was chosen for the Barnard Women Poets Prize and was published in 2007 by W.W. Norton. Her third book of poems, Engine Empire, was published in Spring 2012 by W.W. Norton. Hong is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in A Public Space, Poetry, Paris Review,Conjunctions, McSweeney's, APR, Harvard Review, Boston Review, The Nation, and other journals. She is an Associate Professor at Sarah Lawrence College and is regular faculty at the Queens MFA program in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Cathy Park Hong Reading & Booksigning

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/01/2015; 5:30 PM
Location: UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium
Detailed Information:

Cathy Park Hong's first book, Translating Mo'um was published in 2002 by Hanging Loose Press. Her second collection, Dance Dance Revolution, was chosen for the Barnard Women Poets Prize and was published in 2007 by W.W. Norton. Her third book of poems, Engine Empire, was published in Spring 2012 by W.W. Norton. Hong is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in A Public Space, Poetry, Paris Review,Conjunctions, McSweeney's, APR, Harvard Review, Boston Review, The Nation, and other journals. She is an Associate Professor at Sarah Lawrence College and is regular faculty at the Queens MFA program in Charlotte, North Carolina.

One Pause Poetry Reading & Booksigning

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/08/2015; 5:30 PM
Location: UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum Q&A

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/22/2015; 2:00 PM
Location: Hopwood Room
Detailed Information:

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design.

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum Reading & Booksigning

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/22/2015; 5:30 PM
Location: UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium
Detailed Information:

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design.

Louise Glück Zell Distinguished Poet in Residence Reception & Booksigning

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/27/2015; 5:00 PM
Location: TBA
Detailed Information:

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Louise Glück is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of a dozen widely acclaimed books.

Louise Glück is one of America’s finest contemporary poets. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Glück is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of a dozen widely acclaimed books. Stephen Dobyns, writing in the New York Times Book Review, said “no American poet writes better than Louise Glück, perhaps none can lead us so deeply into our own nature.” Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass has called her “one of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing.”
Evocative and lyrically graceful, Glück's work is noted for its emotional intensity and technical precision. Her language, staunchly straightforward, is clear and refined, so-much-so one does "not see the intervening fathoms.” Glück's considerable accomplishments as a poet are apparent in her latest volume, Poems: 1962-2012. Her new collection of poems,  Faithful and Virtuous Night, won the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry.

Louise Glück Zell Distinguished Poet in Residence Reading

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/27/2015; 6:00 PM
Location: UMMA
Detailed Information:

Louise Glück is one of America’s finest contemporary poets. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Glück is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of a dozen widely acclaimed books. Stephen Dobyns, writing in the New York Times Book Review, said “no American poet writes better than Louise Glück, perhaps none can lead us so deeply into our own nature.” Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass has called her “one of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing.”


Evocative and lyrically graceful, Glück's work is noted for its emotional intensity and technical precision. Her language, staunchly straightforward, is clear and refined, so-much-so one does "not see the intervening fathoms.” Glück's considerable accomplishments as a poet are apparent in her latest volume, Poems: 1962-2012. Her new collection of poems,  Faithful and Virtuous Night, won the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry.

Louise Glück Q&A

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/29/2015; 2:00 PM
Location: Hopwood Room
Detailed Information:

Louise Glück is one of America’s finest contemporary poets. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Glück is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of a dozen widely acclaimed books. Stephen Dobyns, writing in the New York Times Book Review, said “no American poet writes better than Louise Glück, perhaps none can lead us so deeply into our own nature.” Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass has called her “one of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing.”


Evocative and lyrically graceful, Glück's work is noted for its emotional intensity and technical precision. Her language, staunchly straightforward, is clear and refined, so-much-so one does "not see the intervening fathoms.” Glück's considerable accomplishments as a poet are apparent in her latest volume, Poems: 1962-2012. Her new collection of poems,  Faithful and Virtuous Night, won the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry.

Louise Glück In Conversation with Linda Gregerson

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 10/29/2015; 5:30 PM
Location: UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium
Detailed Information:

Louise Glück is one of America’s finest contemporary poets. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Glück is a former Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of a dozen widely acclaimed books. Stephen Dobyns, writing in the New York Times Book Review, said “no American poet writes better than Louise Glück, perhaps none can lead us so deeply into our own nature.” Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass has called her “one of the purest and most accomplished lyric poets now writing.”


Evocative and lyrically graceful, Glück's work is noted for its emotional intensity and technical precision. Her language, staunchly straightforward, is clear and refined, so-much-so one does "not see the intervening fathoms.” Glück's considerable accomplishments as a poet are apparent in her latest volume, Poems: 1962-2012. Her new collection of poems,  Faithful and Virtuous Night, won the 2014 National Book Award for Poetry.

David Mitchell Reading (Co-sponsored by Literati Bookstore)

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 11/07/2015; 7:00 PM
Location: Literati Bookstore

Justin Torres Q&A

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 11/12/2015; 2:00 PM
Location: Hopwood Room
Detailed Information:

Justin Torres has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and most recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012's 5 Under 35. He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. He has taught at Columbia University, Lesley University's Low Residency MFA Program, the 92nd Street Y, and currently teaches at The Writers' Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph's College.

Justin is a 2014-2015 Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library.

He lives in Brooklyn.

Justin Torres Reading & Booksigning

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 11/12/2015; 5:30 PM
Location: UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium
Detailed Information:

Justin Torres has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and most recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012's 5 Under 35. He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. He has taught at Columbia University, Lesley University's Low Residency MFA Program, the 92nd Street Y, and currently teaches at The Writers' Foundry MFA Program at St. Joseph's College.

Justin is a 2014-2015 Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library.

He lives in Brooklyn.

Jamaal May Q&A

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 11/19/2015; 2:00 PM
Location: Hopwood Room
Detailed Information:

Jamaal May’s first book of poems, Hum, is a “bittersweet love song” to the ruined streets of his native Detroit. Boston Review writes, “In May’s skilled hands, Keats’s urn becomes a Chinese takeout box and Wordsworth’s abbey spires are belching Zug Island factories.” May’s poetry uses images of technology past and present to render the “hum” that drives human identity and connection. Since Hum’s publication in 2013, May has won the Beatrice Hawley Award, the ALA Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for the NAACP Image award and Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He has also published two chapbooks, The God Engine and The Whetting of Teeth.
May’s poetry has been published in Poetry, The Believer, Ploughshares, New England Review and The Kenyon Review. His work has been recognized by Cave Canem, Bread Loaf, the Lannan Foundation, and the Indiana Review. He has also been a recipient of the Kenyon Review Fellowship at Kenyon College, Bread Loaf, Callaloo and the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship.
May’s career as an editor and teacher began when he taught poetry in the Detroit public school system. Since then, he has also been on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA. He has served as an associate editor of West Branch and the series editor, graphic designer and filmmaker for the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series. May is also an a member of six national poetry slam teams, including five from Detroit and the NYC-based LouderARTS team. He is a three-time Rustbelt Regional Slam champion and has been a finalist at several national and international poetry slams.

Jamaal May Reading & Booksigning

Department: English Language and Literature
Date: 11/19/2015; 5:30 PM
Location: UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium
Detailed Information:

Jamaal May’s first book of poems, Hum, is a “bittersweet love song” to the ruined streets of his native Detroit. Boston Review writes, “In May’s skilled hands, Keats’s urn becomes a Chinese takeout box and Wordsworth’s abbey spires are belching Zug Island factories.” May’s poetry uses images of technology past and present to render the “hum” that drives human identity and connection. Since Hum’s publication in 2013, May has won the Beatrice Hawley Award, the ALA Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for the NAACP Image award and Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He has also published two chapbooks, The God Engine and The Whetting of Teeth.
May’s poetry has been published in Poetry, The Believer, Ploughshares, New England Review and The Kenyon Review. His work has been recognized by Cave Canem, Bread Loaf, the Lannan Foundation, and the Indiana Review. He has also been a recipient of the Kenyon Review Fellowship at Kenyon College, Bread Loaf, Callaloo and the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship.
May’s career as an editor and teacher began when he taught poetry in the Detroit public school system. Since then, he has also been on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA. He has served as an associate editor of West Branch and the series editor, graphic designer and filmmaker for the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series. May is also an a member of six national poetry slam teams, including five from Detroit and the NYC-based LouderARTS team. He is a three-time Rustbelt Regional Slam champion and has been a finalist at several national and international poetry slams.

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  • Roxane Gay Q&A

    Read More
    Speaker: Roxane Gay
    Date: 09/24/2015; 2:00 PM
    Location: Hopwood Room