Distinguished Voices in Literature

Distinguished Voices in Literature

The Distinguished Voices in Literature series brings poets, fiction writers, essayists and scholars to campus for readings and lectures. Featuring both established and emerging writers and speakers, the series showcases outstanding voices in contemporary literature. All events are free and open to the public.

Calendar of Events

Fall 2017

Amber Jamilla Musser

Van Burd Memorial Lecture by Amber Jamilla Musser, Ph.D.

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, 5:15 p.m., Sperry Center Hobson '61 Lecture Hall, Room 104

Amber Jamilla Musser is associate professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Her monograph, Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism (NYU Press, 2014) uses masochism as a lens to theorize different felt relationships to power. Musser has also published widely on race and critical theory, queer femininities and race, race and sexuality, and queer of color critique. Her current research project, "Brown Jouissance: Feminine Imaginings" uses women of color's aesthetic labors to re-imagine epistemologies of sexuality so that they center brown femininity. She has an M.S. in Women's Studies from Oxford University and received her Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University.

Jericho Brown

Reading by poet Jericho Brown

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, 5 p.m., Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Buzzfeed, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. He is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory University.

Jamiee Wriston Colbert

Reading by author Jaimee Wriston Colbert

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, 4 p.m., Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge

 Jaimee Wriston Colbert is the author of five books: the linked story collection Wild Things; Shark Girls, Finalist for the USA Book News Best Books of 2010 Awards; Dream Lives of Butterflies, winner of the gold medal in the Independent Publisher Awards; Climbing the God Tree, winner of the Willa Cather Fiction Prize, and Sex, Salvation, and the Automobile, winner of the Zephyr Prize. Her work has appeared in many journals, including The Gettysburg Review, New Letters, Prairie Schooner and TriQuarterly, and broadcast on Selected Shorts. She is professor of English and creative writing at Binghamton University.

Previous Speakers

Spring 2017

Eleanor Henderson

Eleanor Henderson

Reading by author Eleanor Henderson
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 6 p.m., Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge

Eleanor Henderson's debut novel, Ten Thousand Saints, was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2011 by The New York Times and a finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction from The Los Angeles Times. Her short stories have appeared in Agni, North American Review, Ninth Letter, ColumbiaSalon, and The Best American Short Stories. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, All Things Considered, Poets & Writers, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. With Anna Solomon she is also co-editor of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers (FSG, 2014). Her second novel, The Twelve-Mile Straight, will be published by Ecco this Fall.

Amy Monticello

Amy Monticello

Reading by essayist Amy Monticello
Thursday, April 6, 2017 5 p.m., Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge

Amy Monticello’s work has appeared in Brevity, Creative NonfictionThe Iron Horse Literary ReviewPhoebeThe Rumpus, Salon, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Close Quarters, was published by Sweet Publications, and her nonfiction has been listed as notable in Best American Essays. She is a regular contributor at Role/Reboot, where she writes about contemporary gender issues, parenting, and politics. She is the winner of the 2016 Arcadia Press Chapbook Prize in Nonfiction for her collection, How to Euthanize a Horse, which is forthcoming.

Fall 2016

Nick Salvato

Nick Salvato

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, 4:30 p.m., Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge

Van Burd Memorial Lecture in Literary Criticism by Nick Salvato, Ph.D.

In a variety of ways and contexts, Nick Salvato focuses attention on performances, representational practices, discourses, and dispositions that are figured (often dismissively) by critics as minor or that announce themselves deliberately as minor; and at the same time, he considers the ways in which the concept of minority influences or defines the modern, even as minority conceals the centrality of its definitional power and influence.

Camille Rankine

Camille Rankine

Reading by poet Camille Rankine
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, 5 p.m., Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge

Camille Rankine's first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses was published by Copper Canyon Press in January 2016. She is also the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America's 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. She has been the recipient of a 2010 "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize and a finalist for The Poetry Foundation's 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship.

Spring 2016

Ethan Young

Ethan Young

A Conversation with Ethan Young, Graphic Novelist and Illustrator

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ethan Young is an illustrator, graphic novelist, and the author of Nanjing: The Burning City (2015, Dark Horse Comics). Nanjing delves into World War II’s forgotten tragedy, the devastating Japanese invasion of Nanjing, and in beautiful black-and-white illustrations, it tells a heart-wrenching tale of war, loss, and defiance.

Fall 2015

Michael D. Snediker: Poet and Queer Theorist

On April 21, 2015, Michael D. Snediker, Ph.D. (University of Houston) gave a reading from his Lambda-Nominated poetry collection, The Apartment of Tragic Appliances (Punctum, 2013) and his forthcoming work, The New York Editions, which translates Henry James's novels into lyric poems.


We wish to acknowledge the English Department, President Erik J. Bitterbaum and the Haines Fund, The Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee, the Campus Artist and Lecture Series and the Provost’s Office for their generous support.

For more information about the series, please contact Heather Bartlett or Tyler Bradway.