For more than 40 years, the VWS has brought outstanding poets and writers
to the university campus for public readings of new work. The VWS is
sponsored by the MFA Program for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative,
and made possible by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the
University of Massachusetts Arts Council, the Vice Provost of Research &
Engagement, the College of Humanities & Fine Arts, and the English Department.
The Series opens with Matthew Rohrer and Anthony McCann on February 17.
All readings are on Thursdays at 8 p.m. in Memorial Hall. All are free and open to the public. Information about past readers can be found at the Visiting Writers Series website:
Feb 17 Matthew Rohrer & Anthony McCann
Mar 10 David Means
Mar 24 Aimee Bender
Apr 7 James Haug & Brandon Downing
Anthony McCann is the author of I ? Your Fate (Wave Books, 2011), Moongarden (Wave Books, 2006) and Father of Noise (Fence Books, 2003). In addition, he is one of the authors of Gentle Reader! (2007), a book of erasures of the English Romantics, along with Joshua Beckman and Matthew Rohrer. He has taught English as a Second Language in the former Czechoslovakia, South Korea and Nicaragua, as well as in New York City. Currently he lives in Los Angeles, where he works with Machine Project and teaches in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts.
Matthew Rohrer is the author of Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011), A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007) and A Green Light (Verse Press, 2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Satellite (Verse Press, 2001), and co-author, with Joshua Beckman, of Nice Hat. Thanks. (Verse Press, 2002), and the audio CD, Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. (Also, with Anthony McCann, they wrote Gentle Reader!) His first book, A Hummock in the Malookas, was selected for the National Poetry Series by Mary Oliver in 1994.
Aimee Bender is the author of five books of fiction, most recently a novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, winner of a 2010 SCIBA award. Her first book, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, was a NY Times Notable Book. Her first novel, An Invisible Sign of My Own, was an LA TImes Book of the Year. Willful Creatures was nominated for The Believer Book of the Year Award. A novella, The Third Elevator, has been published twice, in limited editions, most recently by Madras Press. Her fiction has been translated into sixteen languages.
David Means is the author of four books of stories including, most recently, The Spot (Faber & Faber, 2010). Both Assorted Fire Events, the only book of short stories in nearly two decades to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction (2000), and the widely acclaimed Secret Goldfish (2004) have been translated into eight languages. His stories have appeared everywhere from Esquire to Harper's to The New Yorker, from from The Best American Short Stories to The Best American Mystery Stories, from Abitare to Zoetrope.
Brandon Downing is a poet and visual artist originally from California. His books of poetry include The Shirt Weapon (Germ Monographs, 2002) and Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005), while a monograph of his collages from 1996-2008, Lake Antiquity, was released by Fence Books in 2010. In 2007 he released a feature-length collection of collaged digital shorts, Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics, with a 2nd volume forthcoming in 2011. A longtime member of the Flarf Collective, he lives in New York City, where he co-curates the Poetry Time Reading Series at SpaceSpace.
James Haug is the author of three books--and more chapbooks--of poetry: Legend of the Recent Past (National Poetry Review Press), Walking Liberty (Northeastern University Press), winner of the Morse Poetry Prize, andThe Stolen Car (University of Massachusetts Press). His most recent chapbook is Scratch (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2010) unless it is Why I Like Chapbooks (Factory Hollow Press, 2011). Factory Hollow Press also published A Plan of How to Catch Amanda (2007). Fox Luck won the Center for Book Arts chapbook competition.