Writers At Newark Reading Series

The Rutgers University - Newark MFA Creative Writing Program is interested in the real world experience our students bring to the classroom, as well as to creative exchange beyond the university campus. Our most visible bridge to the University and to Newark is The Writers at Newark Reading Series, which brings nationally prominent writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction to campus. The Reading Series provides the opportunity for a diverse audience of students, faculty, staff and the public to hear and interact with these writers in an intimate and dynamic setting. It is also the centerpiece for our community outreach programs, such as our Writers at Newark Mentors Program, where the Rutgers University - Newark Chancellor's Office and the MFA Program partners with local Newark high schools. For more information on our community outreach, please contact us at (973) 353-1107 or at rnmfa@newark.rutgers.edu


2016-2017 Writers at Newark Reading Series Poster


FALL 2016

September 20, 2016
Eileen Myles & Kirstin Valdez Quade


Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is the author of twenty books. Her volumes of poems include The Irony of the Leash, A Fresh Young Voice From The Plains, Maxfield Parrish/early and new poems, School Of Fish, Skies, Snowflake/Different Streets, and I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems.  Her novels include Chelsea Girls (’94, re-issued by Ecco/Harper Collins, 2015), Cool For You: a nonfiction novel, and Inferno. Her nonfiction includes The Importance of Being Iceland/travel essays in art. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in non-fiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’ grant, three Lambda Book Awards, the Shelly Prize from The Poetry Society of America, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts poetry award. She was named to the Slate/Whiting Second Novel List, and received The Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing in 2015. She is a Professor Emeritus at UC San Diego where she directed the writing program, and now teaches at New York University and Naropa University.  She lives in Marfa TX and New York.


Kirstin Valdez Quade

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, which received a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. She is the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She was a Wallace Stegner at Stanford University, where she also taught as a Jones Lecturer. She’s been on the faculty in the M.F.A. programs at University of Michigan and Warren Wilson, and is an assistant professor at Princeton University


October 18, 2016
Chinelo Okparanta & Robin Coste Lewis

Chinelo Okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta, born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, is the author of Happiness, Like Water (stories) and Under the Undala Trees (novel).  Her honors include an O. Henry Prize, a Lambda Award, and finalist selections for the Young Lions, the Caine Prize, and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Her stories have appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, and Tin House, among others. She lives in New York.


Robin Coste Lewis

ROBIN COSTE LEWIS is the author of Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf, 2015), and winner of the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry.  She is a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at the University of Southern California. Lewis is also a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her BA from Hampshire College, her MFA in poetry from NYU, and an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University. A finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, she has published her work in various journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts Review, Callaloo, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Transition: Women in Literary Arts, VIDA, Phantom Limb, and Lambda Literary Review, among others. She has taught at Wheaton College, Hunter College, Hampshire College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. Lewis was born in Compton, California; her family is from New Orleans.


November 15, 2016
Rickey Laurentiis & Ocean Vuong

Rickey Laurentiis

Rickey Laurentiis was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015) and is the recipient of several honors, including a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation as well as fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, the National Endowment for the Arts and Washington University in St Louis. His poems appear in Poetry, New England Review, The New Republic, Kenyon Review and Boston Review, among other journals. A resident of Brooklyn, New York, he has taught at Columbia University and the Saturday Program at The Cooper Union.


Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong is the author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). A 2014 Ruth Lilly fellow, he has received honors from Poets House, The Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and a 2014 Pushcart Prize. His poems appear in Best New Poets, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, Poetry, Tri-Quarterly, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the 2012 Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in New York City.





February 21, 2017
Ian Frazier & Kathryn Schulz

Ian Frazier

Ian Frazier is the author of eleven books, including Travels in Siberia, Great Plains, On the Rez, Coyote V. Acme, Dating Your Mom, Nobody Better, Better Than Nobody, The Fish’s Eye, Gone to New York: Adventures in the City, Great Plains, Lamentations of the Father (a collection of humor essays), and Family, which tells the history of his family in America, from the early Colonial days to the present, reconstructing two hundred years of middle-class life.  Frazier is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He has been contributing to the magazine since 1974, when he published his first piece in The Talk of the Town. A year later, the magazine ran his short story “The Bloomsbury Group Live at the Apollo.” Since then, he has published numerous short stories and nonfiction, Shouts & Murmurs, and Talk of the Town pieces in the magazine. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and the March Sidney Award. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.


Kathryn Schulz

Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the former book critic for New York Magazine and the author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. The 2012 recipient of the National Book Critic Circle's Nona Balakian Prize and a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism, she has reported from throughout Central and South America, Japan,and the Middle East. 



March 7, 2017
Robyn Schiff & Eula Biss

Robyn Schiff

Robyn Schiff is the author of three poetry collections, A Woman of Property, published by Penguin in 2016, Revolver (2008), a Finalist for the PEN Award, and Worth (2002), both published by the University of Iowa Press. Her recent poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, A Public Space, The Boston Review, and elsewhere. She co-edits Canarium Books and teaches at the University of Iowa.


Eula Biss

Eula Biss is the author of three books: On Immunity: An Inoculation, a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award for nonfiction; Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays, winner of the National Book Critic Circle Award for criticism, and a collection of poetry, The Balloonists. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an NEA Literature Fellowship, and a Jaffe Writers’ Award. She holds a B.A. in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and a M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction as well as in The Believer, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Third Coast, and Harper’s. Eula Biss and John Bresland are the Chicago-based band, STET Everything.



April 18, 2017
Brenda Shaughnessy & Colm Toibin

Brenda Shaughnessy

Brenda Shaughnessy earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MFA from Columbia University. She is the author of Interior with Sudden Joy (1999), Human Dark with Sugar (2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, Our Andromeda (2012), a finalist for the Griffin Prize, and So Much Synth (2016). Her work has appeared in the Yale Review, the Boston Review, McSweeney’s, and Best American Poetry, among other places. With C.J. Evans, she edited the anthology Satellite Convulsions: Poems from Tin House Magazine (2009).  Shaughnessy has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute, where she was a Bunting Fellow, the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission, and the Howard Foundation of Brown University. She has taught at universities including Columbia, the New School, Princeton, and New York University. Poetry editor-at-large of Tin House, Shaughnessy is currently an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, where she teaches in the MFA program.


Colm Toibin

Colm Toibin, born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland, and educated at University College Dublin, is the author of eight novels, including The Heather Blazing, The Story Of The Night, The Blackwater Lightship (finalist, Booker Prize, International Impac Dublin Literary Award, 1999), The Master (finalist Booker Prize, winner International Impac Dublin Literary Award, LA Times Novel of the Year, Stonewall Book Award, Lambda Literary Award, 2004), Brooklyn (adapted into an Oscar nominated film), and Nora Webster; and two collections of stories, Mothers and Sons and The Empty Family (finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, 2011).  He is the editor of The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction and The Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English Since 1950. His play 'The Testament of Mary' was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. His non-fiction work includes, New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers & Their Families, Love In A Dark Time: Gay Lives from Wilde to Almodovar, Lady Gregory’s Toothbrush, and On Elizabeth Bishop, a Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critic’s Circle Award. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. An Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he is Sidney and Irene Silverman Professor of Humanities at Columbia University.