Visiting Writers Series - Current Schedule

For over thirty years, The Center for Writers in the Department of English has brought internationally acclaimed authors of poetry and fiction to Hattiesburg and the USM community for public readings, workshops, and individual conferences with Center graduate students.

Over a long history, and with the generous support of the university, the College of Arts and Letters, private donors, and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Visiting Writers Series has brought to campus Lee K. Abbott, Toni Cade Bambara, Russell Banks, John Barth, Frank Bidart, Robert Olen Butler, Raymond Carver, Angela Carter, Robert Coover, John Dufresne, Richard Ford, Tess Gallagher, William Gass, Barry Hannah, John Hawkes, Lynda Hull, Hugh Kenner, Galway Kinnell, Kenneth Koch, Larry McMurtry, W.S. Merwin, Edna O’Brien, Charles Simic, W.D. Snodgrass, Gerald Stern, Mark Strand, Derek Walcott, Joy Williams, Charles Wright, and more than seventy other writers.

In the last decade of the series, visitors have included Ellen Bryant Voigt, Percival Everett, Stuart Dischell, Stephen Dobyns, Lucie Brock-Broido, Francine Prose, Tim O’Brien, Amy Hempel, Padgett Powell, Dana Gioia, Rick Moody, Mary Gaitskill, Kelly Cherry, Bobbie Ann Mason, Diane Williams, Ann Beattie, and Dara Wier.

Since 2012, visiting writers have included  poets Kevin Young, Don Bogen, Alex Lemon, Caki Wilkinson, Adam Vines, Catherine Pierce, Farrah Field,  Allan Peterson, and  L. Lamar Wilson, as well as fiction writers Justin Torres, Lauren Groff, Mary Miller, Michael Farris Smith, and Peter Orner.

Our disposition has always been toward a mix of well-established and interesting writers and new on scene and interesting writers, with the idea that each serves the students in a unique way and that exposure to different aesthetics and styles is vital to learning the art.


All readings are free and open to the public.


Fall 2015


A Poetry Reading by Andrea Spofford
Friday, September 18th, 2015
4:00 PM
LAB 108, Gonzales Auditorium 

Andrea Spofford is the author of the poetry collection The Pine Effect, as well as two poetry chapbooks, Everything is Combustible and Qikiqtagruk: Almost an Island. She is an assistant professor at Austin Peay University and the poetry editor of Zone Three Press.










A Poetry Reading by Kimiko Hahn
Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 
7:30 PM
Thad Cochran Building, room 216

Kimiko Hahn, author of nine collections, renders her themes in varying forms and finds her material from disparate sources—whether black lung disease (Volatile) or classical Japanese texts (The Narrow Road to the Interior). Rarified fields of science triggered the work in Toxic Flora and continue in Brain Fever. Hahn’s most recent award was a Guggenheim Fellowship and she is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, City University of New York.