The Amherst College Center for Creative Writing holds a Fall and Spring Reading Series every year, with all events free and open to the public. For more information, please call 542-8200 or visit the Creative Writing Center’s Facebook page. If you would like to receive periodic announcements about our events and other events in the Valley, please email crnewman@amherst.edu. For listings of other local literary events, visit the Five-College Creative Writing Event Calendar.

We partner with Amherst Books, which sells books for our events online. Please support out local beloved bookstore!


A photo of Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint: A Reading and Conversation

Thursday, February 17, 2022
7:30-8:30 pm
CHI Think Tank (Frost Library, second floor) and via Zoom

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“Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is one of the most remarkable writers of our time, and Names for Light is a piercing and heartbreaking revelation.” ―Janice Lee, author of Damnation and The Sky Isn’t Blue

The book cover for Names for Light Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of a novel, The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven (Noemi Press, 2018), which won an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and a book of creative nonfiction, Names for Light: A Family History (Graywolf Press, 2021), which was the winner of the 2018 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, and was named one of Kirkus Review’s best books of 2021, and was long listed for the 2022 PEN Open Book Award.

Myint is an Assistant Professor of English at Amherst College. 

www.thiriimyokyawmyint.com


A photo of Philip Metres Philip Metres: A Reading and Conversation

Monday, March 7, 2022
7:30-8:30 pm
CHI Think Tank (Frost Library, second floor) and via Zoom

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“This is a breathtaking collection, unrivaled in scope or execution, fit to dwell among the great collections of our time… [W]hat sets Shrapnel Maps apart from many of its contemporaries is its insistence on reaching for the light, in reaching for unity, in reaching for new definitions of peace and new definitions of a sustainable joy.” The Cleveland Review of Books

The book cover for Shrapnel Maps Philip Metres is the author of ten books, most recently Shrapnel Maps (Copper Canyon, 2020) which Library Journal described as “at once intimate and politically taut,” The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance, winner of the 2019 Evelyn Shakir Award (Arab American Book Award in Non-Fiction), Pictures at an Exhibition: A Petersburg Album, the widely-praised Sand Opera, and I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky. His work—including poetry, translation, essays, fiction, criticism, and scholarship—has garnered numerous awards, and his poems have been translated into Arabic, Farsi, Polish, Russian, and Tamil. He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University. He lives with his family in Cleveland, Ohio.

philipmetres.com


A photo of Tiana Clark Tiana Clark: A Reading and Conversation

Thursday, March 31, 2022
7:30-8:30 pm
CHI Think Tank (Frost Library, second floor)

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“Critiquing the commodification of black pain while also acknowledging and revealing your hurt as a black person is tricky as hell. It is dangerous. And that is precisely what Tiana Clark does in these beautiful, vulnerable, honest poems. It is a kind of tenderness, and a kind of belief. A reaching toward. It is a kind of care.” —Ross Gay

The Kenyon Review described Tiana Clark’s I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood as a book that “unearths what many have hoped to obscure and demands recognition for the fact that the echoes of slavery, segregation, and racism are not only in existence, but in fact, maintain our country’s personal and political realities today.” That book won the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Clark’s first book, Equilibrium, was selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition.

The book cover for I Can's Talk about the Trees Without the Blood In addition to scholarships at Bread Loaf, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Frost Place Seminar, and Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Clark is the winner of the 2020 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She is the recipient of the 2021-2022 Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, a 2019 Pushcart Prize, and is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow.

Clark is currently the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College.

www.tianaclark.com/


A photo of David Mills David Mills: A Reading and Conversation

Wednesday, April 6, 2022
7:30-8:30 pm
CHI Think Tank (Frost Library, 2nd floor)

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“In a deft, linked series of lyric poems, the voices of the dead of New York’s Negro Burial Ground emerge to tell the stories of their lives as enslaved people. Boneyarn’s evocative poems bring a reader to feel history’s forgotten stories through Mills’s rich imagination. A suite of poems lauds early African-American poets Phillis Wheatley and Jupiter Hammon. These poems are a stirring document: a gorgeous, heart wrenching read.” —Connie Voisine

The book cover for Boneyard David Mills is the author of The Sudden Country, The Dream DetectiveAfter Mistic (Massachusetts slavery poems), and Boneyarn. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Breadloaf, The American Antiquarian Society, The Queens Council on the Arts and The Lannan Foundation. He has an MFA from Warren Wilson College. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, Jubilat, Obsidian and Fence. He lived in Langston Hughes’ landmark Harlem home for three years and wrote the audio script for Macarthur-Genius-Award Winner Deborah Willis’ curated exhibition: Reflections in Black:100 Years of Black Photography, which was shown at the Whitney and Getty West Museums.

The Juilliard School of Drama commissioned and produced Mr. Mills’ play The Serpent and the Dove. He has also recorded his poetry on ESPN and RCA Records.

https://writers.com/david-mills


A photo of Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi: A Reading and Conversation

Wednesday, April 20, 2022
7:30-8:30 pm
CHI Think Tank (Frost Library, 2nd floor)

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“A tragicomic picaresque whose fervid logic and cerebral whimsy recall the work of Bolaño and Borges.” The New York Times Book Review of Call Me Zebra

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is the award-winning author of the novel Call Me Zebra, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the John Gardner Award, was long listed for the PEN Open Book Award, was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller and named a Best Book by over twenty publications. It is being translated into Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Romanian and was published in the UK by Alma Books, a division of Bloomsbury.

The book cover for Call Me Zebra Her first novel, Fra Keeler, was named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree, Her third novel, Arezu, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2021. 

She received a Whiting Award in 2015, and her work  has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, and a Fellowship from Art OMI. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review,  GRANTA, Guernica, BOMB, and the Los Angeles Review of Books among other places. She currently teaches in the MFA program at University of Notre Dame and lives in Chicago. 

www.azareenvandervlietoloomi.com


A painting of a man with a sack over his shoulder

The Stranger by Saleh Al Malhi

The Common Spring Launch Party

Wednesday, May 4, 2022
5:00 pm
Via Zoom

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Amherst College's award-winning literary magazine The Common celebrates the release of Issue 23 with authors from around the world.

We welcome fiction writer Fernando Flores, poet Tina Cane, Palestinian writer Eyad Barghuthy, and Arabic translator Nashwa Gowanlock for brief readings and conversation about place, culture, and translation, hosted by the magazine's editor in chief Jennifer Acker. 


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Fall 2021 Reading Series Videos

Watch videos of the fall 2021 readings by Aisha Sabatini Sloan Janice Lee, Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan.