The Amherst College Center for Creative Writing is delighted to invite you to our reading series. All events are free and open to the public. Our events this fall are being held virtually.

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 and asked to be added to the listserv. For listings of other local literary events visit the Five-College Creative Writing Event Calendar.

We are partnering with Amherst Books, as always, but this fall they are selling books for our events online, here. Please support out local beloved bookstore!

2020 Virtual Fall Reading Series


Shayla Lawson Shayla Lawson: A Reading and Conversation

Tuesday, OCTOBER 13TH • 7:00 pm Virtual [PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED]

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Passcode: 539933
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This is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope by Shayla Lawson

Join poet Shayla Lawson as she reads from her new essay collection This is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope, which has been called “a hilarious, heartbreaking, and endlessly entertaining homage to black women’s resilience and excellence” (Kirkus Reviews). Q & A to follow. Event co-hosted by the Emily Dickinson Museum Tell It Slant Poetry Festival.

Lawson is also the author of three books of poetry—A Speed Education in Human Being, the chapbook Pantone, and I Think I’m Ready to see Frank Ocean. She was born in Rochester, Minnesota, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, studied architecture in Italy, and spent a few years as a Dutch housewife—milkmaid braids and all. She teaches at Amherst College and lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Poupeh Missaghi Poupeh Missaghi: A Reading and Conversation

Tuesday, September 29 • 7:00 pm VIRTUAL

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Translating House One by Poupeh Missaghi

Join writer Poupeh Missaghi as she reads from her novel Trans(re)lating House One, about which Publishers Weekly has said, “Missaghi’s lyrical, meditative debut merges fiction, poetry, and critical study to explore Iran’s history and volatile present. . . . a bravura exhibition of writing as performance art.” Q & A to follow. 

Missaghi is a writer, a translator (both into and out of Persian), Asymptote’s Iran editor-at-large, and an educator. She holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Denver and an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her nonfiction, fiction, and translations have appeared in numerous journals, and she has several books of translation published in Iran. She is currently a visiting assistant professor at the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.


Rafael Campo Rafael Campo ’87: A Reading and Conversation

Monday, October 5 • 7:00 pm Virtual

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Comfort Measures Only by Rafael Campo

Join Rafael Campo as he reads from Comfort Measures Only: New and Selected Poems, 1994–2016, generated from his decades-long career as a poet-physician. “Campo’s careful and precise depictions of our mortality not only in harrowing moments of medical crisis but also in the ecstatic moments of human connection serve as testimony to our human condition.” (Noah Stetzer, A&U Magazine) Q & A to follow.

Campo teaches and practices general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is the author of seven volumes of poetry, as well as the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and two Lambda Literary Awards, among numerous other honors. Mark Doty describes Campo’s work as inhabiting “the landscape of birth and of dying, sorrow and sex, shame and brave human persistence—first and last things, center stage in these large-hearted, open, deeply felt poems.” 


Amity Gaige Amity Gaige: A Reading and Conversation

Tuesday, October 20 • 7:00 pm Virtual

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Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Join Amity Gaige for a reading from Sea Wife, her “stunning fourth novel” (The New York Times). “Sea Wife brilliantly breathes life not only into the perils of living at sea, but also into the fraught and hidden dangers of domesticity, motherhood, and marriage. What a smart, swift, and thrilling novel.” (Lauren Groff ’01.) Q & A to follow.

Gaige is the author of three previous novels: O My Darling, The Folded World, and Shroder, which was published in 18 countries, shortlisted for The Folio Prize and named one of Best Books of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review and many other publications. Gaige teaches at Yale University and lives in Connecticut with her family. 


Mairead Case Mairead Case: A Reading and Conversation

Tuesday, November 10 • 7:00 pm Virtual

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Tiny by Mairead Case

Join Mairead Case for a reading from her new novel Tiny, a contemporary, poetic retelling of Sophocles’ Antigone, set in the Pacific Northwest. Q & A to follow.

Case is the author of the forthcoming The Georgetown Steamplant Graphic Novel with David Lasky, as well as the poetry chapbook TENDERNESS, and the novel See You in the Morning, which Electric Literature called “Heartbreaking and familiar, liable to trigger flashbacks of alienation so vivid, they’ll make your feet sweat.” Case teaches at Naropa, in Denver Public Schools, and the Denver Jail. She is also a legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild and volunteers for a community response team supporting queer and trans survivors of violence. She holds a PhD from the University of Denver and is a former birthday party clown.