2014-15 Reading Series

Mary E Rolling Poster final

2014-2015 Mary E. Rolling Reading Series



Thursday, September 11, 2014, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium

Ito Romo was born and raised on the border in Laredo, Texas. His recent work, dubbed “Chicano Gothic” and “Chicano Noir,” shows the dark and gritty life along Interstate 35 through South Texas, where his family has lived for nine generations. He is the author of The Border is Burning (2013) and El Puente / The Bridge (2001).  He lives in San Antonio and teaches at St. Mary’s University.



Wednesday, September 24, 1014, 5:00pm, Lipcom Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art

Seamus McGraw is an award-winning freelance writer and author of The End of Country.  Hehas written for The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Playboy, and The Huffington Post. His next book, a look at climate change through the eyes of farmers, fishermen and ranchers already dealing with the consequences of it, will be released in Spring 2015 by University of Texas Press.


MARILYN NELSON:The Emily Dickinson Lectureship in American Poetry

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium

Marilyn Nelson is a three-time finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Newbery and Coretta Scott King awards. She is the author or translator of fifteen poetry books for adults and children and five chapbooks. In 2013 she published a memoir entitled How I Discovered Poetry—a series of 50 poems about growing up in the 1950’s in a military family.



Thursday, November 6, 2014, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium

Chinelo Okparanta is the author of Happiness, Like Water, a 2013 New York Times Sunday Book Review Editors’ Choice. Okparanta’s writing has appeared in GRANTA, The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, and Tin House, among others. Her story “America” was selected as a notable story for Best American Short Stories 2013.



Thursday, January 29, 2015, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium

Cathleen Miller circled the globe to interview the sources for her latest book, Champion of Choice, which was named one of Booklist’s Top Ten Biographies of 2013. Her previous work includes Desert Flower and a memoir about her life in rural Pennsylvania, The Birdhouse Chronicles. A winner of the Society of American Travel Writers gold award, Miller’s travel essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times.  She teaches at San José State University.



Thursday, February 26, 2015, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium

Elizabeth Kadetsky is the author of a story collection, The Poison that Purifies You; a novella, On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World; and a memoir, First There Is a Mountain. Her short stories have been chosen for a Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and two Best American Short Stories notable citations, and her personal essays have appeared in The New York Times, Santa Monica Review, Antioch Review and elsewhere.  She teaches at Penn State.


JESS WALTER:The Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 7:00 pm, John Bill Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center 

Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read Discussion of Jess Walter’s novel Beautiful Ruins. (Listen to excerpts of discussion with Patty Satalia of WPSU’s “Take Note.”)

Thursday, March 19, 2015, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium (Mary Rolling Reading)

Jess Walter is the author of eight books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Beautiful Ruins. He was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and won the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Harper’s, Esquire, McSweeney’s and many other publications.




Thursday, March 26, 2015, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium

The Public Poetry Project offers an annual reading by poets affiliated with Pennsylvania and produces posters to take their poems into public places.  The event is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the University Libraries, the English Department in the College of the Liberal Arts and Paterno Family Librarian for Literature William S. Brockman.  Poets to be announced.



Friday, April 3, 2015, 7:30pm, Foster Auditorium

Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Penn State, Robin Becker has received fellowships in poetry from the Bunting Institute at Harvard, The Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2014, The Pitt Poetry Series published her seventh collection, Tiger Heron. Becker writes a column on the national poetry scene, “Field Notes,” for The Women’s Review of Books, where she serves as Contributing and Poetry Editor.

Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm, winner of the 2013 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Other awards include the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, the Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities. Geffrey earned his MFA and PhD from Penn State. He teaches in the MFA programs for creative writing and translation at the University of Arkansas.



Saturday, April 4, 2015, 12-9 pm, Foster Auditorium & Mann Assembly Room, Paterno Library

A full day of community workshops and readings by recent Penn State MFA graduates:  Sarah Blake, Katie Bode-Lang, Rachel Mennies, and William Woolfit, followed by a gala open reading.

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