Reading Series

Penn State boasts an eclectic and vibrant arts community and is proud to host some of the most acclaimed writers in the world alongside up-and-coming authors as well as our own alumni. With the generous support of donors, the Penn State’s English Department sponsors a number of events and series:

Mary E. Rolling Reading Series
At the hub of this literary excitement is the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series. Previous visitors have included Donald Antrim, Rick Bass, Jo Ann Beard, Aimee Bender, Billy Collins, Lydia Davis, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Mark Doty, Stuart Dybek, Linda Gregerson, Alex Lemon, Ann Pancake, Francine Prose, George Saunders, Charles Simic, Anne Stevenson, Melanie Thernstrom, Michael Waters, Edgar Wideman, and Charles Wright. Visit our “Current Reading Series” page, which details this year’s reading series line-up.

Emily Dickinson Lecture in American Poetry

The generosity of alumni donors George and Barbara Kelly allows us to bring in annually a renowned American poet, who either gives a lecture about poetry or reads his or her own work. Previous visitors include Elizabeth Alexander, Richard Blanco, Rita Dove, Robert Hass, Jane Hirshfield, Susan Howe, Li-Young Lee, Marilyn Nelson, Sharon Olds, Robert Pinksy, Yusef Komanyakaa, and Ellen Bryant Voigt. The Emily Dickinson Lecturer for 2017-2018 will be U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.

Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence Program
The Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence Program brings authors to campus for week-long stays that include classroom visits, one-on-one conferences with graduate students, informal craft lectures, and public readings. Previous residencies have included Sandra Cisneros, Lydia Davis, Susan Orlean, George Saunders, and David Shields. The Fisher Writer-in-Residence for spring 2018 will be novelist Mary Gaitskill.

Red Weather Reading Series
The Red Weather Reading Series invites emerging authors interested in connecting with student writers in an informal environment. Daniel Nester, G.C. Waldrep, Paula Bohince, Chavisa Woods, Vicki Glembocki, John Rowell, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Roald Hoffman are among recent visitors.

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