• Reading from one of her bilingual children's books, Pat Mora teaches Davidson Elementary School students a few words in Spanish.

  • Currently writing for Dreamworks Animation, Reynolds Lecturer David Henry Hwang spoke on "The Fluidity of Identity" in the Duke Family Performance Hall.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning Margaret Edson, author of Wit, speaks with students in one of Ann Fox's classes.


Literary Calendar

The English Department annually presents 10-12 writers, often winners of Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur "genius grants," National Book Awards and various other honors. All writers brought to campus work with students personally; all public presentations are free. All events are in the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room of the Alvarez College Union (unless otherwise noted) and open to the public. For more information, please email Nancy Randazzo or call 704-894-2472.

A listing of events for the 2014-2015 academic year will be posted to this page in early fall 2014.

Past Events (2013-14)

Al Young photo

Al Young

October 9, 2013  •  7:30 p.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

An American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter and professor, Young has traveled the world, teaching and observing, and written scripts for Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor. Often performing with musicians, it has been said, "Like jazz, Al Young is an original American voice."

Artist Website

Pat Mora photo

Pat Mora

October 29, 2013  •  7:30 p.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

As a leading figure in Hispanic poetry, Pat Mora has gained much recent success as a children's author. She has greatly affected the genre of children's literature with her positive and expansive view of childhood and bilingual literarch. Mora is also a proponent for publisher's to commit to producing more works from Latinos and Latinas.

Artist Website

David Henry Hwang photo

David Henry Hwang

November 4, 2013  •  7:30 p.m.  •  Duke Family Performance Hall

Reynolds Lecture

Perhaps the most important dramatist of American public life since Arthur Miller, Hwang's awards and credits are long, impressive and on-going. Having worked with Elton John and Tim Rice (Aida), David Cronenberg (M. Butterfly) and Philip Glass, his latest work is writing Bob's Gang for Dreamworks Animation.

Artist Website

Margaret Edson photo

Margaret Edson

November 22, 2013  •  7 p.m.  •  Duke Family Performance Hall

A brilliant and profound thinker and lively public speaker, Edson is the author of the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony award-winning play, Wit. Currently a middle-schoold teacher in Atlanta, she usually ends each class with a writing assignment. "Sitting by yourself, forcing the swirl of thoughts into a linear, systematic journey forward-it makes you smarter."

Rachel Herz head shot

Rachel Herz

February 11, 2014  •  7 p.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

A professional consultant to various industries on smell, taste, food and flavor and frequently called upon as an expert witness in legal cases involving olfaction, Herz has written two critically acclamind popular science books, The Scent of Desire and That's Disgusting. She is currently working on a new book which explores our psychology and passion for odor.

Artist Website

head shot of Philip Gerard

Philip Gerard

February 13, 2014  •  7:30 p.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

R. Windley Hall and Charles E. Lloyd Awards in Writing

A native of Delaware, Philip Gerard is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently Down the Wild Cape Fear and The Patron Saint of Dream, winner of the 2012 Gold Medal for Essay/Creative Nonfiction from the Independent Publisher. He teaches in the department of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington.

Artist Website

Don DeLillo headshot

Don DeLillo

February 17, 2014  •  8 p.m.  •  Duke Family Performance Hall

Joel Conarroe Lecture

Don DeLillo's works include novels, short stories, plays and essays on subjects ranging from television to nuclear war to the complexities of language. DeLillo first gained widespread recognition, and the National Book Award, for White Noise (1985). He has since been honored with the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. DeLillo was twice named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and in 2013, won the inaugural Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

Artist Website

head shot of Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine

March 20, 2014 • 7:30 p.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

Vereen Bell Memorial Award in Creative Writing

Challenging generic conventions since her first book, Nothing in Nature is Private was published, Rankine also experiments with theater; "Provenance of Beauty," is performed on a bus and consists a poetic travelogue through South Bronx, where she was raised.

Artist Website

Richard Blanco headshot

Richard Blanco

April 8, 2014  •  11:05 a.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

Poetry Reading

Cuban-American poet, Richard Blanco, will read from his award-winning work and sign books. Blanco was selected by President Obama as the fifth Inaugural Poet in history.

Artist Website

Tony D'Souza headshot

Tony D'Souza

April 17, 2014  •  7 p.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

Visiting McGee Professor of Writing

Novelist, journalist and Guggenheim fellow Tony D'Souza is an omnivore; has written for the The New Yorker, Esquire, Playboy and Mother Jones. He has written on wartime in West Africa, drug trafficking in California and great bars in Wisconsin. He received the National Association of Black Journalists Investigative Reporting Prize last year. His novel, Mule, has been optioned by Warner Brothers.

Artist Website

Steve Weinberg head shot

Steve Weinberg

April 17, 2014  •  7 p.m.  •  C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

Visiting Batten Professor of English

The author of Taking on the Trust: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller as well as The Reporter's Handbook: An Investigator's Guide to Documents and Techniques, and a biography of Armand Hammer, among other works; he is currently under contract to write a biography of Garry Trudeau. A freelance journalist and editor, he is the former director of the University of Missouri School of Journalism's Washington, D.C. reporting program.
Artist Website