Visiting Writers Series Launches with Reading by Joyce Carol Oates

Bestselling author inaugurates new series created in connection with Creative Writing program

September 25, 2013

The University of the Arts’ new Visiting Writers Series launched on September 24 with a reading, Q&A session and book signing by National Book Award winner and bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates. The inaugural event was co-sponsored by The American Poetry Review.

Created in connection with the University’s recently launched Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, the series features six acclaimed contemporary writers visiting the UArts campus each year. These distinguished poets, novelists and short story writers will give readings – all of which are free and open to the public.

"It was an incredibly exciting beginning to our new Visiting Writers Series,” said Creative Writing Program Director Elise Juska, who was on hand to introduce the event. “Joyce Carol Oates gave a wonderful, dynamic reading. I particularly appreciated her generous insights about the craft of writing during the Q&A and her genuine interest in our students."

Oates read both old and new poems before a large group of UArts students, faculty and members of the public, after which she answered questions from the audience on a range of topics from the use of voice in poetry to the structure of short stories. She was introduced by senior Writing for Film & Television major (and winner of the University's Short Story Prize for the past two years) Carlos Rios, who offered thoughtful remarks about the power of Oates's writing.

Oates is the author of more than 70 books, including award-winning novels and critically acclaimed short story collections, as well as essays, plays, poetry and a recent memoir, A Widow’s Story. Best known for her fiction, her novels include them, which won the National Book Award; Blonde, a reimagining of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe; We Were the Mulvaneys, an Oprah’s Book Club selection and national bestseller; and her most recent novel, The Accursed. Among her numerous honors is the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama in 2010.

Upcoming visiting writers, who will meet with students in the UArts Creative Writing program to discuss issues of craft and the writing life, include Cole Swensen on October 24 and Laura van den Berg on December 5. Both lectures will take place at 7 p.m. in Connelly Auditorium in Terra Hall (211 South Broad Street).

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