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Visiting Writers Series

About the Visiting Writers Reading Series

The Visiting Writers Reading Series brings established and emerging writers to share their work with the community. The Visiting Writers Reading Series is sponsored by the Department of English, the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, the Lawrence Parke Murphy and Robert Goldstein Trust, and by generous donations from the extended Whitman community.

Information about the 2023–2024 series’ events can be found below. For more information about upcoming events in the series, please see the campus calendar.

View an archive of past Visiting Writers Events.

Upcoming Events

March 4–7, 2024
Writing Week with Whitman College Alumni Writers 

Jim Whiting ’65
Tuesday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. (virtual, register in advance)

Zoe Ballering ’12
Wednesday, March 6 at 4:30 p.m. (in person)

Katey Schultz ’01
Thursday, March 7 at noon (in person)

Zoe Ballering ’12 & Katey Schultz ’01
Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. (Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom)

portrait of Jim Whiting

Few, if any, authors can boast the wide range of accomplishments in writing as Jim Whiting ’65: More than 350 children’s nonfiction books. National award-winning regional running magazine and high school newspaper. Multi-genre editor with more than 500 credits. Humorous poetry. E-commerce. E-books. E-venue and events writer for American Online. Sports editor for his local newspaper. Official writer/photographer for Antarctica Marathon. The first piece of original fiction in Runner’s World. Contributor to publications as diverse as Seattle Times, Greece Travel, Seattle Weekly, and Northwest Book Arts. Jim was also by far the leading contributor to the Nonfiction Minute, a series of free daily 400-word mini-essays from a group of 30 award-winning national authors. And—according to Whiting—none of this would have happened if he had gone anywhere else than Whitman College. Learn more at jimwhiting.com.

portrait of Zoe Ballering

Whitman graduate, Zoe Ballering ’12 is a writer and teacher who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her speculative fiction has appeared in Electric Literature’s “Recommended Reading,” “Craft,“ “Hobart” and elsewhere. Her collection of stories—“There Is Only Us”—won the 2022 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and was released in November 2022.

Her writing is informed by her work in many different worlds: as the program manager for a historic tall ship, the receptionist at a garbage dump, an olive oil saleswoman, a teacher, a radio copywriter, and—currently—as the Assistant Dean of Admission Communication at Reed College.

portrait of Katey Schultz

Whitman graduate Katey Schultz ’01 is the author of “Flashes of War,” which the Daily Beast praised as an “ambitious and fearless” collection, and “Still Come Home,” a novel, both published by Loyola University Maryland. Honors for her work include North Carolina’s Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, the Linda Flowers Literary Award, Doris Betts Fiction Prize, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year award, gold and silver medals from the Military Writers Society of America, the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year award, five Pushcart nominations, a nomination to Best American Short Stories, National Indies Excellence recognition, and writing fellowships in eight states. She has taught all over the country—at Interlochen College of Creative Arts, Fishtrap, 49 Alaska Writing Center, StoryStudio Chicago—and her own organization Maximum Impact, among many others. She lives in Celo, North Carolina, and is the founder of Maximum Impact, a transformative mentoring service for creative writers that has been recognized by both CNBC and the What Works Network.

April 2024

portrait of Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7 p.m.
Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom

Maggie Nelson is the author of several acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including the forthcoming collection “Like Love: Essays and Conversations” (2024), the national bestseller “On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint” (2021), the National Book Critics Circle Award winner “The Argonauts” (2015), “The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning” (2011), “Bluets” (2009; named by Bookforum as one of the top 10 best books of the past 20 years), “The Red Parts” (2007), “Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions” (2007), and “Jane: A Murder” (2005). In 2016 she received a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She currently teaches at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

Previous 2023–2024 Events

pencil drawing of Sara Nicholson

Sara Nicholson

Thursday, October 12, 2023, 7 p.m.
Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory

Sara Nicholson is the author of three books of poetry, most recently April, all from The Song Cave. She teaches in the MFA program at Boise State University.

black and white portrait of Robyn Schiff

Robyn Schiff

Thursday, November 9, 2023, 7 p.m.
Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory

Robyn Schiff is the author of four poetry collections: “Worth” (University of Iowa Press, 2002), “Revolver” (University of Iowa Press, 2008), “A Woman of Property” (Penguin, 2016), and most recently, “Information Desk: An Epic” (Penguin, 2023). A professor at the University of Chicago, Schiff co-edits Canarium Books, an independent small press dedicated to publishing exceptional books of poetry, and was the recipient of the 2023 Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been published in Harper’s, The New Yorker, Yale Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her family.

portrait of Derrick Austin

Derrick Austin

Thursday, February 8, 2024, 7 p.m. 
Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom

Derrick Austin is the author of “Tenderness” (BOA Editions, 2021), winner of the 2020 Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, and “Trouble the Water” (BOA Editions, 2016) selected by Mary Szybist for the A. Poulin Jr, Poetry Prize. His first chapbook, “Black Sand,” was published by Foundlings Press in 2022. His debut collection was honored as a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and the Norma Faber First Book Award. “Tenderness” was a finalist for a Golden Poppy Award, Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and a Northern California Book Award.

His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry 2015, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, The Nation, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, New England Review and Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion. He has had poems and essays commissioned by The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, The New Museum, Craft Contemporary, The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts, LAXART, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.

His honors include fellowships from Cave Canem, the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, and Stanford University. Most recently he was a 2022–2023 Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholar.

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