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Visiting Writers Reading Series Wraps Up with Award-Winning Author Maggie Nelson

By Ananya Mehrotra ’27 & Mónica Hernández Williams

Whitman College’s 2023–2024 Visiting Writers Reading Series (VWRS) is closing out the academic year by hosting award-winning author and poet Maggie Nelson on Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center Young Ballroom.

Nelson is a celebrated author renowned for her evocative poetry and insightful prose which dive into themes of love, freedom, and the intricacies of the human experience. She earned her undergraduate degree in English at Wesleyan University before going on to get her Ph.D. in English Literature at City University of New York. She is now a professor at the University of Southern California.

Nelson’s writing includes scholarly work, poetry and nonfiction which have won her many accolades including the National Book Critics Circle Award. She was the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2016 and has since garnered dedicated readers. Her books "The Argonauts," "Bluets," and "The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning” are critically acclaimed. Her upcoming book "Like Love: Essays and Conversations" is eagerly awaited for its promise of engaging discourse and profound introspection.

“I’ve been moved by Maggie Nelson’s genre-defying work for decades, and have followed the inspiring moves she’s made through her life and on the page with admiration and fascination,” says Katrina Roberts, the Director of the VWRS. “In her pages, Nelson has weighed in on so many of the most crucial cultural and social issues, offering us all challenging questions, insights and perspectives drawn from meticulous research and so much lived experience.”

Roberts, who is also the Mina Schwabacher Professor of English/Creative Writing and Humanities at Whitman, says the VWRS has been a “tremendous” opportunity for Whitman’s campus community to engage with a range of emerging and established writers.

“Having the chance to interact with writers one is reading is such a gift of an opportunity,” says Roberts.

Over the course of the 2023–2024 academic year, seven recognized authors have been featured in the VWRS including Whitman alums Zoë Ballering ’12, Katey Schultz ’01 and Jim Whiting ’65.

The 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.

Published on Apr 2, 2024
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