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Visiting Writers Series Welcomes Derrick Austin

By Pan Deines ’26

Award-winning poet Derrick Austin.Whitman College welcomes award-winning poet Derrick Austin for the 2023-2024 Visiting Writers Reading Series. Austin will speak and read excerpts from his published poems in the Reid Campus Center Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. This event is open to the public.

Derrick Austin earned his MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan. He has been awarded fellowships from Stanford University, The Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, and Cave Canem, and was an Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholar for 2022-2023.

Austin is well known for his previous works, “Tenderness” (BOA Editions, 2021) and “Trouble the Water” (BOA Editions, 2016). His first chapbook, “Black Sand,” was published by Foundling Press in 2022, and has been honored as a finalist for several poetry awards. Much of his work focuses on topics of race, sexuality and identity.

Austin’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. 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.

A Learning Experience for Students

Students and faculty across departments are encouraged to attend this event to learn more about Austin’s work and writing process. Students interested in creative writing should reach out to Katrina Roberts, the Mina Schwabacher Professor of English/Creative Writing and Humanities, at robertkc@whitman.edu for more information on small workshops open to current students.

Later in the semester, the Visiting Writers Reading Series will welcome even more writers to campus, including Whitman alums Zoe Ballering ’12 and Katey Schultz ’01. Check out upcoming events.

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.

Published on Feb 6, 2024
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