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The University of the Arts' Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the BFA Program in Creative Writing. It features acclaimed contemporary writers who visit campus each year. These distinguished poets, novelists, short story writers and screenwriters give readings – all of which are free and open to the public – and meet with Creative Writing majors to discuss literary craft and the writing life.

Carmen Maria Machado
Thursday, September 27, 7 PM, Connelly Auditorium, Terra Hall


Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of “The New Vanguard,” one of “15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.” Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York TimesGrantaTin HouseVQRMcSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The BelieverGuernicaBest American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

Roger Reeves
Thursday, November 1, 7 PM, Connelly Auditorium, Terra Hall


Roger Reeves’s poems have appeared in journals including PoetryPloughsharesAmerican Poetry ReviewBoston ReviewBest American Poetry, and Tin House, among others.  He was awarded a 2015 Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a 2013 NEA Fellowship, and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation in 2008. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin. His first book, King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013), won the Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University, the Zacharis Prize from Ploughshares, and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award.

Joe Swanberg
Thursday, November 29, 7 PM, Connelly Auditorium, Terra Hall


Joe Swanberg is the creator of the Netflix original series Easy, which he produces, writes, and directs. His directorial work includes episodes of HBO’s Looking and Netflix’s Love, as well as films including Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas, and Win It All. He contributed to the anthology horror film V/H/S and has acted in Adam Wingard’s You're Next, Ti West’s The Sacrament, and Annie Clark’s segment of XX. Through Forager Films production company, Swanberg has financed and produced films including Alex Ross Perry’s Queen of Earth and Golden Exits, Zach Clark’s Little Sister, and Dustin Guy Defa’s Person to Person. Joe works in Chicago, where he lives with his wife—filmmaker Kris Swanberg—and their two children.

Jacob Saenz
Thursday, February 14, 7 PM, Connelly Auditorium, Terra Hall


Jacob Saenz was born in Chicago and raised in Cicero, Illinois. His first book of poetry, Throwing the Crown, won the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize. His poems have appeared in Pinwheel, PoetryTammy, TriQuarterly and other journals. His poetry has also been anthologized in The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Year of Poetry Magazine and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. A CantoMundo fellow, Saenz has been the recipient of a Letras Latinas Residency and a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. He serves as an associate editor for RHINO.

Carlos Rios
Tuesday, March 19, 7 PM, Connelly Auditorium, Terra Hall


Carlos Rios graduated from UARTS’ Program in Writing for Film and Television in 2014. He received a Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship and was featured on the 2016 Black List. He has written for Colony (USA Network) and is currently a writer for On Becoming a God in Central Florida, which will premier in 2019 on YouTube Premium.



Immigrant Voices: p.e. garcia, Nimisha Ladva, and Afaq Mahmoud, moderated by Prof. Rahul Mehta
Thursday, April 11, 7 PM, Connelly Auditorium, Terra Hall


p.e. garcia is an editor-at-large for The Rumpus. They’ve been a contributing editor at the Offing and Awst Press and an online editor for Hunger Mountain. They live in Philadelphia and are a Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric at Temple University.





Nimisha Ladva's storytelling has been featured on NPR’s Newsworks and on the Risk! and First Person Arts podcasts. She has been invited to tell stories at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Museum of Jewish American History, and the Philadelphia Free Library. She won the First Person Arts Storytelling Grand Slam and has been a finalist in the Philadelphia Moth storytelling grand slam. Her short stories have been published in the U.S. and U.K. and her first play, When Sita’s Daughters Cross the Line, debuted at the Painted Bride Short Play Festival in August 2015. She conducts workshops and presentations on storytelling and oral communication and is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and English at Haverford College.


Afaq Mahmoud is a Philly-based writer, photographer, educator, performer, pastry enthusiast, and human rights activist from Sudan. Afaq has coached the Temple CUPSI and Philadelphia Brave New Voices poetry teams to international championships. She is a Woman of the World qualifier, a FEMS (Female Empowerment Movement Slam) international champion, and a Philadelphia Pigeon Slam finalist. Facing many obstacles while surviving as a black/Muslim/refugee/woman, Afaq has facilitated and performed at events throughout the world. She has collaborated with Pen America, Beautycon, Poetry Out Loud, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, the Barnes Foundation, and universities including NYU, Columbia, and UPenn. Continuously targeted and previously arrested for her activism, Afaq uses her experiences and the violence she has witnessed to combat injustice while spreading messages of empathy and change.

2017-2018 Visiting Writers

  • Siobhan Fallon
  • Rachel Eliza Griffiths
  • Alex Ross Perry
  • Joe Gangemi
  • Rahul Mehta

2016 - 2017 Visiting Writers

  • Annie Liontas
  • Gregory Pardlo
  • Lesley Arfin
  • Kevin Moffett
  • David Greenberg
  • Heather Tone

2015 - 2016 Visiting Writers

  • Darin Strauss
  • Naomi Guttman
  • Alison Bagnall
  • Liz Moore
  • Siobhan Vivian '01
  • Alicia Jo Rabins

2014 - 2015 Visiting Writers

  • Kazim Ali
  • David Simon
  • Katherine Bode-Lang
  • Asali Solomon
  • Elise Juska

2013 - 2014 Visiting Writers

  • Joyce Carol Oates
  • Cole Swensen
  • Laura van den Berg
  • Tomás Q. Morín
  • Zach Savich
  • Scott McCloud