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Reading Series, Events, & Publications

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, reading in the Rolling Series on September 7, 2017

Penn State boasts an eclectic and vibrant arts community and is proud to host some of the most acclaimed writers in the world alongside up-and-coming authors as well as our own alumni.

Mary E. Rolling Reading Series
At the hub of this literary excitement is the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series. Previous visitors have included Donald Antrim, Rick Bass, Jo Ann Beard, Aimee Bender, Billy Collins, Lydia Davis, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Mark Doty, Stuart Dybek, Linda Gregerson, Alex Lemon, Chinelo Okparanta, Ann Pancake, Francine Prose, Ito Romo, George Saunders, Charles Simic, Anne Stevenson, Melanie Thernstrom, Michael Waters, John Edgar Wideman, and Charles Wright.


The Rolling Reading Series for 2017-2018 includes:

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon on Thursday, September 7th

Suki Kim on Tuesday, November 14th

Jennifer Haigh on Friday, December 1st

Shara McCallum on Thursday, January 25th

Sunil Yapa on Thursday, March 22nd

Jillian Cantor on Tuesday, April 3rd

All readings are held at 7:30pm in Foster Auditorium at Pattee Library and are free and open to the public.



Emily Dickinson Lecture in American Poetry

The generosity of alumni donors George and Barbara Kelly allows us to bring in annually a renowned American poet, who either gives a lecture about poetry or reads his or her own work. Previous visitors include Elizabeth Alexander, Richard Blanco, Rita Dove, Robert Hass, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jane Hirshfield, Susan Howe, Li-Young Lee, Marilyn Nelson, Sharon Olds, Robert Pinksy, Yusef Komanyakas, Vijay Sheshadri, and Ellen Bryant Voigt. The Emily Dickinson Lecturer for 2017-2018 will be the current U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith. She will read in The Nittany Lion Inn on Thursday, October 19th at 7:30 pm.

Tracy K. Smith

Photograph © Rachel Eliza Griffiths




Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence Program
The Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence Program brings authors to campus for week-long stays that include classroom visits, one-on-one conferences with graduate students, informal craft lectures, and public readings. Previous residencies have included Sandra Cisneros, Kate Daniels, Lydia Davis, Sarah Manguso, Susan Orlean, George Saunders, David Shields, and Jess Walter. The Fisher Writer-in-Residence for spring 2017 will be novelist, short story writer, and essayist Mary Gaitskill. She will read on Wednesday, February 21st at 7:30 pm in Foster Auditorium.

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Mary Gaitskill

Photo credit: Derek Shapton



Red Weather Reading Series
The Red Weather Reading Series invites emerging authors interested in connecting with student writers in an informal environment. Julie Johnson, Daniel Nester, G.C. Waldrep, Paula Bohince, Chavisa Woods, Vicki Glembocki, John Rowell, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Roald Hoffman are among recent visitors.



Graduate Creative Writing Series
The Graduate Creative Writing Series features the work of current students. Readings are casual and lively and serve as important social gathering space as well as a showcase for the works-in-progress of the community.



Creative Writing at Penn State Blog
The Creative Writing at Penn State Blog features events, ideas and enlivening discussion about all things literary at PSU. To access our calendar of events and keep up with our doings, please visit us at, or at and While you’re there, please “like” us on Facebook.

For information please contact:

Alison Jaenicke