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Reading Series, Events, & Publications

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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 recent MFA alumni and current student talent. 

At the hub of this literary excitement is the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series. Past years have included Charles Simic, George Saunders, Elizabeth Nunez, Lydia Davis, Charles Wright, Donald Antrim, Tawni O’Dell, Brian Evenson, Anne Pancake, Rick Bass, and Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, among others. 

Additionally, The Steven Fisher Writer-in-Residence Programbrings authors to campus for week-long stays that include classroom visits, one-on-one conferences with MFA students, informal craft lectures and public readings. This year George Saunders will join us, and past years have seen visits from Lydia Davis, Michael Waters, Alicia Ostriker and Ellen Bryant Voigt.

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

The Grucci Works-in-Progress Series provides second-year MFA students the opportunity to present their thesis work to an audience of peers and professors in our Joseph L. Grucci Poetry Center.

Grucci Talks are informal discussions on a variety of topics including craft, professional advancement, and life in the academy. 

The MFA Student Reading Series features the work of current students in the MFA program as well as their cohorts in the MA and PhD programs. Monthly 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.

Big Face, a student-produced publication, gathers samples of work by students currently enrolled in the program, some previously published and others appearing here for the first time.

The Creative Writing at Penn State Blog features events, ideas and enlivening discussion about all things literary at PSU. Current, former and prospective students, as well as all friends of creative writing welcome.