The English Department sponsors a wide range of literary readings, scholarly talks, and symposia.

Fall 2019 Allan K. Smith Scholars Series Schedule:

Rivka Swenson 

Tuesday October 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the Reese Room of the Smith House.

Discussion Topic: “Toni Morrison, Daniel Defoe, and the Female Robinsonade”

Rivka Swenson is an associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the author of Essential Scots and the Idea of Unionism in Anglo-Scottish Literature, 1603-1832, and diverse articles and book chapters on the literature and culture of the long British eighteenth century. Co-editor of a forthcoming Broadview edition of The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, she is currently working on two projects, one on optics, gender, and the eighteenth-century gaze and the other a transhistorical study of female Robinsonades.


Anand Prahlad 

Tuesday October 29 at 4:30 p.m. in the Reese Room of the Smith House.

Discussion Topic: “The Forest and the Trees: Autism, Minus Memory, and Life Writing”

Anand Prahlad is an emeritus professor in the Department of English at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where his research and teaching areas include Creative Writing, Folklore and Black Culture, Film and Visual Studies, Race, Disability Studies, and Music. He has published widely in scholarly and creative journals. His critical books include Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs in Reggae Music (2001), and the edited three-volume set, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore (2005). His creative works include the collection of poems, As Good As Mango (2012), his award winning memoir, The Secret Life of a Black Aspie (2017), and a music CD, Hover Near (2008).




Fall 2019 Allan K. Smith Reading Series Schedule:

Bill Olsen

Thursday October 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Reese Room of the Smith House.

Bill Olsen teaches creative writing and literature courses at the graduate and undergraduate level at Western Michigan University. He is the author of five collections of poetry, The Hand of God and a Few Bright Flowers from Carnegie Mellon, as well as Vision of a Storm Cloud, Trouble Lights, Avenue of Vanishing, and Sand Theory, all from Triquartely/Northwestern. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship, a Nation “Discovery” Award, The Texas Institute of Arts Award, a Breadloaf Fellowship and poetry awards from Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. His poems and essays have appeared in The New Republic, Georgia Review, Chicago Review, and many other magazines and anthologies.  He is editor of New Issues Poetry and Prose.


Garth Greenwell

Tuesday October 22 at 4:30 p.m. in the Reese Room of the Smith House.

Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, it was named a Best Book of 2016 by over fifty publications in nine countries, and is being translated into a dozen languages. A new book of fiction, Cleanness, is forthcoming from FSG in early 2020. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris ReviewA Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for The New Yorker, London Review of Books, and The New York Times Book Review, among others. He lives in Iowa City.


Ishion Hutchinson

Thursday November 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the Reese Room of the Smith House.

Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of two poetry collections, Far District and House of Lords and Commons. He is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and the Larry Levis Prize from the Academy of American Poets, among others. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Cornell University and is a contributing editor to the literary journals The Common and Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art.


Natalie Diaz

Thursday December 5 at 4:30 p.m. in the Reese Room of the Smith House.

Natalie Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She received her BA and MFA from Old Dominion University. She is the author of the collection When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). The recipient of a Lannan Literary Award, a Princeton Hodder Fellowship, a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize, Diaz was named a 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the United States Artists and teaches at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, where she directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program.