Visiting Authors Series

Events are conducted EST as either virtual or hybrid events (in person and online).  Please register by the deadline by clicking the event you are interested in below: select the ticket price that’s right for you–Free, $5, $10, $15 or $20.

Zoom links are emailed to registered participants.


Rochester Roots

The Little Theater, 240 East Avenue, Rochester, NY Erica Cavanagh, Michael Dumanis, Rachel Galvin, Ilya Kaminsky & Sejal Shah ASL interpretation provided Join us for a one-of-a-kind event showcasing five […]

Free – $20.00
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Past Events

July 10, 2021 – Joani Elliot

Joani Elliott’s humorous contemporary fiction debut, The Audacity of Sara Grayson (Post Hill Press), follows an insecure writer’s journey of self-discovery as she struggles to fill the void left behind by her mother, a best-selling literary icon.

July 8, 2021 – Heather Lanier

Award-winning writer Heather Lanier’s memoir about raising a child with a rare syndrome, defying the tyranny of normal, and embracing parenthood as a spiritual practice that breaks us open in the best of ways.

June 24, 2021 – Brenda Peynado

Brenda Peynado is a Dominican American writer of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays. Her stories have won an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Literary Award, selection for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy and The Best Small Fictions, a Dana Award, a Fulbright grant to the Dominican Republic, and other awards.

June 17, 2021 – K-Ming Chang

In K-Ming Chang’s novel, Mother tells Daughter a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman’s body. Soon afterward, Daughter awakes with a tiger tail. As more mysterious events follow, Daughter begins to understand that each woman in her family embodies a myth—and that she will have to bring her family’s secrets to light in order to change their destiny.

June 10, 2021 – Arisa White

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow and an assistant professor of creative writing at Colby College. She is the author of four books, including the poetry collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, and co-author of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, winner of the Maine Literary Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal for Middle-Grade Nonfiction. She serves on the board of directors for Foglifter and Nomadic Press.

June 3, 2021 – Rosebud Ben Oni

Rosebud Ben-Oni is the winner of the 2019 Alice James Award for If This Is the Age We End Discovery (2021), and the author of turn around, BRXGHT XYXS (Get Fresh Books, 2019).

June 1, 2021 – Charles Coté and Katherine Hastings

Katherine Hastings is the author of three collections from Spuyten Duyvil Press: Shakespeare & Stein Walk Into a Bar (2016), Nighthawks (2014), and Cloud Fire (2012), as well as several chapbooks.

Charles Coté’s recently released collection of elegies about his son’s illness and death, I Play His Red Guitar (Tiger Bark Press, 2019), has been lauded by Kim Dower as “remarkable and gorgeous poems, by turns tragic and joyful.” A clinical social worker in private practice in Rochester, NY, Coté is the author of Flying for the Window (Finishing Line Press, 2008).

May 27, 2021 – James Whorton Jr

James Whorton, Jr. is a former Mississippian and former Tennessean now living in Rochester, NY. He has published three novels, Approximately Heaven, Frankland, and Angela Sloan; and his short stories and essays have appeared in The Oxford American, The Southern Review, Mississippi Review, The Washington Post, and Sewanee Review. He teaches at SUNY Brockport.

May 20, 2021 – Elizabeth Everett

A Lady’s Formula for Love is Elizabeth Everett’s first novel, inspired by her admiration for rule breakers and belief in the power of love to change the world. She lives in upstate New York with her family near sites that figure prominently in the history of civil rights and women’s suffrage.

May 17, 2021 – Lytton Smith and Stephen Collis

Lytton Smith‘s most recent translation from Icelandic, Andri Snær Magnason’s On Time and Water, was published in the U.K. in 2020 and U.S./Canada in 2021. His translations have twice been finalists for the Best Translated Book Award in the United States (2018, 2019).

Stephen Collis is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including The Commons (Talonbooks 2008), the BC Book Prize-winning On the Material, Once in Blockadia, and Almost Islands: Phyllis Webb and the Pursuit of the Unwritten.

May 13, 2021 – Thomas J Mickey

“Thomas Mickey has brought to life the work of nineteenth-century flower seedsman James Vick through historical documents, catalogs, customer testimonials and charming illustrations. In All about Flowers, Mickey reveals where our enduring love for flowers came from and examines the role flower gardening played in the Victorian era, particularly for women.”—Susan Mulvihill, Susan’s in the Garden

May 6, 2021 – Patrice Gopo

Patrice Gopo grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, the child of Jamaican immigrants who had little experience being Black in America. In All the Colors We Will See, a poetic and often courageous collection of essays, Gopo examines the complexities of identity in our turbulent yet hopeful time of intersecting heritages.

April 29, 2021 – Aricka Foreman

Interior driven and intimately political, lyrical and rife with utterance, the poems in this stunning debut coax and trouble form, traversing the landscape of trauma and survival with a deft musicality of time, family, and slippery memory.

April 22, 2021 – Stephen Kuusisto

“…Kuusisto is writing at the height of his powers. But what does that mean? It means that the poet finds a lyric key to the word, and knows it. But how is it done, what is his secret? Perhaps it is his knowledge of “the pressure that makes each fact float.” Old Horse, What Is to Be Done? is a beautiful, unrelenting, moving book. It is a book to live with. I love it.” –Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic

April 15, 2021 – Hanif Abdurraqib

New York Times best-selling author Hanif Abdurraqib reading from his Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize-winning collection, A Fortune for Your Disaster, then listen in on his conversation with acclaimed poet Tim Seibles.

April 8, 2021 – David Ruekberg Alicia Hoffman

Originally from Pennsylvania, Pushcart Prize-nominated poet Alicia Hoffman lives, writes, and teaches in Rochester, NY. She is the author of the full-length collections Railroad Phoenix (Kelsay Books, 2015) and Like Stardust in the Peat Moss (Aldrich Press, 2013). Her new book, Animal, is forthcoming from Futurecycle Press.

David Ruekberg has published two books of poetry, Where Is the River Called Pishon? (Kelsay Books, 2018) and Hour of the Green Light (Futurecycle Press, 2020). His poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, DMQ, Lake Effect, Mudfish, Northwest Review, Yankee, and elsewhere. He was awarded a residency at Jentel Arts in Sheridan, Wyoming.

April 5, 2021 – Holly Wren Spaulding

Holly Wren Spaulding’s poems, articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, The Ecologist, and in the book We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism (Verso, 2003).

April 1, 2021 – Sarah Freligh

Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis;

March 25, 2021 – Hilary Leichter

Hilary Leichter’s debut novel Temporary was a finalist for Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2020.

March 23, 2021 – Spontaneous Combustion: A Coast-to-Coast Spoken Word Showcase

Curated by Gary DeWitt Marshall of Dark Blue Mondaze and sponsored by Ovation TV and Spectrum, Spontaneous Combustion showcases Anderson “Poetically Undefined” Allen, Felicia Cade, Prince Ayinde Mohammed, Sean Hill, and Shaq “Architect of Rhetoric” Payne, with Lu Highsmith as emcee.

March 18, 2021 – Mary Frances Winters

Mary-Frances Winters in conversation with Stephanie Paredes, Assistant Director, Multicultural Programs in the Division for Diversity & Inclusion at RIT.

March 11, 2021 – Liz Lenz

In conversation with Megan Stielstra. Journalist Lyz Lenz lays bare the misogynistic logic of cultural narratives about pregnancy, tracing them back to our nation’s murky, potent cultural soup of religious and historical myths.

March 4, 2021 – Athena Dixon

Athena Dixon will be in conversation with Kristen Gentry, Director of the Creative Writing program at SUNY Geneseo.

February 25, 2021 – Corey Sobel

The Redshirt challenges tenacious stereotypes, shedding new light on the hypermasculine world of American football.

February 23, 2021 – 4 Poets Speak

Writers & Books presents Black History Month: 4 Poets Speak, a video celebrating the award-winning work of makalani bandele, Destiny O. Birdsong, Ama Codjoe, and Keith Wilson as they share poems and brief reflections on the significance and complications of Black History Month

February 11, 2021 – Ama Codjoe

Ama Codjoe in conversation with poet Aricka Foreman.

February 4, 2021 – Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith in conversation with Karen vanMeenen, Director of Community Reading Programs at Writers & Books

January 23, 2021 – Dante Micheaux

Dante Micheaux in conversation with writer Celeste Schantz.
Dante Micheaux is the author of Circus (Indolent Books, 2018), winner of the 2019 Four Quartets

January 13,2021 – Akua Lezli Hope

A third generation New Yorker, firstborn, wisdom seeker, Akua Lezli Hope is a lifetime member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. A Cave Canem fellow, she is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Ragdale US-Africa.

December 10, 2020 – Rage Hezekiah

In conversation with July Westhale

November 10, 2020 – Jessica Cuello

Jessica Cuello is the author of Pricking (Tiger Bark Press 2016), winner of the 2017 CNY Book Award, and Hunt (The Word Works 2017), which received the 2016 Washington Prize.

October 29, 2020 – Paul Moyer

Focusing on witchcraft cases in New England, roughly 1640 – 1670, Detestable and Wicked Arts places the region’s battle against black magic in a transatlantic perspective. Informed by studies on witchcraft in early modern Europe.

October 26, 2020 – Destiny O. Birdsong

In her debut book of poems, Negotiations (Tin House, 2020), Destiny O. Birdsong writes fearlessly about what it means to live in this America, about Cardi B and top-tier journal publications, about autoimmune disease and the speaker’s intense hunger for her own body—a surprise of self-love in the aftermath of both assault and diagnosis.

October 22, 2020 – Kate Reed Petty

In conversation with Sally Bittner Bonn. An inventive and breathtaking exploration of a woman finding her voice in the wake of trauma, True Story (Penguin Random House, 2020) is part psychological thriller, part fever dream, and part timely comment on sexual assault, power, and the very nature of truth.

October 8, 2020 – Lucia LoTempio

The poems in Lotempio’s debut Hot with the Bad Things take a close look at violence against women, both physical and psychological.

October 3, 2020 – Rae-Ellen W. Kavey & Allison B. Kavey: Viral Pandemics

Rae-Ellen W. Kavey, MD, MPH is a pediatric cardiologist and public health practitioner with a career-long commitment to traditional medicine and a public health approach to the prevention of heart disease.

Allison B. Kavey, PH.D is a professor of history at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the CUNY Graduate Centre.

September 24, 2020 – Minda Harts

Minda Harts is the CEO of The Memo LLC, a career development platform for women of color, and an Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner.

September 23, 2020 – Keith Wilson

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem Fellow, and graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop.

September 8, 2020 – Kathy Engel

Over the past 40 years, poet, essayist, and educator Kathy Engel has worked in many of the major social justice, peace, and human rights movements in the United States.

September 3, 2020 – Lauren Camp

Lauren Camp is the author of five books of poetry, including One Hundred Hungers (Tupelo Press, 2016), selected for the Dorset Prize by David Wojahn and a finalist for the Arab American Book Award, Camp works in the confluence of sound, psychology and language.

August 6, 2020 – Melanie Conroy-Goldman

Melanie Conroy-Goldman is an author and educator. She has cemented her place in the literary world with fiction published in Southern Review, StoryQuarterly, and other anthologies and websites.