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Visiting Writers Series-Fall 2015

The Visiting Writers Series (VWS) is held annually and is sponsored by the Writing Communities course at TCNJ. Students in the course select writers to bring to campus, organize the event to campus from booking to execution, and ensure the event’s widespread promotion. Invited writers come from a variety of backgrounds, being poets and storytellers, rising stars to established literary giants. Past VWS events have featured readings by George Sauders, C.K. Williams, Ben Lerner, Joe Wenderoth, and Denise Duhamel.

Books by the writers are typically available at the event. The event is usually followed by a book signing with light refreshments.
Michael Dickman
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 Campus visit and Reading at 5:30pm in the Library Auditorium

Dickman’s second poetry collection won the James Laughlin Award for the best second book by an American poet.
“This is only Dickman’s second book…he already seems a major American talent”(New York Times Book Review).
“Reading Michael Dickman is like stepping out of an overheated apartment building to be met, unexpectedly, by an exhilaratingly chill gust of wind” (The New Yorker).
“These are lithe, seemingly effortless poems, poems whose strange affective power remains even after several readings” (The Believer).

MICHAEL DICKMAN graduated from La Salle Catholic College Preparatory, after which he attended five colleges (Portland State, the University of San Francisco, Portland Community College, Marylhurst University and the University of Oregon). He received a fellowship from The James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. In 2009, he received an Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Field, Tin House, and Narrative Magazine. Dickman’s identical twin brother, Matthew, is also a successful poet, and the two of them coauthored the 2012 poetry collection 50 American Plays. He and his brother also starred as the pre-cog twins, Arthur and Dashiell, in the 2002 Steven Spielberg film Minority Report.

A New Yorker profile of the Dickman brothers:

Event Announcement:


Lydia Davis
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 Campus visit and Reading at 5:30pm in the Library Auditorium

Davis’ most recent book Can’t and Won’t: Stories was published in March 2015 and was called the “most revolutionary collection of stories by an American in twenty-five years” (John Freeman, The Boston Globe).

“Davis is a magician of self-consciousness. Few writers now working make the words on the page matter more.” —Jonathan Franzen

“The best prose stylist in America.” —Rick Moody “A body of work probably unique in American writing, in its combination of lucidity, aphoristic brevity, formal originality, sly comedy, metaphysical bleakness, philosophical pressure, and human wisdom. I suspect that ‘The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis’ will in time be seen as one of the great, strange American literary contributions.” — James Wood, The New Yorker LYDIA DAVIS is one of our most original and influential writers. She has been called “an American virtuoso of the short story form” (Salon) and “one of the quiet giants . . . of American fiction” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Davis is also a essayist and translator from French and other languages, and has produced several new translations of French literary classics, including Proust’s Swann’s Way and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

Davis is a professor of creative writing at the University of Albany SUNY and her stories are acclaimed for their brevity and humor. Many are only one or two sentences. Davis has compared these shorter stories to skyscrapers in the sense that they are surrounded by an imposing blank expanse (Retrieved). Some of her stories are considered poetry or somewhere between philosophy, poetry and short story. Davis has been described as “the master of a literary form largely of her own invention” (The Plain Dealer). The author Carmela Ciuraru has written of Davis’ stories: “Anyone hung up on the conventional (and often predictable) beginning-middle-end narrative format may be disappointed by the wild peregrinations found here. Yet these stories are endearing and rich in their own way, and can be counted on without exception to offer the element of surprise” (San Francisco Chronicle). Davis is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize on 22 May 2013. She is widely considered “one of the most original minds in American fiction today” (The New Yorker).

A recent New Yorker profile of Davis:

Lydia Davis-Announcement