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Writers@Grinnell

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Writers@Grinnell: Nichelle Tramble Spellman

Nichelle Tramble Spellman, award winning crime novelist, will read from her work and Nichelle Tramble Spellman photodiscuss writing on Thursday, March 2, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center (JRC) Room 101.

In addition, Nichelle Tramble will lead a roundtable discussion titled, "Writing for Prime Time Television" at 4:15 p.m. March 2nd in JRC 209.

Nichelle Tramble Spellman, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, is a crime novelist with two published books, The Dying Ground and The Last King (Random House/Ballantine). The Dying Ground, a Best Book of 2001 by both the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle, was also shortlisted for the prestigious Zora Neale Hurston / Richard Wright Foundation’s Legacy Award. Nichelle has also been an Edward J. Albee Writer-in-Residence, and a Writing Fellow at the Ucross Foundation. Nichelle has developed television and feature film projects with HBO, F/X, Dreamworks and Warner Bros.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Novelist Junot Diaz Visits Campus

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Diaz will read from his work at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. Diaz also will lead a roundtable discussion about writing fiction at 4 p.m. in Rosenfield Center Room 209. Both events are free and open to the public.

Diaz is fiction editor of the Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Diaz's work, which often focuses on immigration and feelings of displacement, is particularly salient amidst current debates around immigration. Former President Obama said in an interview with The New York Times that his work speaks "to a very particular contemporary immigration experience," with stories of people who are "steeped with this sense of being an outsider, longing to get in, not sure what you're giving up." 

Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Diaz writes prolific stories of the Caribbean diaspora, American assimilation, and negotiation of identity. His novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, tells the story of three generations of a family living in the Dominican Republic and the United States. It won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Diaz also is the author of critically acclaimed Drown and most recently, the short story collection This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious MacArthur “Genius" Fellowship. He has received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others.

Sponsoring this event are the Student Organization of Latinxs; the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights; the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Intercultural Student Affairs; Writers@Grinnell; Student Activities; and the Student Government Association.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Rooms 101 and 209 are equipped with induction hearing loop systems, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of college personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

Writers@Grinnell: Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Award winning author Gabrielle Calvocoressi will read from her work and discuss writing onGabrielle Calvocoressi Image Thursday, Nov. 17, as part of Writers@Grinnell. The event, which is free and open to the public will start at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

In addition, Calvocoressi will lead a roundtable discussion, which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m. Nov. 17 in Rosenfield Center, Room 209.

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart and Apocalyptic Swing, which was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A recipient of awards and fellowships from, among others, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Paris Review, Civitella di Ranieri, and The Lannan Foundation, she teaches in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and UNC Chapel Hill. She is Senior Curator at the Voluble, a new online maker's space for artists and critics and an editor at large at Los Angeles Review of Books. Her third book of poems, Rocket Fantastic, is forthcoming in 2017. She is at work on a memoir entitled, The Year I Didn't Kill Myself. She is an LGBTQ human living in the state of North Carolina.

Writers@Grinnell: Kirstin Valdez Quade and Lydia Conklin

Award winning artists Kirstin Valdez Quade and Lydia Conklin will read from their work and discuss writing on Thursday, Nov. 10, as part of Writers@Grinnell.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

In addition, Valdez Quade will lead a roundtable discussion, which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m., Nov. 10, in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 209.

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, which won the John Leonard Kirstin Valdez Quade ImagePrize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. It was a New York Times Notable Book, and was named a best book of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Library Association. Kirstin is the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she also taught as a Jones Lecturer. She’s been on the faculty in the M.F.A. programs at University of Michigan and Warren Wilson, and is an Assistant Professor at Princeton.

Lydia Conklin ImageLydia Conklin is the 2015-2017 Creative Writing Fellow in fiction at Emory University. She has received a Pushcart Prize, work-study scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, the James Merrill House, the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay, Jentel, Lighthouse Works, Brush Creek, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Caldera, the Sitka Center, and Harvard University, among others, and grants and awards from the Astraea Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Alliance of Artists Communities, and the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Her fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine, New Letters, The New Orleans Review, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. She has drawn graphic fiction for Gulf Coast, Drunken Boat, The Florida Review, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This event is co-sponsored by Writers@Grinnell and Artists@Grinnell.

Writers@Grinnell: Hugo Hamilton

Best selling and award winning author Hugo Hamilton will read from his work and discuss writing on Thursday, November 3, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Hugo Hamilton is the best-selling author of The Speckled People (4th Estate- Harper Hugo Hamilton imagePerennial), a German-Irish memoir of his unique experience growing up in Dublin with a fervent Irish nationalist father and German mother whose family opposed the Nazis and who came to Ireland in the aftermath of World War II. Hailed by Colm Tóibín as a “masterpiece” and an “instant classic” by Colum McCann, Hamilton’s account of a family locked in a “language war” in which his father prohibited the use of English in the home, addresses all the “great issues of the 20th century”( Nuala O Faolain). Joseph O Connor described The Speckled People as a “book for our times and perhaps for all time.” It won the prestigious Prix Femina étranger in France, as well as the Berto Prize in Italy, and appeared on The New York Times notable books list. Hamilton’s equally rich and compelling second memoir The Sailor in the Wardrobe continues the story of this complex dual upbringing and has also been widely praised as an “enchanting piece of work” (Terry Eagleton).

In addition to his memoirs, which have been transformed into screen plays and performed in Dublin theatre venues, Hamilton is the acclaimed author of six novels and one collection of short stories, all of which reflect on the increasingly compelling issues of cultural divisions and belonging. His novel Disguise (4th Estate 2008) picks up this central theme of identity by exploring the life of a three year old Jewish boy who replaced a German child of the same age, lost in the bombing at the end of World War.

Hugo Hamilton is currently visiting Grinnell College as the John R. Heath Visiting Professor, for fall semester 2016.

Writers@Grinnell: Lynda Barry & Dan Chaon

Award winning authors Lynda Barry and Dan Chaon will read from their work and discuss writing on Thursday, September 29, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Dan Chaon imageDan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications.

Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

Lynda Barry imageLynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher and found they are very much alike. The New York Times has described Barry as “among this country’s greatest conjoiners of words and images, known for plumbing all kinds of touchy subjects in cartoons, comic strips and novels, both graphic and illustrated.”

Barry has authored 21 books, including the beloved novel Cruddy, called “a work of terrible beauty” by The New York Times and the award-winning book What It Is, based on her now famous “Writing the Unthinkable” workshop.

Barry is currently Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and runs the Image Lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

Barry has received numerous awards and honors for her work, among them two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Wisconsin Library Association’s RR Donnelly Award, the Washington State Governor’s Award, and the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Outreach Fellowship.

Creativity Workshop Led by Lynda Barry & Dan Chaon

Author and artist Lynda Barry, along with author Dan Chaon, will lead a Creativity Workshop from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 30, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Dan ChaonLynda Barry and Dan Chaon have been teaching together for the last three years and have developed a set of writing exercises that are part of their upcoming book, Workbook 52. This workshop is about a way of creating a sustainable writing practice for anyone at any level who may be interested in writing and is having a hard time figuring out how to start or continue a story. 

It’s based on using a common but extraordinary sort of memory almost of all of us have; the instant kind that ‘floods’ us when a certain smell or a song triggers a vivid image of certain place-in-time. It’s the kind of memory that is unwilled and vivid, something that feels somehow on-going and plastic, a living place where a story is happening. We’ll learn an easy method to create the circumstances for these kinds of images to come to us and set them down quickly in writing. We’ll start by using autobiographical memory, and then show how to apply it to writing fiction.

Lynda BarryLynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher and found they are very much alike. The New York Times has described Barry as “among this country’s greatest conjoiners of words and images, known for plumbing all kinds of touchy subjects in cartoons, comic strips, and novels, both graphic and illustrated.”

Barry has authored 21 books, including the beloved novel Cruddy which was called “a work of terrible beauty” by The New York Times and the award-winning book What It Is, based on her now famous “Writing the Unthinkable” workshop. Barry is currently assistant professor in interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and runs the Image Lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Barry has received numerous awards and honors for her work, among them two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Wisconsin Library Association’s RR Donnelly Award, the Washington State Governor’s Award, and the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Outreach Fellowship.

Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

The event is co-sponsored by Artists@Grinnell, Public Event series, and Writers@Grinnell.

The Milieu Runs the Show

The Department of English, with funding from the Grinnell College Innovation Fund, will present Trans, Julian Goldberger’s feature film directorial debut, which was screened at the Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin film festivals. The screening will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Goldberger, a frequent collaborator with writer-in-residence Dean Bakopoulos, will come to Grinnell as part of a new series of pilot courses on screenwriting and filmmaking, taught by Bakopoulos and assistant professor of English Alissa Nutting.

Trans tells the story of Ryan Kaminski, played by Ryan Daugherty, a 16-year-old who escapes the harsh world of juvenile detention in Florida. The movie follows Kaminski as he tries to decide where to go and what to do once he has his freedom.

Julian GoldbergerFollowing the screening of the film, Goldberger will lead a discussion about the film and down-home, low-budget, regional filmmaking. The event is open to Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff.

Goldberger received widespread critical acclaim for Trans, including the Readers’ Jury Prize, Best Film, 1999 at the Berlin Film Festival, and it was screened as part of the New Directors/New Films series at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

In recognition of his first feature, Goldberger also received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for the Someone to Watch Award. His second feature, The Hawk is Dying, stars Paul Giamatti, Michelle Williams, and Michael Pitt, and premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

His adaptation of the Harry Crews novel, also screened in the Directors Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival, won both the Grand Jury Prize as well as the Audience Award at the Brasilia International Film Festival. In 2011, Lionsgate Television optioned Goldberger’s pilot for the drama series Maple Rock, which he co-wrote with Bakopoulos.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Room 101 in the Rosenfield Center is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Writers@Grinnell: Chris Martin

Chris Martin image Grinnell College will host poet Chris Martin for the second Writers@Grinnell event of the fall semester on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

Martin will host an informal discussion at 4:15 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 209. He will also read from his work at 8 p.m. in Rosenfield Center, Room 101. Both events are free and open to the public.

"Though invention will always be a crucial aspect of poetic work," Martin says, "poets are also here to remind us of the marvel of existence, no matter how banal the territory of the poem gets."

Martin is the author of three collections of poetry: The Falling Down Dance, Becoming Weather, and American Music, which was selected by the late C. D. Wright, a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, for the Hayden Carruth Award.

In addition, Martin is the author of several chapbooks, including HISTORY, enough, and How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem. His recent work can be found now or soon in The Cultural Society, Fence, Paperbag, SPOKE TOO SOON, and The Brooklyn Rail.

An editor at Futurepoem books, Martin lives in Minneapolis with his wife, the poet Mary Austin Speaker, and their son, Atticus. Martin teaches at The Loft and is a visiting assistant professor of English at Carleton College, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He also holds a master's degree from New York University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.

He cofounded and is a teacher-writer at Unrestricted Interest, a program dedicated to transforming the lives of unconventional learners and students on the autism spectrum through poetry.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Writers@Grinnell: Kazim Ali

Award winning poet, essayist, fiction writer, and translator Kazim Ali will read from his workKazim Ali image and discuss writing on Thursday, September 22, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

In addition, Ali will lead a roundtable discussion which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m. September 22, in Rosenfield Center, Room 209.

Kazim Ali's books include several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry​; ​The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; ​and the cross-genre text Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities. He has also published a translation of Abahn Sabana David by Marguerite Duras​, ​Water’s Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri, Oasis of Now: Selected Poems by Sohrab Sepehri, ​and (with Libby Murphy) L’amour by Marguerite Duras. His novels include Quinn’s Passage, named one of “The Best Books of 2005” by Chronogram magazine,​and The Disappearance of Seth​. H​is books of essays include Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence and Fasting for Ramadan. In addition to co-editing Jean Valentine: This-World Company, he is a contributing editor forAWP Writers Chronicle, associate editor of the literary magazine FIELD, and founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books. He is the series co-editor for both Poets on Poetry and Under Discussion, from the University of Michigan Press.

Ali’s forthcoming titles include: Uncle Sharif’s Life in Music, a collection of short stories; The Secret Room: A String Quartet, a novel; and Anais Nin: An Unprofessional Study, a new book of essays.  Ali ​is an associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin College.