Summer 2016 Visiting Writers Series, July 2-7


WV Wesleyan’s MFA will host a Visiting Writers Series during the program’s Summer 2016 Residency. These events are free and open to the public. The writers will be reading from their original work, and copies of their books will be available for sale. All readings will be held on Wesleyan’s campus in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts or the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, as indicated below (see #4 and #7 on the campus map (PDF) and click here for directions to campus).

Nikky Finney, July 2, 7 pm, Performing Arts Center

NIKKY FINNEY is author of four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011, winner of the National Book Award); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). The John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997), edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets.

Pinckney Benedict, July 3, 7 pm, Performing Arts Center

PINCKNEY BENEDICT grew up on his family’s dairy farm in West Virginia. He has published four volumes of fiction, the most recent of which is Miracle Boy and Other Stories. His work has been published in Esquire, the O. Henry Award series, the Pushcart Prize series, the Best New Stories from the South series, and The Oxford Book of the American Short Story.

Vince Trimboli & Mesha Maren, July 5, 3:15 pm, Upshur Reading Room (Library)

VINCE TRIMBOLI is a native of Elkins, WV and an alumnus of WV Wesleyan’s MFA Program. His poetry chapbook Condominium Morte was released with Ghost City Press in April 2016. Vince teaches Writing and Literature at Davis & Elkins College and is the Appalachian Arts Editor for HeartWood Literary Magazine.

MESHA MAREN’s debut novel Sugar Run is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in 2017. Her short stories and essays appear in Tin House, Oxford American, Hobart, The Barcelona Review, and Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial and she has been the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation.

Sarah Einstein & Mary Carroll-Hackett, July 6,        7 pm, Upshur Reading Room (Library)

SARAH EINSTEIN is the author of Mot: A Memoir and numerous essays and short stories. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Best of the Net, and the AWP Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

MARY CARROLL-HACKETT is the author of six titles: The Real Politics of Lipstick (Slipstream Press 2010), Animal Soul (Kattywompus Press 2013), If We Could Know Our Bones (A-Minor Press 2014), The Night I Heard Everything (FutureCycle Press 2015), Trailer Park Oracle (Kelsey Books 2016), and most recently, A Little Blood, A Little Rain (FutureCycle Press 2016). She teaches Creative Writing at Longwood University in Virginia.

Jacinda Townsend & Kim Dana Kupperman, July 7, 7 pm, Upshur Reading Room (Library)

JACINDA TOWNSEND is the author of Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which is set in 1950’s Eastern Kentucky and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for historical fiction, and was the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Jacinda teaches in the Creative Writing program at University of California, Davis, and is mom to two beautiful children who amaze her daily.

KIM DANA KUPPERMAN is the author of The Last of Her (forthcoming 2016) and I Just Lately Started Buying Wings: Missives from the Other Side of Silence (2010). She is the lead editor of You: An Anthology of Essays Devoted to the Second Person (2013), and publisher of Essaying the Essay (2014). She is the founder of Welcome Table Press.

For more information about the readings, contact MFA Director Jessie van Eerden:, 304.473.8329.

This project is being co-sponsored by the WV Governor’s School for the Arts and is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.