Summer 2021 MFA Reading Series Archive

As always, WV Wesleyan’s MFA hosted a Visiting Writers Series during the program’s Summer 2021 Residency. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer’s residency was held online, and so were the readings.  We had a stellar lineup of essayists, poets and fiction writers teaching and visiting this summer, and you can check out all the readings from this summer by clicking on the author’s banner below.

Be sure to watch this space for news of tour upcoming Winter 2022 Visiting Writers Series, Jan 2 – 7, 2022.

Randon Billings Noble  – Saturday, July 3rd

Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her collection Be with Me Always was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2019. Other work has appeared in the Modern Love column of The New York TimesBrevityCreative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. She has taught at NYU and American University, is currently the founding editor of After the Art. Randon also teaches nonfiction in the West Virginia Wesleyan College Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Richard Boada – Sunday, July 4th

Richard Boada is the author of two poetry collections: The Error of Nostalgia, nominated for the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award, and Archipelago Sinking. He is a graduate of the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. His poetry appears in The Southern Poetry AnthologyUrban Voices: 51 Poets / 51 PoemsRhinoCrab Orchard ReviewPoetry EastNorth American Review, and Third Coast, among others.

Jessie van Eerden – Monday, July 5th

Jessie van Eerden is author of three novels: Glorybound, winner of the Foreword Editor’s Choice Fiction Prize; My Radio Radio; and Call It Horses, winner of the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction. Her portrait essay collection The Long Weeping won the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award, and her work has appeared in Best American Spiritual Writing, Oxford American, New England Review, and other venues. Jessie has been awarded the Gulf Coast Prize in Nonfiction, the Milton Fellowship, and a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship. She holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and teaches at Hollins University.

Jeremy Jones – Tuesday, July 6th

Jeremy B. Jones is the author of the memoir Bearwallow, which was named the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year in nonfiction and awarded gold in memoir in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His essays appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Oxford American, Appalachian Reckoning, and The Iowa Review. Born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina, Jeremy earned his MFA from the University of Iowa and now serves as an associate professor of English at Western Carolina University, where he teaches creative writing and directs the Spring Literary Festival. Alongside Elena Passarello, Jeremy is the series co-editor of In Place, a nonfiction book series from West Virginia University Press.

Rajia Hassib – Wednesday, July 7th

Rajia Hassib was born and raised in Egypt and moved to the United States when she was twenty-three. She holds an MA in creative writing from Marshall University and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker online, UpstreetSteam Ticket, and Border Crossing magazines. She lives in West Virginia.

Richard Schmitt – Thursday, July 8th

Richard Schmitt is the author of a critically acclaimed novel, The Aerialist and a collection of short stories, Living Among Strangers. His sto­ries have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Gulf Coast, Blackbird, and Cimarron Re­view, among other publications. His work has been included in New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, 1999 and Best American Essays. He is a graduate of the Warren Wilson Low-Residency MFA Program, and his work has earned him a National Endowment for the Arts Grant.

For more information about the readings, contact MFA Director Doug Van Gundy:, 304.473.8329.  Or visit our Facebook page.

This project 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.