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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Raymond Carver Reading Series

The Raymond Carver Reading Series features twelve to fourteen prominent writers yearly as part of a large undergraduate class taught by TAs from the Creative Writing Program. The readings have an extended Question and Answer session along with a reading. The public is welcome to attend. Recent authors include Gary Lutz, Sam Lipsyte, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Terrance Hayes, C.K. Williams, Lydia Davis, Joy Williams, and Colum McCann.

Due to the generous support of Leonard and Elise Elman two distinguished authors each year spend two-day residencies at SU: the Richard Elman Visiting Writer and the Leonard and Elise Elman Visting Writer. Learn more about Leonard in his interview with Rob Enslin.

The readings have been recorded and are in the process of being made available online by Bird Library at SUrface.

All readings begin at 5:30 p.m. in Gifford Auditorium, HBC Building (Huntington Beard Crouse), Syracuse University and are preceded by a question and answer session that begins at 4:00. The public is welcome.

Parking for the public: The nearest public parking is the Irving Ave garage.  Please note that this parking closes at 7:15 on weeknights (unless there's inclement weather).

Spring 2020 Writers

Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith

January 29, 2020

Bruce Smith is the author of several books of poems, including Spill (2018), Devotions (2011), Songs for Two Voices (2005), and The Other Lover (2000), a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. A “Discovery”/The Nation Award winner, Smith has received a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Arts. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry (2003 and 2004) and the 2009 Pushcart Prize anthology. Smith has been a co-editor of the Graham House Review and a contributing editor of Born Magazine. He has taught at the University of Alabama and Syracuse University.

Chanelle Benz

Chanelle Benz

February 12, 2020

Photo by Kim Newmoney

Chanelle Benz has published work in Guernica, Granta.com, The New York Times, Electric Literature, The American Reader, Fence and others, and is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize. Her story collection The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead was published in 2017 by Ecco/HarperCollins. It was named a Best Book of 2017 by The San Francisco Chronicle and one of Electric Literature’s 15 Best Short Story Collections of 2017. It was also shortlisted for the 2018 Saroyan Prize and longlisted for the 2018 PEN/Robert Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Story Prize. Her novel The Gone Dead was published by Ecco/HarperCollins in June 2019 and was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and a Tonight Show Summer Reads Finalist. It was named a best new book of the summer by O, The Oprah Magazine, Time, Southern Living, and Nylon. She currently lives in Memphis where she teaches at Rhodes College.

Bryan Washington

Bryan Washington

February 26, 2020

Bryan Washington is the author of Lot (Riverhead) and the forthcoming Memorial (Riverhead). He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times Style Magazine, BuzzFeed, the BBC, Vulture, The Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, One Story, Bon Appétit, MUNCHIES, American Short Fiction, GQ, FADER, The Awl, The Believer, Hazlitt, and Catapult. He is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 recipient, and the winner of the O. Henry Award.

Diana Khoi Nguyen

Diana Khoi Nguyen

March 11, 2020

A poet and multimedia artist, Diana Khoi Nguyen is the author of Ghost Of (2018), which was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. In addition to winning the 92Y “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Contest, 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and Colorado Book Award, she was also a finalist for the National Book Award and L.A. Times Book Prize. A Kundiman fellow, she is currently a writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and teaches in the Randolph College MFA.

Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky, the Leonard and Elise Elman Visiting Writer

April 1, 2020

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press) and Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press). He has also co-edited and co-translated many other books, including Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins) and Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Alice James Books). His awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, Lannan Foundation's Fellowship and the NEA Fellowship. Dancing In Odessa was named the Best Book of the Year by Foreword magazine. Deaf Republic was a finalist for 2019 National Book Award, Forward Prize (UK) and T.S. Eliot Prize (UK). Currently, he holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry at Georgia Institute of Technology and lives in Atlanta.

Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill, Distinguished Visiting Writer

April 22, 2020

Photo by Emily Tobey

Jenny Offill is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award), and Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award and the International Dublin Award. Her third novel, Weather, is forthcoming from Knopf in February 2020. She is also the author of four children's books, most recently Sparky. With Elissa Schappell, she co-edited the anthologies The Friend Who Got Away and Money Changes Everything.