Rutgers–Camden to Host Writers in Camden Series; First Readings Set for Sept. 11

Trying to write that novel, but the right words elude you? Have you shelved your ideas? Need to dust off your plans?

The first chapter toward literary success begins at Rutgers-Camden, as the nation’s top authors, poets, editors and publishers once again visit the campus to lead a series of inspiring and engaging readings and workshops.

Thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rutgers–Camden master of fine arts (MFA) program will continue its celebrated Writers in Camden series, which is free and open to the public.

Readings will be held on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the 401 Penn classroom, accessible from the side of the Paul Robeson Library, and are followed by Q & A sessions and receptions with the authors. Workshops will be held at 3 p.m., at locations to be determined.

The series will begin on Sept. 11 with readings by Chinelo Okparanta and Lauren Grodstein. Okparanta will also lead a workshop.

chinelo-okparantuChinelo Okparanta is the author of ‘America’ (2012), which was shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing. She has been nominated for a United States Artists Fellowship in Literature, and her collection of short stories, Happiness, Like Water (2013) was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

lauren-grodsteinLauren Grodstein’s latest novel, The Explanation for Everything, will be published on Sept. 3 by Algonquin Books. Her New York Times bestselling novel, A Friend of the Family, was named a Washington Post Book of the Year, an Best Book, and a January Magazine Top Ten Book of the Year.  She is an associate professor of English at Rutgers–Camden.

The remaining readings and workshops are as follows:

Oct. 16

A. Van Jordan and Rachel Kushner will read.

van-jordanA. Van Jordan is the author of The Cineaste, Rise, M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, and Quantum Lyrics. Among other awards, he has received the Whiting Award, the Annisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and the Pushcart Prize.

rachel-kushnerRachel Kushner’s new novel, The Flamethrowers, was published in April. Her debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book.  She is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow.


Nov. 13

Sidney Wade and Curtis Bauer will read; Bauer will lead the workshop.

sidney-wadeSidney Wade is the author of six collections of poetry: Straits & Narrows (2013), Stroke (2008), Celestial Bodies (2002), Empty Sleeves (1990); Green (1998); and Istanbul’dan/From Istanbul (1998), which was published in Turkish and English by Yapi Kredi Yayinlari, Istanbul. Wade is the poetry editor of Subtropics, and served as president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs from 2006–2007.

curtis-bauerCurtis Bauer is the author of three poetry collections: his first book, Fence Line, which won the John Ciardi Poetry Prize; The Real Cause for Your Absence and Spanish Sketchbook , a bilingual English/Spanish collection published in Spain. Bauer is also a translator of poetry and prose from the Spanish, including Talisman by José de María Romero Barea and Eros Is More by Juan Antonio González Iglesias.

Dec. 4

Kristen Iversen and Danzy Senna will read.

kristen-iversenKristen Iversen grew up in Colorado and is the author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats, winner of the 2013 Colorado Book Award and the Reading the West Book Award in Nonfiction. Full Body Burden was chosen one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association and Best Book about Justice by The Atlantic. She is also the author of Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction, and a textbook, Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction.

danzy-sennaDanzy Senna is the author of the national bestselling novel Caucasia, winner of the Book of the Month Award for First Fiction and the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Caucasia was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year and has been translated into eight languages. A recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, Senna is also the author of the novel Symptomatic, and the memoir, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? A Personal History. Her latest work, a story collection, You Are Free, was recently published by Riverhead Books.

Jan. 29

Chris Ware will lead a workshop.

chris-wareChris Ware is one of the leading cartoonists and graphic novelists working today.   A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Ware was the cartoonist chosen to inaugurate the New York Times Magazine’s “Funny Pages” section in late 2005. His most recent book, Building Stories, was a New York Times Top 10 Book of the Year, and was also, amongst other honors, awarded four Eisner Awards. He is currently at work on a long-form graphic novel, Rusty Brown.

Feb. 19

Tyehimba Jess will read and lead a workshop.

tyehimba-jessTyehimba Jess’s first collection, leadbelly (2005), an exploration of the blues musician Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter’s life, was chosen for the National Poetry Series  and was voted one of the top three poetry books of the year by Black Issues Book Review. His work has been featured in numerous anthologies, and his honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Poetry Award.

March 12

A publishing panel with editors, agents, and publicists will lead a discussion.

April 9

Percival Everett will read.

percival-everettPercival Everett is the author of more than twenty novels, three collections of short fiction, and two volumes of poetry. Among his novels, all published by Graywolf, are Percival Everett by Virgil Russell (2013), Assumption (2011), I Am Not Sidney Poitier (2009), The Water Cure (2008), Wounded, Glyph, Erasure, Zulus, Watershed, and God’s Country. His poetry collections are Swimming Swimmers Swimming (2011) and re: f(gesture), both published by Red Hen Press.  He is the recipient of the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, the Academy Award from an American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, The Believer Book Award, The Vallombrosa Von Rezzori Prize, the PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, and a New American Writing Award.

For further information regarding the Writers in Camden series, please visit

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