Celebrated Writers in Camden Series Returns


By Tom McLaughlin

The nation’s top authors, poets, editors, and publishers will once again visit the Rutgers University–Camden campus this fall to lead a series of inspiring and engaging readings and workshops for aspiring authors in the Delaware Valley.

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

Unless otherwise noted, readings will be held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the 401 Penn classroom, accessible from the side of the Paul Robeson Library, on the Rutgers–Camden campus. Question-and-answer sessions and receptions with the authors will follow.

Sept. 16


Asali Solomon Photo credit: Ron Nicholas

Asali Solomon and Ross Gay will read.

Asali Solomon received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for the stories later collected in her first book Get Down, a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. In 2007, Solomon, who teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College, was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.”

Ross Gay is the author of three books, Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. Gay, an associate professor at Indiana University and a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute.

Oct. 21

Lee Herrick and Matthew Salesses will read.

Fresno Poet Laureate Lee Herrick is the author of two poetry collections, Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire. His poems have also been published widely in literary magazines and anthologies, including The Bloomsbury Review, ZZYZYVA, and Berkeley Poetry Review. He currently teaches at Fresno City College and in the master of fine arts program in creative writing at Sierra Nevada College.

Matthew Salesses is the author of The Hundred-Year Flood, I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, The Last Repatriate, Different Racisms, and Our Island of Epidemics. In November, Gazillion Strong will serialize his illustrated Korean drama/novel, Marked.

Nov. 11


Ross Gay

Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Lynne Barrett will read.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of Lucky Fish, winner of the Hoffer Grand Prize for Prose and Independent Books; At the Drive-In Volcano; and Miracle Fruit. Her poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Quarterly West, New England Review, Ploughshares, FIELD, Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, and Slate. A professor at State University of New York–Fredonia, she has been awarded a National Education Association (NEA) Fellowship in poetry, the Glenna Luschia Prize from Prairie Schooner, and the Angoff Award from The Literary Review.

Lynne Barrett is the author of the story collections Magpies, The Secret Names of Women, and The Land of Go, as well as editor of Tigertail: Florida Flash and co-editor of Birth: A Literary Companion. Barrett has received the Edgar Award for best mystery story and an NEA fellowship, and her work can be found in many other journals and anthologies, including Trouble in the Heartland: Stories Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen, Fifteen Views of Miami, and One Year to a Writing Life. Originally from New Jersey, she teaches in the master of fine arts program in creative writing at Florida International University and serves as editor of The Florida Book Review.

Dec. 2

shelly oria

Shelly Oria

Shelly Oria will read in the Black Box Theater, in conjunction with the exhibition, “Visions of Place, Complex Geographies in Contemporary Israeli Art,” running from Sept. 17 to Dec. 17 in the Stedman Gallery at Rutgers–Camden. The Black Box Theater and Stedman Gallery are located in the Fine Arts Complex.

Born in Los Angeles, Oria grew up in Israel. She is the author of the short-story collection, New York 1, Tel Aviv 0. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, FiveChapters, and Electric Literature’s “Recommended Reading,” among other places, and has won the Indiana Review Fiction Prize, a Sozopol Fiction Seminars Fellowship in Bulgaria, and the LMCC Workspace Residency. She holds a master of fine arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College, and teaches fiction and co-directs the writers’ forum at Pratt Institute.

For further information regarding the Writers in Camden series, visit mfa.camden.rutgers.edu/visiting-writers/2014-2015.

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