2023-2024 Visiting Writers

Chaitali Sen
September 19 at 6pm
Location: Carter Auditorium (JBWS 186)

Photo of author Chaitali Sen in a blue blouse looking directly at camera

Chaitali Sen is the author of the novel The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions 2015) and the story collection A New Race of Men from Heaven (Sarabande Books 2023), chosen by Danielle Evans as the winner of the 2021 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Her stories and essays have been published by American Short Fiction, Boulevard, Catapult, Colorado Review, Ecotone, Electric Literature, LitHub, Los Angeles Review of Books, New England ReviewShenandoah, and many other publications. Born in India and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Austin, Texas. 

Amanda Johnston
October 3 at 6pm
Location: Carter Auditorium (JBWS 186)

Photo of author Amanda Johnston in a green shirt looking at the camera and smiling

Amanda Johnston is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter. Her work has been published in CallalooPoetry MagazinePuerto del SolMuzzle, and the anthologies, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. She has received fellowships, grants, and awards from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, Tasajillo, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Watermill Center, and the Austin International Poetry Festival. She is a former Board President of Cave Canem Foundation, a member of the Affrilachian Poets, cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founder of Torch Literary Arts. She is the 2024 Texas Poet Laureate.

Funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Justin Torres
February 20 at 6pm
Location: Carter Auditorium (JBWS 186) 

Photo of author Justin Torres in a black shirt looking directly at camera

Justin Torres is the author of We the Animals, which won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, was translated into fifteen languages, and was adapted into a feature film. He was named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35,” a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, LA Times Image Magazine, and Best American Essays. He lives in Los Angeles, and teaches at UCLA.

Jaymes Sanchez
March 5 at 6pm
Location: Carter Auditorium (JBWS 186)

Photo of author Jaymes Sanchez smiling directly at camera

Jaymes Sanchez is a Texan playwright, actor, director, and educator living in Brooklyn. Sanchez's plays have been developed with The Lark, Broadway Podcast Network/Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Company One, Teatro Vivo, San Diego REP, and Artists' Theatre of Boston. He was an Inaugural Fellow of the Latinx Playwrights Circle Summer Jam in 2023. Sanchez was also the recipient of the 2020 Keene Prize for Literature and the second place prize of Playing on Air's James Stevenson Award. Sanchez has been a finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval and the Kitchen Dog Theater New Works Festival, as well as a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award. MFA: The Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sasha West
March 26 at 6pm
Location: Carter Auditorium (JBWS 186)

Black and white photo of author Sasha West looking to the right.

Sasha West is the author of Failure and I Bury the Body and How to Abandon Ship. Her first book won the National Poetry Series, a Texas Institute of Letters First Book of Poetry Award, and a Bread Loaf Fellowship. Recent poems appear in American Poetry Review, Agni, Georgia Review, and the anthology The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood. Her collaborative multi-media installations with visual artist Hollis Hammonds have been exhibited at the Columbus College of Art and Design Beeler Gallery, the Texas A&M Wright Gallery, and elsewhere. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.

Previous Visiting Writers

Previous Visiting Writers Series speakers include:

  • Kazim Ali
  • Eula Biss
  • Jericho Brown
  • Oscar Caseres
  • Cyrus Cassells
  • Ana Castillo
  • Denise Chavez
  • Lucille Clifton
  • Natalie Diaz
  • Steven Dietz
  • Doug Dorst
  • Jennifer duBois
  • Nathan Englander
  • Tarfia Faizullah
  • David Wright Faladé
  • Carrie Fountain
  • Ben Fountain
  • Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Raul Garza
  • Jorie Graham
  • Virginia Grise
  • Joy Harjo
  • Terrance Hayes
  • Marie Howe
  • A Van Jordan
  • Phillip Levine
  • Ada Limón
  • Karan Mahajan
  • Sarah Manguso
  • Elizabeth McCracken
  • Erika Meitner
  • Dinaw Mengestu
  • Debra Monroe
  • Dinty Moore
  • Tomás Q. Morín
  • Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Emily Pérez
  • Emmy Pérez
  • Roger Reeves
  • Antonio Ruiz-Camacho
  • Karen Russell
  • Diane Seuss
  • ire'ne lara silva
  • Gary Soto
  • Natalia Sylvester
  • Deb Olin Unferth
  • Jean Valentine
  • Jesús I. Valles
  • Derek Walcott
  • Monica Wood
  • Tiphanie Yanique
  • Dean Young
  • Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Visiting Writers Enjoy A Hilltop Welcome

Students at St. Edward’s had the chance to meet three highly accomplished writers this fall when Jonathan Safran Foer, Mindy Kaling and Eula Biss visited campus.

Sponsored by the School of Arts and Humanities, the Marcia Kinsey Visiting Writers Series brings award-winning writers to campus to read from their work, talk about their writing, and interact with our students.

Both the St. Edward's and larger Austin community benefit from the novelists, poets, and playwrights who come to campus. These working artists inspire students and add dimension to professors' curriculum. For more information about the Marcia Kinsey Visiting Writers Series, please contact Associate Professor Sasha West at swest1@seokeks.com or Associate Professor Mary Helen Specht at maryhs@seokeks.com.

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