Gertrude & Harold Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series

(Each semester the Gertrude Vanderbilt and Harold S. Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series brings writers to campus to read from their work and visit classes.  We’re proud of our readings series, an extraordinary program that gives our students, faculty, and the Nashville community  a chance to meet and talk with some of the best writers of our day.

Cornelius Eady reading at Vanderbilt

Visiting Writers for the 2015 to 2016 Academic Year

(For room locations, see the link.)

September 10 Vanderbilt faculty Lorraine López &  Nancy Reisman fiction

September 17 Charles Baxter fiction

September 28 Brando Skyhorse fiction and nonfiction

October 1  Paul Muldoon poetry

October 22  Ottessa Moshfegh fiction

October 29 Honorée Fanonne Jeffers poetry

November 12  T.R. Hummer poetry

December 3 Jaimy Gordon fiction

January 28  Lan Samantha Chang fiction

February 11  T.J. Jarrett and Christina Stoddard poetry

February 18  Wyatt Prunty poetry

February 25  Daisy Hernandez nonfiction

March 15: Anders Carlson-Wee poetry

March 17  Julia Elliot  fiction

March 18 Nate Marshall poetry

March 23: Julian Barnes fiction

April 7  Jacqueline Osherow poetry

April 21 Bryn Chancellor fiction

A survey of some of our visiting writers in recent years shows the depth and reach of Vanderbilt’s reading series, a source of inspiration and delight for our creative writing students in particular and area residents in general.  From 2009 to 2014 visitors included:

*In 2014-2015, poets Bruce Beasley, David Kirby, A. Van Jordan, Natasha Trethewey, and Jane Hirshfield; fiction writers Kevin Wilson, Gish Jen, Stuart Dybek, Leah Stewart, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Jamie Quatro; and nonfiction writers Amy Hoffman and Sarah Gorham.

*In 2013-2014, poets Kevin Young, Lynn Emanuel, David Wojahn, Julie Bruck, and Eavan Boland; fiction writers Deborah Eisenberg, Edmund White, Steve Stern, Justin Torres, Christine Schutt, and Chris Bachelder; nonfiction writer Dwight Garner.

* In 2012-2013, poets Nikky Finney, Jennifer Grotz, Robert Wrigley, Adam Zagajewski, Chase Twichell, Thomas Lux, Tracy Smith, Stephen Dobyns, Garrett Hongo, and Michael Longley; fiction writers Dan Chaon, Madison Smartt Bell, Adam Ross, Lauren Groff, and Cary Holladay; and nonfiction writer Charlotte Pierce Baker.

*In 2011-2012, poets  Billy Collins, Christopher Buckley, Terrance Hayes, Nick Flynn, Alicia Ostriker, Elizabeth Spires, and Don Paterson; fiction writers Jaimy Gordon, Rattawut Lapchoreonsap, Anthony Doerr, Wells Tower, Lorrie Moore, Manuel Munoz, Maile Meloy, and Bonnie Jo Campbell.

*In 2010-2011, poets Frank Bidart, Carl Phillips, Ciaran Carson, Tom Sleigh, Jericho Brown, Edward Hirsch, Molly Peacock, Mary Kinzie, and Bobby Rogers; and fiction writers Bobbie Ann Mason, Tom Perrotta, Salvatore Scibona, Peter Ho Davies, Aimee Bender, Lydia Peelle, and Holly Goddard Jones.

*In 2009-2010, poets Cornelius Eady, Jean Valentine, and Rebecca Seiferle; fiction writers Randall Kenan and Jill McCorkle; , and memoirists Bich Minh Nguyen and Honor Moore.

Over the years, writers who have read in The Gertrude Vanderbilt and Harold S. Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series have included:  Robert Penn Warren * Eudora Welty * Kingsley Amis * V.S. Pritchett * Elizabeth Spencer * Yusef Komunyakaa * Junot Diaz * Ruth Fainlight * Rose Tremain * Allan Sillitoe * Rita Dove * Agha Shahid Ali * Ellen Gilchrist * Marilyn Nelson * Garrett Hongo * Judith Ortiz Cofer * William Matthews * Diane Ackerman * Ellen Douglas * Margot Livesey * Jessica Hagedorn * Alan Shapiro * Julia Alvarez * Seamus Heaney * Charles Wright * J.M.Coetzee * Richard Ford * Maxine Kumin * Wyatt Prunty * Ellen Bryant Voigt * Robert Lowell * Pauline Kael * David Lehman * Linda Gregerson * James Wood * Stanley Elkin *  Lee Smith * Chang-rae Lee * Al Young * Wally Lamb *  Donald Justice * Philip Levine * Peter Matthiessen * Andrew Hudgins *  Medbh  McGuckian * Erin McGraw * Sydney Lea * Marita Golden * Antonya Nelson * Gerald Stern * Eileen Simpson * Karen Yamashita * Richard Bausch * Richard Tillinghast * Anne Patchett * Martín Espada * Tony Hoagland *  R. S. Gwynn *  Mary Gordon *  T. R. Hummer * Alison Lurie *  Fred Chappell * Pam Durban * Craig Arnold

Fiction writer Salvatore Scibona reading in 2010

To obtain more information about the Gertrude and Harold Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series or to request that your name be added to our e-mail announcement list, contact René Colehour at or 615-322-6527.