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 2014 to 2015 Academic Year

September 18   Bruce Beasley  poetry

October 2  Kevin Wilson  fiction

October 23  David Kirby  poetry

November 6  A. Van Jordan  poetry

November 13 Gish Jen  fiction

November 20 Stuart Dybek  fiction

January 15  Leah Stewart  fiction

January 29 Beth Bachmann, poetry, and Tony Earley, fiction

February 24 Amy Hoffman, nonfiction

February 26  Sarah Gorham  nonfiction

March 12  Claire Vaye Watkins  fiction

March 19  Natasha Tretheway poetry

March 20 Jamie Quatro fiction

April 16 Jane Hirshfield poetry

April 20  MFA alumni reading

A survey of some of our visiting writers over the past five 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 2013, visitors included:

*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 Margaret Quigley at or 615-322-6527.