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.

Visiting Writers

Schedule for


Fall 2014

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

Spring 2015

January 15  Leah Stewart, Fiction

February 26  Sarah Gorham, Non-fiction

March 12  Claire Vaye Watkins, Fiction

March 19  Natasha Tretheway, Poetry

March 20 Jamie Quatro, Fiction

April 16 Jane Hirshfield, Poetry

In the 2013-2014 academic year we welcomed the following writers to Vanderbilt:

Poet Cornelius Eady reading in 2009

September 12: Deborah Eisenberg  fiction

September 26: Kevin Young  poetry

October 3: Steve Stern fiction

October 24:  Lynn Emanuel poetry

November 7: Justin Torres  fiction

January 16: Dwight Garner  nonfiction

January 23: Christine Schutt  fiction

January 30:  David Wojahn  poetry

February 6: Edmund White  fiction

February 20: Julie Bruck  poetry

March 20: Kendra DeColo poetry

March 27: Claudia Emerson  poetry

March 28: Chris Bachelder  fiction

April 10:  Eavan Boland  poetry

April 17: Emma Straub fiction

Readers in 2012-2013 included: 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 memoirist Charlotte Pierce Baker.

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

Readers in 2010-2011 included: 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.

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

Writers who read in The Gertrude Vanderbilt and Harold S. Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series in earlier years 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 get 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.