Public readings by Recognized and Emerging Authors

The Poets & Writers Series is sponsored by the Temple University MFA Creative Writing Program, with the assistance of the Richard Moyer Fund. Each year a number of poets and fiction writers are invited to read from their work (usually on Thursdays) to members of both the Temple community and the local Philadelphia arts scene. Joining each invited writer is a writer from Temple’s graduate program in Creative Writing.

All events are free and open to the public. Readings are held either on the main Temple campus or the Center City Philadelphia Temple campus.

Spring 2017 Poets & Writers Series


GilCelebrating Gil Ott
Launch Party for Gil Ott’s Collected Poems
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 8:00 p.m.
Temple Center City Campus (1515 Market Street), Room 222

Gil Ott—poet, editor, and social activist—grew up in the Philadelphia area and died here in 2004. A leader in the local poetry community who also worked with homeless groups and the disability rights movement, Ott edited and published Paper Air magazine and Singing Horse Press, where readers encountered poets such as Harryette Mullen, Linh Dinh, and Norman Fischer. arrive on wave: Collected Poems brings together work in books, magazines, and chapbooks, starting with Light Series (1978) and ending with his last publication, The Amputated Toe (2006). Readers at the launch party will include Charles Alexander, Mel Bentley, Charles Bernstein, Julia Blumenreich, CA Conrad, Kristen Gallagher, Eli Goldblatt, Pattie McCarthy, Trace Peterson, and Ron Silliman.


Sam Allingham & Patricia A. Smith
Debut Authors Night
Thursday, March 2, 2017 – 5:30 p.m.
Main Campus, Anderson Hall, Room 821 (Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Lounge)

AllinghamSam Allingham is the author of the story collection The Great American Songbook (A Strange Object), which Electric Literature selected as one of the best story collections of 2016. His fiction has appeared in One Story, Epoch, American Short Fiction, and n+1, among other publications, and has received a Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize. His essays and criticism have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Full Stop, The Millions, and Monkeybicycle, and his essay “Art Garfunkel Lives!” can be found in the anthology Full Stop: The Book. He received his MFA from Temple University, and lives in West Philadelphia.


Patricia A. Smith is the author of the novel The Year of Needy Girls (Kaylie Jones/Akashic Books). She received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her nonfiction has appeared in the anthologies One Teacher in Ten: Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories; Tied in Knots: Funny Stories from the Wedding Day; Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing; and One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium: LGBT Teachers Discuss What Has Gotten Better…and What Hasn’t. Her work has also appeared in such places as Salon, Broad Street, Prime Number, Gris-Gris, The Tusculum Review, and So to Speak.


MartinDawn Lundy Martin
Thursday, March 9, 2017 – 8:00 p.m.
Temple Center City Campus (1515 Market Street), Room 222

Dawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual video artist. She is the author of four books of poems and three chapbooks, including Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2015) and Good Stock, Strange Blood (forthcoming from Coffee House Press in 2017). Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and other magazines. She has been awarded the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and a 2016 Investing in Professional Artists Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments. She is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and Co-director (with Terrance Hayes) of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.


LandersSue Landers
Thursday, April 6, 2017 – 8:00 p.m.
Temple Center City Campus (1515 Market Street), Room 222

Sue Landers’ latest book, Franklinstein (Roof Books, 2016), tells the story of one Philadelphia neighborhood wrestling with the legacies of colonialism, racism, and capitalism. She is also the author of two books of poetry, 248 mgs., a panic picnic (O Books, 2003) and Covers (O Books, 2007). Her chapbooks include 15: A Poetic Engagement with the Chicago Manual of Style and What I Was Tweeting While You Were on Facebook. She was a 2015 Saltonstall Artist Colony fellow. After earning her MFA from George Mason University, she moved to New York, where she founded the poetry journal Pom2. She lives in Brooklyn.


Lahiri photo credit Elena Seibert

Photo by Elena Seibert.

Jhumpa Lahiri
Co-sponsored with the Center for the Humanities
Monday, April 24, 2017 – 4:00 p.m.
Main Campus, Walk Auditorium

Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of two novels, The Namesake and The Lowland, and two collections of short stories, Unaccustomed Earth and Interpreter of Maladies. The latter book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000. Recently she published her first nonfiction work, In altre parole. She has been the recipient of many honors, including the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2014 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, and the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia for In altre parole. She teaches writing at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.


Fall 2016 Poets & Writers Series

Small Press Publishing Panel

Friday, September 16, 2016, 1 p.m.
Temple Contemporary
Tyler School of Art

Poetry, Publishing, Politics, and the Art of the Book: A Panel. Sponsored by PHILALALIA, Philadelphia’s annual small press poetry and art fair, this panel brings together five small press poet-publishers nationally known for their dedication to getting innovative writing in print, creating community through their publishing projects, and reimagining and reinvigorating the art of the book. Shanna Compton of Bloof, Krystal Languell of Belladonna*, JenMarie and Travis MacDonald of Fact-Simile, and Stephen Motika of Nightboat Books will discuss matters of aesthetics, politics, and poetics as they inform their practices as publishers and poets. The panel discussion and subsequent Q&A will be moderated by Brian Teare, editor and publisher of Albion Books. PHILALALIA is a free three-day celebration that brings together poets, printmakers, book artists, paper-makers, comics poetry artists, publishers, and arts enthusiasts to showcase, perform, and sell their work. For the full schedule, please go to


Ann Beattie by Sigrid EstradaAnn Beattie

Thursday, September 29, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Main Campus, Gladfelter Hall
CHAT Lounge, 10th Floor

Ann Beattie is the author of seven novels, nine short story collections, and a novella, including Distortions, Secrets and Surprises, The Burning House, Perfect Recall, Falling in Place, Picturing Will, Another You, and The Doctor’s House. Her first novel, Chilly Scenes of Winter, was made into a feature film. Her 2011 collection, The New Yorker Stories, gathered forty-eight stories that were originally published in The New Yorker magazine. Her latest collection, The State We’re In: Maine Stories, was released last August. In 2000, she received the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in the short story. In 2005, she received the Rea Award for the Short Story. Formerly the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia (emerita), she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She and her husband, the painter Lincoln Perry, live in Maine and Key West, Florida.


Emily Abendroth by Kenzie Green

Photo by Kenzie Green

Emily Abendroth

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 8 p.m.
Temple Center City Campus (1515 Market Street), Room 222

Emily Abendroth is a writer, artist, and anti-prison activist residing in Philadelphia. Much of her creative work attempts to investigate state regimes of force and power, as well as individual and collective resistance strategies. Her poetry is often published in limited-edition, handcrafted chapbooks by small and micropresses such as Albion Books, Belladonna*, Horse Less Press, Little Red Leaves, and Zumbar. Her poetry book ]Exclosures[ is available from Ahsahta Press, and The Instead, a book-length collaborative conversation with fiction writer Miranda Mellis, was published this year by Carville Annex Press. She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Headlands Center for the Arts. She was named a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow in 2012 and a Pew Fellow in Poetry in 2013. She is the co-founder of Address This!, a grassroots educational project that offers social-justice focused correspondence courses to individuals incarcerated throughout the state of Pennsylvania. She regularly teaches literature, critical theory, the contemporary essay, 20th-century poetics, and creative writing to undergraduates and students of all ages.


Laura van den BergLaura van den Berg

Thursday, November 3, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Main Campus, Anderson 821 (Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Lounge)

Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida. She is the author of the novel Find Me and the short story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, which was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, and The Isle of Youth, which was selected as a Best Book of 2013 by over a dozen outlets, including NPR and The Boston Globe. Both collections were shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, and she has been the recipient of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an O. Henry Award. She has taught creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Colby College, and Columbia University, and in the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is currently the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard University.


Spring 2016 Poets & Writers Series

Juliana SpahrPoet-in-Residence: JULIANA SPAHR

Thursday, February 11, 8:00 pm
Temple Center City Campus (1515 Market Street), room 222

Juliana Spahr’s most recent book is That Winter the Wolf Came. Other books include Well Then There Now, The Transformation, and This Connection of Everyone with Lungs. She edits the collectively funded Subpress with nineteen other people, and Commune Editions with Joshua Clover and Jasper Bernes. With David Buuck she wrote Army of Lovers. She has edited with Stephanie Young A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011), with Joan Retallack Poetry & Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2006),and with Claudia Rankine American Women Poets in the 21st Century (Wesleyan, 2002).




Susan Howe

Photo by Lawrence Schwartzwald


Thursday, March 10, 8:00 pm
Temple Center City Campus (1515 Market Street), room 222

Susan Howe’s most recent books include Spontaneous Particulars: The Telepathy of Archives, The Quarry: Essays, and a limited press edition of Tom Tit Tot with art work by R.H. Quaytman (published by the Museum of Modern Art). Her collection of poems That This won the Bollingen Prize in 2011. Three CDs in collaboration with the musician/composer David Grubbs, Thiefth, Souls of the Labadie Tract, and Frolic Architecture were released on the Blue Chopsticks label. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Howe was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and served as a Chancellor to the Academy of American Poets between 2000-2006. She has been a fellow at the American Academy at Berlin, and an Artist In Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Her word collages have been exhibited at the Yale Union in Portland, Oregon, and in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.




Thursday, March 17, 5:00 pm
Main Campus, Anderson 821 (Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Lounge)

Daniel Torday is the author of the novel The Last Flight of Poxl West. New York Times chief critic Michiko Kakutani said the book “announces Torday’s emergence as a writer deserving of attention,” and in a cover review, The New York Times Book Review called the novel, “Expertly crafted… full of lyrical prose, superb Rothian sentences that glide over the page as smoothly as a Spitfire across a cloudless sky… utterly accomplished.” Esquire Magazine called the book’s ending “the 149 best words published this year.” Torday’s novella, The Sensualist, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction. His short stories and essays have appeared in Esquire, Tin House, Paris Review Daily and The Kenyon Review. He is the Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College.



Thursday, April 14, 5:00 pm
Main Campus, Anderson 821 (Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Lounge)

Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970. His most recent novel, A Brief History Of Seven Killings, won 2015 Man Booker Prize. In the book, James explores multiple genres: the political thriller, the oral biography, and the classic whodunit to confront the untold history of Jamaica in the late 1970’s, the assassination attempt on Bob Marley, and the country’s own clandestine battles of the cold war. His second novel, The Book of Night Women, won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. James’ short fiction has appeared in Esquire, Kingston Noir, and Silent Voices, and his nonfiction has appeared in Granta, Publisher’s Weekly, and The Caribbean Review of Books. He teaches at Macalester College.


Fall 2015 Poets & Writers Series

Poetry, Publishing, Politics, And the Art of the Book: A Panel

Thursday, September 17, 2-3:30 p.m.
Temple Contemporary
Tyler School of Art, 2001 N. 13th St.

This panel brings together four small press poet-publishers nationally known for their dedication to getting innovative writing in print, creating community through their publishing projects, and reimagining and reinvigorating the art of the book. Rachel Levitsky of Belladonna*, Travis and JenMarie MacDonald of Fact-Simile Editions, Stephen Motika of Nightboat Books, and Brenda Iijima of Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs will discuss matters of aesthetics, politics, and poetics as they inform their practices as publishers and poets. The panel discussion and subsequent Q&A will be moderated by Brian Teare, editor and publisher of Albion Books.

This panel is part of Philalalia , a three-day small press/handmade book & art fair being held from Thursday 9/17 throughSaturday 9/19. For the full schedule, please go to


Writer-in-Residence: CRISTINA GARCÍA

Thursday, October 1, 5:30 p.m.
Anderson Hall, room AL 7, 1122 W. Berks St.

Cristina García  is the author of six novels, including: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, and The Lady Matador’s Hotel. García has edited two anthologies, Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature. Two works for young readers, The Dog Who Loved the Moon, and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox were published in 2008 and a young adult novel, Dreams of Significant Girls, in 2011. A collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, was published in 2010. García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fourteen languages. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant, among others. García recently completed her tenure as University Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos and as Visiting Professor at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas-Austin. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.



Thursday, November 12, 6:00 p.m.
Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Lounge
821 Anderson Hall, 1114 W. Berks St.

Prageeta Sharma is the author of four poetry collections, Bliss to Fill, The Opening Question, Infamous Landscapes, andUndergloom. Her writing has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Boston Review, Agni, Fence, The Women’s Review of Books and (among others) The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry and (BloodAxe/Penguin’s) 60 Indian Poets. Her recent awards are a Howard Foundation Grant and writing residencies at the Millay Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and Hotel Pupik (Austria). She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Montana, where she is co-director of the conference Thinking Its Presence: Race and Creative Writing.


Spring 2015 Poets & Writers Series

Poet-in-Residence: CLAUDIA RANKINE

Thursday, March 19 – 8:00 p.m.
Temple University Center City Campus, 1515 Market St., room 222

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry: Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2004); PLOT (Grove Press, 2001); The End of the Alphabet (Grove Press, 1998); and Nothing in Nature Is Private (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1995), which received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. Her play Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue was performed by the Foundry Theater in 2009. Rankine has been awarded fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation. In 2013, she was elected as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She is the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College.



Thursday, April 2 – 5:00 p.m.
Temple University Main Campus, Anderson Hall, 1122 W. Berks St.,
8th floor Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Lounge (across from elevators)

Kelly Link is the author of the story collections Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, Pretty Monsters, and, new in 2015 from Random House, Get in Trouble. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She and Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including multiple volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and, for young adults, Steampunk! and Monstrous Affections. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press and co-edits the occasional zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. She lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.

An archive of all readers invited to past readings in the Poets & Writers Series can be found here.

To view other local readings, please click here.