The Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series

The Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series, named after the founder of Wake Forest University Press, brings to campus established and emerging fiction writers, poets, and writers of creative nonfiction each year to give readings and visit creative writing workshops. The readings are often followed by a book signing and a reception. Readings are occasionally coordinated in conjunction with other departments and offices at Wake Forest as well as with local and state agencies such as the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Recent visiting fiction writers and poets include Maya Angelou, W.S. Merwin, Evie Shockley, Stuart Dybek, Natasha Trethewey, Heather McHugh, Harryette Mullen, Reginald McKnight, C.K. Williams, Julianna Baggott, Carl Phillips, Simon Armitage, Dan Chaon, Owen King, Kelly Braffet, Wilton Barnhardt, Martin Clark, Quinn Dalton, and Adam Zagajewski among many others.

The readings are open to all Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff as well as to the general public and have become popular events in the university’s calendar. Please see maps and parking information as well as driving directions to Wake Forest’s Reynolda Campus, where the readings are held.

For more information about the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series or Creative Writing at Wake Forest University, contact the Director of the Reading Series and the Creative Writing Program, Amy Catanzano.


Kiese Laymon: Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m., Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium. Author of the novel, Long Division (Agate Bolden), among other books, Kiese Laymon is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing and Co-Director of Africana Studies at Vassar College. Sponsored by the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series. Hosted by Aimee Mepham. Postponed due to weather.

Oni Buchanan & Jon Woodward: Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m., Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Room 204. Oni Buchanan is the author of Must a Violence (Kuhl House Poets Series); Spring (University of Illinois Press), winner of the National Poetry Series; and What Animal (University of Georgia Press). Jon Woodward is the author of Uncanny Valley (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Rain (Wave Books), and Mister Goodbye Easter Island (Alice James Books). Sponsored by the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series. Hosted by Elisabeth Whitehead.

Abigail Child: Wednesday, April 2 at 5 p.m., Scales Fine Arts Center, Room 102: Poetry Reading and Film Shorts. Thursday, April 3 at 7 p.m., Porter Byrum Welcome Center: Screening of Unbound, scenes from the life of Mary and Percy Shelley. Abigail Child has been active as a writer and media artist since the 1970s. She has completed more than thirty video works and installations and is the author of five books of poetry including Artificial Memory (Belladonna Press) as well as a book of critical work, This is Called Moving: A Critical Poetics of Film (University of Alabama Press). She is Senior Faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and lives in NYC. Co-sponsored by Program for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series; Film Studies; and others. Co-hosted by Lynn Book and Amy Catanzano.

M. NourbeSe Philip: Thursday, April 10 at 6 p.m., Porter Byrum Welcome Center. Reading from her book-length poem, Zong! (Wesleyan University Press), M. NourbeSe Philip visits Wake Forest from Toronto to commence an interdisciplinary colloquium the next day between the School of Law and Humanities Institute entitled, “Law as Violence: An Interdisciplinary Conversation,” hosted by Jonathan Cardi and co-sponsored by School of Law, Humanities Institute, and iPLACE, among other sponsors. Philip’s reading is co-sponsored by the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series and co-hosted by Amy Catanzano.

Hannah Gamble: Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m., A.R. Ammons Lounge, C Wing, Tribble Hall. Hannah Gamble is the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (Fence Books), selected by Bernadette Mayer for the National Poetry Series. Sponsored by the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series. Co-hosted by Amy Catanzano and Eric Ekstrand.

Please also see these other literary events supported in part by the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series:

Kevin Barry: Thursday, February 20, 5:30 p.m., DeTamble Auditorium, Tribble Hall. Co-sponsored by WFU Press, Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series, and others. Hosted by Jefferson Holdridge.

LeAnne Howe: Monday, February 24, 7:30 p.m., ZSR Library, Room 404. Co-sponsored by WGS, AES, Humanities Institute, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series. Hosted by Mary DeShazer.

Wake Up to Poetry Contest Celebration: Saturday, April 5, 6:15 p.m., Community Arts Café, downtown Winston-Salem. Celebration to honor student winners of the Wake Up to Poetry Contest and featuring our distinguished panel of judges, poets Alan Michael Parker, Metta Sáma, and Julian Semilian. Co-sponsored by WFU Press, iPLACE, Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series, English Honors, Department of English, and Humanities Interdisciplinary Program. Co-hosted by Candide Jones and Amy Catanzano.


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English Department
PO Box 7387
Winston Salem, NC 27109
336-758-5383 |
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