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Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series

Visiting Authors: 2010-2019

2019 Elizabeth Acevedo: Writer of fiction and poetry

Young People's Poet Laureate: 2022-2024, National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Carnegie Medal, the Boston-Globe Hornbook Award, the Michael A. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpre Award

Major works: The Poet X, Write Yourself a Lantern, With the Fire on High, Clap When You Land, Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths



2018 Colson Whitehead: Writer of fiction and essays

Whiting Award, Dos Passos Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award,  Pen Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, National Book Award, Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, Pulitzer Prize (2), Arthur C. Clark Award; MacArthur Fellow

Major works: The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, The Colossus of New York, Apex Hides the Hurt, Sag Harbor, Zone One, The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys, Harlem Shuffle


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2017 Mat Johnson: Fiction Writer and Graphic Novelist

James Baldwin Fellow and John Dos Passos Award

Major works: Drop, Hunting in Harlem, Hellblazer Special,  Papa Midnite, The Great Negro Plot,  Incognegro, Dark Rain, Pym,  Right State, Loving Day


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2016  Claudia Rankine: Poet, Playwright

National Book Critics Circle Award, Jackson Poetry Prize, Cleveland State Poetry Prize, Forward Prize, NAACP Image Award, MacArthur Fellowship, Academy of American Poets Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Fellowship, United States Artist Zell Fellowship, and Chancellor, Academy of American Poets, Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, Simon Guggenheim Fellowship; finalist for the National Book Award Major works: Nothing in Nature Is Private, The End of the Alphabet, Plot, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric, Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue,  Existing Conditions,  Citizen: An American Lyric, Just Us: An American Conversation



2015 | Andrea Lee: Fiction Writer, Journalist

Winner of the Jean Stein Award

Major Works: Russian Journal, Sarah Phillips, Interesting Women: Stories,  Lost Hearts in Italy: A Novel, Red Island House: A Novel

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2014 | Natasha Trethewey: Poet Laureate of the United States, 2012-2014

Pulitzer Prize, National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities, Cave Canem Prize, Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature, and the Bobbit National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry

Major Works: Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, Native Guard, Thrall, Beyond Katrina, Monument


2013 | Terrance Hayes: Poet

Winner of Kate Tufts Discovery Award, National Poetry Series Open Competition, Pushcart Prize, National Book Award, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, MacArthur Fellowship, NAACP Image Award for Poetry, Bobbitt Poetry Prize, and Chancellor, Academy of American Poets

Major Works: Muscular Music; Hip Logic; Wind in a Box; Lighthead; How to Be Drawn; American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin



2012 | Paul Beatty: Novelist, Poet

First Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Café, National Book Critics Circle Award, Man Booker Prize, and the John Dos Passos Award

Major Works: Big Bank Take Little Bank; Joker, Joker, Deuce; The White Boy Shuffle; Tuff; Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor; Slumberland; The Sellout

2011 | Harryette Mullen: Poet, Essayist

Winner of PEN/Beyond Margins Award, Jackson Poetry Prize, Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, and Guggenheim Fellowship, Finalist for the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award

Major Works: Tree Tall Woman; Trimmings; S*PeRM**K*T; Muse and Drudge; Blues Baby: Early Poems; Sleeping with the Dictionary; Recylopedia; The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be; Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary

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2010 | Walter Mosley: Mystery Writer, Novelist, Essayist

Winner of O. Henry Award, Grammy Award, the PEN/USA Lifetime Achievement Award, the Sundance Risktaker Award, the TransAfrica International Literary Prize, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master,

and the AnisfieldWolf Award for Fiction

Major Works: Devil in a Blue Dress; A Red Death; White Butterfly; Black Betty; A Little

Yellow Dog; Gone Fishin’; Bad Boy Brawley Brown; Six Easy Pieces; Little Scarlet; Cinnamon Kiss; Blonde

Faith; Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned; Walking the Dog; The Right Mistakes; Fearless Jones;

Fear Itself; Fear of the Dark; RL’s Dream; 47;  Fortunate Son; Killing Johnny Fry; Diablerie; The Tempest

Tales; The Man in My Basement; Blue Light; Futureland; The Wave; Workin’ on the Chain Gang; What Next;

Life Out of Context; This Year You Write Your Novel; Black Genius; The Long Fall; The Right Mistake;

Twelve Steps Toward Political Revelation; The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey; Known to Evil; When the Thrill

Is Gone; All I Did Was Shoot My Man; The Gift of Fire/On the Head of a Pin; Merge/ Disciple;

Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore; Rose Gold; Inside a Silver Box; Charcoal Joe; And Sometimes

I Wonder About You; Down the River Unto the Sea; John Woman; Trouble Is What I Do; Blood Grove

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