George Saunders to Read Feb. 24

Writing At Wesleyan, The English Department, and the Shapiro Creative Writing Center announce the Spring Readings Series.

George Saunders is the Writing Programs’ 2010 Jacob Julien Visiting Writer.

George Saunders is the Writing Programs’ 2010 Jacob Julien Visiting Writer.

George Saunders, the Writing Programs’ 2010 Jacob Julien Visiting Writer, reads at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24 in the Memorial Chapel. Saunders is the author of six books, including the story collection In Persuasion Nation and the book of essays Braindead Microphone. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, McSweeney’s, The Guardian, and other publications. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches in Syracuse University’s MFA program. Event organized by Deb Olin Unferth and Anne Greene.

Playwright David Henry Hwang reads at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 3 in the Memorial Chapel. Hwang is best known as the author of M. Butterfly, which ran for two years on Broadway, won Tony and Drama Desk Awards, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His Broadway musicals include the book for the revival of Flower Drum Song, which earned him a third Tony nomination, and Disney’s Aida, winner of four Tony Awards. As an opera librettist he has written numerous works including three with composer Philip Glass. The event is presented by Center for the Arts, co-sponsored by the Writing Programs.

Molly Haskell, The Writing Programs’ 2010 Annie Sonnenblick Lecturer, reads at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24 in the Memorial Chapel. She is the author of the classic work From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies. She has served as film critic for New York magazine and Vogue and written for the New York Times and New York Review of Books. Her newest book, Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited, has received widespread critical acclaim. Event organized by Anne Greene.

Diane Williams reads at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 7 in the Russell House. Williams is the author of six books of fiction, including It Was Like My Trying to Have a Tender-Hearted Nature and Excitability. She is the founding editor of the innovative literary journal NOON and a former editor of StoryQuarterly. Her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Harper’s and McSweeney’s. She has taught at Bard College and Syracuse University. Event organized by Deb Olin Unferth.

Poet Brenda Coultas reads at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 in the Russell House. Coultas is the author of The Marvelous Bones of Time (2008) and A Handmade Museum (2003) from Coffee House Press. Coultas’s poetry is deeply invested in the local, blending lyricism with documentary reality. She is the recipient of the Norma Farber Prize from The Poetry Society of America, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency. Event organized by Elizabeth Willis.

Winners of Wesleyan’s 2010 Writing Prizes will read at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 5 in the Russell House. Student winners of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction awards will read from their work.  Event organized by Anne Greene.

In addition, the Center for the Arts presents Music at the Russell House.

Giacomo Gates performs Stories, Notes, Harmonies and Rhythm at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7 in the Russell House. Gates, jazz vocalist, is joined by guitarist Tony Lombardozzi and bassist Jeff Fuller. The trio will play repertoire from the Great American Songbook, along with music from Monk, Miles, Ellington, Gillespie, Morgan and other greats. The concert includes stories, anecdotes and historical information about the music.

Turkish-born classical guitarist Cem Duruöz will perform “A Guitar Journey” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28 in the Russell House. Duruöz will play music from Spain and Turkey and tangos from Argentina.

All events are free and open to the public.  A book signing and reception follow each event.

For more information on the spring series, contact Jessica Posner, Russell House Fellow, at, 860.685.3448.

For more information on the Writing Programs information Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs,, and Elizabeth Willis, Shapiro Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing,

Support for this series is provided by the Wesleyan Writing Programs, English Department, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University Press, and Shapiro Creative Writing Center. We also thank the Sonnenblick and Jakobson families, Gerard Koeppel, and supporters of the Jacob Julien Fellowship and Millett Writing Fellowship.