Writers Read Author Series 2023-24
Writers Read, sponsored by the Language and Literature Program, is a special event featuring authors who read from and comment on their work. Dates, times, and locations (map of EMU campus) are listed below.
Kate Baer, author of And Yet
Saturday, October 14 from 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium
A Homecoming and Family Weekend Event
Kate Baer is a 2007 EMU alum and New York Times bestselling author of three poetry collections, What Kind Of Woman (2020), I Hope This Finds You Well (2021), and And Yet (2022). Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Literary Hub, Huffington Post, and The New York Times. In an interview with Alex Moshakis of The Guardian, Kate described her first collection as a “friend angry on your behalf” for many women during the pandemic who had “lost their jobs, lost income, lost quality of life, because they were the ones that had to stay at home with the kids.” Her second collection was described by Entertainment Weekly as “viral erasure poems” that take “Instagram messages from disgruntled followers and collages them into feminist works.” Jessica Bennett, writing about Kate’s work in the New York Times, notes how her “words have resonated with women, many of whom tell her they are coming to poetry for the first time. In a year in which all people, but perhaps especially mothers, are grasping for words to express their exhaustion and anger, in Baer they have found someone to say it for them — and in snippets short enough that they actually have time to read a piece in its entirety.” To catch the honesty, humor, affection, and depth of Kate’s poetry, come join us for an onstage conversation and reading facilitated by Kirsten Beachy, EMU Associate Professor of Creative Writing. Local bookseller Parentheses Books will be selling Kate’s books at the event. There will be a book signing afterward.
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson, author of My Monticello
Tuesday, March 19 - 7:00 p.m. in Martin Chapel AND
EMU Convocation 10:10 a.m. Wednesday, March 20, Lehman Auditorium
Presented by EMU Language and Literature with the EMU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson is the author of My Monticello (2021), a fiction debut that won the Weatherford award and the Lillian Smith award. It was also a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize, the LA Times Art Seidenbaum Prize, and long-listed for the Pen/Faulkner fiction award and the Story Prize. Johnson’s debut showed up on many Best-Of lists from People Magazine to Time’s top ten fiction books of the year. Her short story “Control Negro” was anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, guest edited by Roxane Gay and read live by LeVar Burton. Her titular novella, “My Monticello,” is set in an apocalyptic near-future Charlottesville, overrun by a white racist militia. A young Black descendant of Sally Hemmings and Thomas Jefferson leads her neighbors to take refuge in the abandoned plantation house of Mr. Jefferson. Johnson has been a fellow at TinHouse, Hedgebrook, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her writing appears in Guernica, The Guardian, Joyland, Kweli Journal, and elsewhere. In a review for the Washington Post, Anissa Gray writes that My Monticello “is, quite simply, an extraordinary debut from a gifted writer with an unflinching view of history and what may come of it.” Johnson worked as a public-school art teacher for 20 years and has since transitioned to professional writing full time. She lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.