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Writers Read Author Series 2020-21

Writers Read, sponsored by the Language and Literature Department, is a special event featuring authors who read from and comment on their work. Dates, times, costs and locations are indicated below (map of EMU campus).

Sunday, April 11, 3 p.m. --Panel: Empowering Children’s Literature for Challenging Times

Featuring EMU alum Esther Harder and professors Violet Dutcher and Barbara Wheatley

Professor Vi Dutcher is director of EMU’s writing program and academic success center, and is the author of The Red Pop Beads, the story of loss, grief, and healing after the death of her sister in childhood. Esther Harder is the author of Quarantine Kids, a story of imagination and collaboration between children in quarantine. Barbara Wheatley, co-author of the paper “Empowering Children’s Literature for Stressful Times” is an assistant professor in the teacher education program at EMU and a former elementary school teacher, reading specialist, and librarian with a passion for strengthening literacy in students. Authors will read from their newly released books and then engage in conversation with Dr. Barbara Wheatley; her research collaborator EMU alum Dr. Jenn Whorrall Turner; EMU alum Charlotte (Wenger) Boudreau, literary agent with Prospect Agency; and Maren Hange, illustrator of The Red Pop Beads. Children are very welcome. 

Register for the webinar

Esther Harder, author

Esther Harder

Esther Harder is a 2003 graduate of EMU’s English Education program and holds an MFA from Chatham University’s Children’s Writing program. Esther has been a soccer coach, computer literacy specialist, assistant librarian for children’s programming, English Department head, and currently serves as a Managing Editor for eDynamic Learning, an online curriculum development company. Her favorite responsibility at the moment is reading and exploring with her toddler son.

Dr. Vi Dutcher, author

Dr. Vi Dutcher

Dr. Vi Dutcher is a professor of rhetoric and composition and is the director of the writing program and academic success center at EMU. She holds a Ph.D. from Kent State University in English with a concentration Rhetoric & Composition. Prior to coming to EMU, she taught writing and women’s studies courses at Kent State University—Stark Campus. She has also taught at The University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College. She enjoys linking her courses to community partnerships where students produce a deliverable product for a specified need in an organization. Her research interests are community literacy practices in general and Old Order Amish women’s literacy practices in particular.

Previous 2020-21 Writers Reads


Photo credit: Trevor Brady

Monday, Sept. 14 –Pádraig Ó Tuama

Poet, Theologian, and Peacemaker in-virtual-residence, 6 p.m., streaming online

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian and conflict mediator from Ireland. His work centres around themes of language, justice, story and religion. In this hour, Pádraig will explore stories of the past — of the garden of Eden, of Ireland, of gayness — and consider strange vantage points to narrate strange corners of those stories. In form and in free verse, using a musical English that is always informed by the Irish language, Pádraig’s work echoes a longstanding Irish tradition that has learnt much from midrash: ask the questions, explore the corners, raise your hand, object

Kate Baer

Tuesday, January 26, 7:30 p.m. --Kate Baer

New York Times #1 Bestselling Poet and EMU Alumna, streaming online

Kate Baer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and poet based on the East Coast. She has been featured in publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Literary Hub, A Cup Of Jo, and Huffington Post. Her first book, What Kind Of Woman, is out now with HarperCollins. 

"This powerhouse debut appears at a time when many of us may need reminders of our strength.” - Chicago Review
"The poet's Instagram presence has become a balm for many in 2020, and now her lyrical takes on feminism, marriage, and politics come to the page IRL with this new collection.” - Entertainment Weekly
"In these confident and fearless poems, Baer suggests that the deepest and most vulnerable love is found in life’s imperfections.” - Publisher's Weekly

Thursday, March 25, 6:30 p.m. --Rebecca Kauffman

EMU Writer-in-Residence, streaming online

Rebecca Kauffman

Rebecca Kauffman is the author of The Gunners, winner of the Premio Tribuk dei Librai award in Italy, Another Place You’ve Never Been, a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and The House on Fripp Island.

“The quiet spectacles of Kauffman’s  novels, which unfold in working-class, middle-American settings, are the  instances of grace and dignity encased within harrowing circumstances…The House on Fripp Island, her third novel in less than four years,  is new territory for Kauffman, given its structure as a beach thriller.  Yet for all its suspense, the book is driven by its attunement to class distinctions and companionship…A murder plot adds a whiff of intrigue  to each interaction, but the book’s chief thrills, as in Kauffman’s  earlier novels, arrive via tenderly written dialogue…Each of Fripp Island’s characters is both destructive and fundamentally decent, and all equally helpless when faced with mortality.” -Pete Tosiello, Guernica Magazine. Learn more.


Past Writers Read events

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