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Welcome to the Creative Writing Reading Series

Each fall and spring semester at Colorado State University, the Department of English welcomes distinguished literary voices to share their work and to engage with the local community. Visiting writers hold audience question-and-answer sessions, book signings, and other outreach activities. The series features Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S. poets laureate, National Book Critics Circle Award winners, Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winners, NAACP Image Award nominees, Oprah’s Book Club selections, National Book Award finalists and recognized voices in young adult literature.

Read more about our special-guest writers for fall 2021 below.

The CSU Creative Writing Reading Series is made possible by the Organization of Graduate Student Writers, the CSU Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts, the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment, the donor sponsor of the Crow-Tremblay Alumni Reading Series and other generous support. Learn about how you can support the series online here

September 16, 2021

7:30pm Virtual Event: via Zoom

Zoom in here

Kirstin Valdez Quade

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of the short story collection Night at the Fiestas, winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Her debut novel, The Five Wounds, was published in March 2021 by Norton. Quade is the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Guernica, The Southern Review, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Originally from New Mexico, she lives in New Jersey and teaches at Princeton University.

Kristen Valdez Quade

October 14, 2021

LIVE in-person:

Lory Student Center, Longs Peak Room, 7:30pm

or join via Zoom here:

Matthew Gavin Frank

Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of several nonfiction books, including The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food, and Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer, and several books of poetry. Preparing the Ghost was a New York Times Editors' Choice, an NPR Notable Book, and a New Yorker “Book to Watch Out For.” The Mad Feast was selected as a Staff Pick by The Paris Review, a Best Book of 2015 by Ploughshares, The Millions, and Paste Magazine, and featured in The Wall Street Journal and Entertainment Weekly. He is a professor of creative writing in the MFA program at Northern Michigan University.


November 11, 2021         WRITERS' HARVEST

Please bring canned goods or make an online donation to the Food Bank of Larimer County
(and be prepared to show confirmation).

Lory Student Center, Longs Peak Room, 7:30pm

E. J. Levy

E.J. Levy is the author of Love, In Theory, winner of the 2012 Flannery O'Connor Award, 2014 GLCA New Writers Award and a finalist for the Edmund White Award. Her anthology, Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers, won a Lambda Literary Award. Levy's work has been featured in Best American Essays, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, and The Paris Review, and has received a Pushcart Prize, among other honors. Her first novel, The Cape Doctor, was published in June from Little, Brown and in French, Spanish, and Italian editions. She teaches fiction and nonfiction in the MFA Program at Colorado State University.

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Sasha Steensen

Sasha Steensen

Sasha Steensen is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Everything Awake and Gatherest. Recent essays can be found at Essay Press, Tupelo Quarterly and Interim. She teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Colorado State University, where she also serves as a poetry editor for Colorado Review.


Andrew Altschul is the Director of Creative Writing at CSU, and author of the novels The Gringa, Lady Lazarus, and Deus Ex Machina. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Esquire, McSweeney's, Ploughshares, The Wall Street Journal, Fence, and anthologies including Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best New American Voices, and O. Henry Prize Stories. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford, he has received fellowships from the Ucross Foundation, the Fundación Valparaíso, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. Before joining the CSU faculty, he directed the Center for Literary Arts at San José State University, from 2009-2015.

Andrew Altschul

December 2, 2021                       THESIS READINGS

Students earning MFAs in Creative Writing from the Department of English read their thesis live in a culminating moment of years of rigorous study.

Marie Turner

Luke Eldredge

Julia Oshiki

Tyler Toy

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Paisley Rekdal

Lauren Groff

Cynthia Parker-Ohene

Kevin Phan

Aby Kaupang

Claire Boyles