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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.

This year — due to gathering restrictions related to COVID-19 — many readings will be live-streamed via Zoom. Please visit the events calendar for updates about an individual event, and read more about our special-guest writers for 2020-2021 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 17

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

Cabeza-Vanegas is the author of Drown Sever Sing (Anomalous Press 2015) and Don’t Come Back (Mad Creek Books 2017), as well as the co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, The Great American Essay. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry and translation has been featured in The Bellingham Review, The Chicago Review, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Poets & Writers and the Sunday Rumpus, among others. She’s been the recipient of the Best of the Net Award and the Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices Award. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a Rona Jaffee fellow. She is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago.

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas
Sunil Yapa

Sunil Yapa

Yapa’s debut novel, Your Heart is a muscle the Size of a Fist (Lee Boudreaux / Back Bay Books 2016) was a finalist for the 2017 Pen/Falkner award and was named one of the best books by Amazon, Time Magazine, The Washington Post and others. The winner of the 2010 Asian American Short Story Award, Yapa’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in American Short Fiction, Guernica, O Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Margins, Hyphen, Slice, LitHub and others. He is currently developing a TV show with Clubhouse Pictures in Los Angeles He lives in New York City, works as a “boot camp” manuscript editor, and teaches fiction in the low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada University in Lake Tahoe.

October 8

Lorna Dee Cervantes

Cervantes is a XicanIndx (Chumash/Purepacha) author of five award-winning books of poetry: Emplumada (Pitt Poetry Series 1981); From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Publico Press 1991); Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems (Wings Press 2011); Drive: The First Quartet (Wings Press 2005); and Sueño (Wings Press 2013). The founder of MANGO Publications (first to publish Sandra Cisneros), Cervantes is also the recipient of two NEA grants, two Pushcart Prizes, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest grant, and three state arts poetry fellowships. She presented twice at the Library of Congress as well as hundreds of universities, colleges and other venues. The former Director of Creative Writing at CU Boulder, where she was a professor for 20 years, she up and moved to Olympia, WA in 2014, and now lives and writes in Seattle.

Lorna Dee Cervantes

November 12

Dan Beachy-Quick

Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet, essayist, and translator, whose most recent books are a collection of poems, Arrows (Tupelo Press 2020) and Stone-Garland (Milkweed Editions 2020), a collection of lyric poems from the Ancient Greek. Other recent work includes Variations on Dawn and Dusk (Omni-dawn 2019), long-listed for the National Book Award and Poetry, and a collection of essays, fragment, meditations, and poems, Of Silence & Song (Milkweed Editions 2017). His work had been supported by the Monfort, Lannan, and Guggenheim Foundations, and he is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Colorado State University.

Dan Beachy-Quick
Debby Thompson

Debby Thompson

Debby Thompson is the author of Pretzel, Houdini & Olive: Essays on the Dogs of My Life (Red Hen Press 2020). She has published creative and critical essays, and has won The Missouri Review and Iowa Review awards in creative nonfiction as well as a Pushcart Prize. She is a Professor of English at Colorado State University, where she teaches literature and creative nonfiction. She is working on a nonfiction book on mythologies of dogs in American culture.

December 3

Master of Fine Arts 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.

  • Katy Craig
  • Ryan Lanham
  • Jordan Osborne
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February 11

Carl Phillips

Phillips is the author of 15 books of poetry, most recently, Pale Colors in a Tall Field (FSG 2020). His other books include Wild is the Wind (FSG 2019), winner of a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; The Tether (FSG 2002) winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Double Shadow (FSG 2012) winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and Silverchest (FSG 2014), finalist for the Griffin Prize. A four-time finalist for the National Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, his other honors include the Lambda Literary Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation Poetry Award, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the Academy of American Poets, for which he served as Chancellor from 2006-2012. He is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches creative writing.

Carl Phillips

March 4

Master of Fine Arts 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.

  • Hannah Bright
  •  Esther Hayes
  • Chase Harrison
  • Robin Walter
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March 25: The Center for Literary Publishing Presents

Kate Bolton Bonnici

Bolton Bonnici is the author of Night Burial, winner of the 2020 Colorado Prize for Poetry. She grew up in rural Alabama and is a graduate of Harvard University (BA), New York University School of Law (JD), and the University of California at Riverside (MFA). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Arts & LettersSouthern Humanities ReviewImageTupelo Quarterlyand elsewhere. She was a finalist for the Georgia Poetry Prize and the Fairy Tale Review’sPoetry Prize as well as a semi-finalist for numerous other competitions such as the Word Works’ Washington Prize and the Crab Orchard Series Poetry Open Competition. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughters and is currently a PhD candidate English Literature at UCLA.

Kate Bolton Bonnici

Brandon Krieg

Krieg is the author of Magnifier, winner of the 2019 Colorado Prize for Poetry. His previous collections are In the Gorge (Codhill Press 2017) and Invasives (Many Voices Project 2014), a finalist for the 2015 ASLE Book Award in Environmental Creative Writing, as well as a chapbook, Source to Mouth. His poems have appeared in AGNI, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, The Iowa Review, West Branch, and many other journals. He teaches at Kutztown University and lives in Kutztown, PA with his spouse, Colleen O’Brien, and their son.

Brandon Krieg

April 1

Master of Fine Arts 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.

  • Elena Brousard-Norcross
  • Alick McCallum
  • Yusnavy Ramos
  • Jess Turner
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April 29: the Crow-Tremblay Alumni Reading

Jacqueline Lyons

Lyons is the author of the poetry collections Adorable Airport (Barrow Street Press 2018), Earthquake Daily (New Michigan Press 2017), The Way They Say Yes Here (Hanging Loose Press 2004), which won a Peace Corps Writers Best Poetry Book Award, and Lost Colony (Dancing Girl Press). Her nonfiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and cited in Best American Essays, and her collection of essays, Breakdown of Poses, was named as a finalist for the AWP Award Series in Nonfiction. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, an Indiana Review Poetry Prize, Utah Arts Council Awards in poetry and nonfiction, and a Nevada Arts Council Fellowship in nonfiction. She is Associate Professor at California Lutheran University.

Jacqueline Lyons