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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, other outreach activities, and salons. Salons are informal gatherings with visiting authors; they will often bring a writing exercise and there will always be time to ask questions about their practice, publication experience, and anything else on your mind.

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 2022 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, CSU Libraries, 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 15, 2022


Lory Student Center, Longs Peak Room 

Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the novels I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness and Gold Fame Citrus, and the short story collection Battleborn, winner of the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other prizes. A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, Watkins is a professor at the University of California Irvine and lives in Twenty-nine Palms, California.

Author photo of Claire Vaye Watkins
Author photo of Marie-Helene Bertino

Marie-Helene Bertino

Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novels Parakeet (New York Times Editors' Choice), and 2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas (NPR Best Books 2014), and the story collection Safe As Houses (Iowa Short Fiction Award). Her fourth book, the novel Beautyland, is forthcoming from FSG.


9/16 12-1pm, Morgan Library Room 110A

Claire Vaye Watkins and Marie-Helene Bertino

September 23, 2022

The Alchemy of Research: A Special Craft Talk for Writers with Bestselling Novelist Bruce Holsinger

2:00-3:00 pm

Morgan Library, Room 110A

Bruce Holsinger

Bruce Holsinger is a novelist and literary scholar based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is the author of the USA Today and Los Angeles Times-bestselling novel The Gifted School (Riverhead Books, 2019). A Book of the Month Club main selection and described by The Wall Street Journal as "the novel that predicted the College Admissions Scandal," The Gifted School won the Colorado Book Award and was named one of the Best Books of 2019 by NPR and numerous publications. The novel is currently in development as a TV series with NBC/Universal Television. His most recent novel, The Displacements, received starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus (which called it "brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly believable"), and was hailed by The New York Times as "hypnotic" and "a thorough translation to fiction of what it can feel like to live right now."

Bruce Holsinger headshot

October 20, 2022


Lory Student Center, Longs Peak Room

Mitchell S. Jackson

Mitchell S. Jackson is the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing. His debut novel The Residue Years received wide critical praise and won a Whiting Award and The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. His nonfiction book Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family was published in 2019 and named a best book of the year by fifteen publications. His writing has been featured on This American Life, on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, Time Magazine, Esquire Magazine, and Marie Claire Magazine, as well as in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, The Paris Review, The Washington Post Magazine, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

Author photo of Mitchell S. Jackson
Author portrait of Lacy M. Johnson

Lacy M. Johnson

Lacy M. Johnson is the author of The Reckonings, named a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Criticism and one of the best books of 2018 by Boston Globe, Electric Literature, Autostraddle, and Refinery 29. She is also the author of The Other Side, which was lauded for its frank and fearless confrontation of the epidemic of violence against women, and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime, the CLMP Firecracker Award in Nonfiction, and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer Selection.


10/20, 3-4pm Morgan Library Room 110A

Mitchell S. Jackson and Lacy M. Johnson

November 10, 2022         Writer's Harvest


Lory Student Center, Longs Peak Room

Jaquira Díaz

Born in Puerto Rico, Jaquira Díaz was raised between Humacao, Fajardo, and Miami Beach. She is the author of Ordinary Girls: A Memoir, winner of a Whiting Award, a Florida Book Awards Gold Medal, and a Lambda Literary Awards finalist. Ordinary Girls was an Indies Introduce Selection, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, an Indie Next Pick, a Library Reads pick, and finalist for the B&N Discover Prize. Her work has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Time Magazine, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and The Best American Essays, among other publications.

Author photo of Jaquira Diaz
Author photo of Nina McConigley

Nina McConigley

Nina McConigley was born in Singapore and raised in Wyoming. Her short-story collection Cowboys and East Indians was the winner of the PEN Open Book Award and a High Plains Book Award. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, O the Oprah Magazine, and The Asian American Literary Review among others. She was a Walter Jackson Bate fellow at the Radcliffe Institution for Advanced Study at Harvard University and is a 2022 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Creative Writing Fellowship.

Todd Mitchell

Todd Mitchell is the author of several award-winning books for young readers and teens including The Last Panther (2018 Colorado Book Award Winner and Green Earth Honor Book Award winner), The Traitor King, The Secret to Lying (Colorado Book Award Winner), and Backwards (CAL Award Winner).

Todd Mitchell headshot with an autumn backdrop.
Author photo of Harrison Candelaria Fletcher

Harrison Candelaria Fletcher

Harrison Candelaria Fletcher is the author of Presentimiento: A Life In Dreams, winner of the Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize, autobiography finalist for the International Latino Book Awards, and selected by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Indie Memoir of 2017. His first book, Descanso For My Father: Fragments Of A Life, won the Colorado Book Award and Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal for Creative Nonfiction. His newest collection, Finding Querencia: Essays from In Between was published in March 2022 by the Machete Series at Mad Creek Books. 

February 2, 2023

Mary Crow Alumni Reading


Lory Student Center, Room 312

Abigail Chabitnoy

Abigail Chabitnoy is a Koniag descendent and a member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak, Alaska. Her first book, How to Dress a Fish, won the Colorado Book Award in the Poetry category and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Her new book, In the Current Where Drowning is Beautiful will be published by Wesleyan University Press in October, 2022.

Abigail Chabitnoy author photo
Emily Wortman-Wunder author photo.

Emily Wortman-Wunder

Emily Wortman-Wunder is an essayist and fiction writer, with recent work in the Kenyon Review, Creative Nonfiction, Nimrod, High Country News, and elsewhere. “Not a Thing to Comfort You,” winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, is her first book. She teaches scientific writing at the University of Colorado Denver.

April 13, 2023


University Center for the Arts, Runyan Music Hall

Jos Charles

Jos Charles is the author of the poetry collections a Year & other poems (Milkweed Editions, 2022), feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series selected by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions, 2018), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). She currently teaches as a part of Randolph College's low-residency MFA program. Charles has an MFA from the University of Arizona and is currently a PhD student at UC Irvine. She resides in Long Beach, CA.

Jos Charles author photo.
Tommy Archuleta author photo.

Tommy Archuleta

Tommy Archuleta is a mental health and substance abuse counselor for the New Mexico Corrections Department. His work has appeared in the New England Review, the Laurel Review, Lily Poetry Review, the Cortland Review, and the Poem-a-Day series sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. His debut collection of poems, Susto, is forthcoming from the Center for Literary Publishing's Mountain / West Poetry Series. A native of Santa Fe, he lives with his family on the Cochiti Reservation.



Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, Hoffert Learning Center

Students in their final year of CSU's graduate program in Creative Writing give a public reading from their thesis or other major work in progress. Please join us as we celebrate these promising writers.

December 1, 2022

Alec Witthohn, Nicolas Wesely, Summer Ash

February 16, 2023

Eliana Meyer, C.E. Janecek, Courtney Zenner, Lilia Shrayfer

March 23, 2023

Patrick Carey, C Culbertson, Sunset Combs

April 27, 2023

John Kneisley, Meeka Todd, Bryce O'Tierney

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