St. Lawrence University Writers Series

St. Lawrence University Writers Series

Posted: Updated:

St. Lawrence University’s Department of English has announced its 2018-19 Writers Series lineup. All events are free and open to the public and will take place beginning at 8 p.m. in the Sykes Formal Lounge, located on Park Street across from the Brewer Bookstore in the Village of Canton. 

Sept. 13: Poet, memoirist, novelist, and editor Jill Bialosky’s bestselling memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life, was called “a source of solace and understanding” by Time Magazine. Darin Strauss called it “the kind of book that can teach us – all of us – about what it means to be a thinking, feeling human being. A book, in other words, that will teach you how to live.”

Bialosky’s collections of poems are The Players, Intruder, Subterranean, and The End of Desire. She is the author of the novels The Prize, House Under Snow, and The Life Room. Her most recent memoir is titled Poetry Will Save Your Life. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, O Magazine, Paris Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, and American Poetry Review, among other publications.

Bialosky is Executive Editor at W. W. Norton & Company and lives in New York City.

Oct. 11: Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, writer, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first full-length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book prize. He is also the author of a recent poetry chapbook, Vintage Sadness, and a debut collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us.

His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow and previously worked for MTV News, where he wrote about the intersections of music, culture, and identity. Abdurraqib wrote the 2016 live shows: MTV Video Music Awards and VH1’s Unsilent Night. He is a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve L. Ewing.

Abdurraqib will host a Q & A about his work from 10:10 to 11:40 on Oct. 11 in the Sykes Formal Lounge. He will also host a poetry slam for students at noon on Oct. 12 in the Sykes Formal Lounge.

Nov. 5: Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, the youngest daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants to Canada. She is the author of a story collection, Simple Recipes; and three novels: Certainty; Dogs at the Perimeter, which was set in the long aftermath of the Cambodian civil war and genocide and was shortlisted for Berlin’s International Literature Prize and winner of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s LiBeraturpreis; and, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, The Folio Prize, and won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The novel was also named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2016 and longlisted for a Carnegie Medal.

Thien’s books have been translated into twenty-five languages and her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Brick, The Sunday Times, frieze, Granta, and elsewhere. She is a professor of English at Brooklyn College.

Feb. 7: Jac Jemc is most recently the author of The Grip of It, which Mac Lewis in Electric Lit described as a “master class” of psychological horror. Reviewers have compared the novel to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. The novel was also a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award. Her first novel, My Only Wife, was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. Her collection of stories, A Different Bed Every Time, was named one of Amazon's best story collections of 2014.

Jemc is the St. Lawrence Viebranz Professor of Creative Writing for 2018-19.

March 7: Brenda Miller is the author of five essay collections: Season of the Body, Blessing of the Animals, Listening Against the Stone, Who You Will Become, and An Earlier Life. Kim Barnes writes, “Brenda Miller writes with such extraordinary grace and intimacy that, despite our weariness and fears, we find ourselves falling in love with the world all over again.”

Miller also co-authored Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining and Publishing Creative Nonfiction and The Pen and The Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World. Terry Tempest Williams has praised Miller’s voice as “a beacon of light.” Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes.

She is a professor of English at Western Washington University and associate faculty at the Rainier Writing Workshop.

April 18: Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, the Ohioana Book Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. 

Ross is the co-author with Aimee Nezhukumatathil of the chapbook “Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens,” and is an editor of an online sports magazine, Some Call it Ballin’, in addition to editing several chapbook presses. He is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University. 

His reading is supported by the Sandra Nelson Memorial Poetry fund.

The Writer Series is sponsored by St. Lawrence University’s Department of English. For more information, visit the Department of English at or call at 315-229-5125.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 Frankly Media and WWNY. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.