Visiting Writers

A pair of fine endowments--Coal Royalty and the Bankhead Foundation--enables us to bring visiting writers of national and international reputation as well as up-and-comers to UA. The diversity of the visiting population adds immeasurably to the stimulation and criticism student writers receive.

Coal Royalty Chairholders

Every semester, writers of national reputation are in residence for periods of one week. Chairholders give readings, lead master classes, give craft talks, and interact with students at meals, receptions, and conferences.

The Bankhead Visiting Writers Series

Nationally known poets and prose writers have been coming to Tuscaloosa to read from their work since 1972. Each year, the Bankhead Visiting Writers Series brings writers to campus for readings. Many of these writers stay for two-day residencies, read student work, give talks, or participate in classes or workshops. 

2015-2016 Visitors

Amy Leach (Bankhead Visiting Writer) Reading: September 16, Jemson Mansion @ 7:30 pm

--Amy Leach is the author of the 2012 nonfiction book Things that Are. She was a 2008 winner of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award and a 2010 winner of the Whiting Writers’ Award.

Michelle Tea (Coal Royalty Chairholder) Reading: October 8, Gorgas 205 @ 7:30 pm

--Michelle Tea is a poet, memoirist, and novelist. In 2008 she was awarded the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize. Her most recent works in include the 2013 books Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir and Mermaid in Chelsea Creek.

Sofia Samatar (Bankhead Visiting Writer) Reading: October 16, Smith Hall @ 7:30 pm

--Sofia Samatar is a poet, essayist and fiction writer. She is the poetry and nonfiction editor for Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts and her body of work includes A Stranger in Olondria, which was a winner of the 2014 British Fantasy Award for best novel.

Audrey Niffenegger (Coal Royalty Chairholder) Reading: November 17, The Bama Theatre @ 7:30 pm

--Audrey Niffenegger is an artist and novelist. Her acclaimed 2003 debut novel The Time Traveler’s Wife was adapted in 2009 for a film by the same name. She is also the author of seven self-illustrated novels-in-pictures and visual books.

CA Conrad (Bankhead Visiting Writer) Reading: December 2, Jemison Mansion @ 7:30 pm

--CA Conrad is the author of seven books of poetry including A BEAUTIFUL MARSUPIAL AFTERNOON: New (Soma)tics and ECODEVIANCE: Soma(tics) for the Future Wilderness. Conrad is also a 2014 Lannan Fellow, a 2013 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2011 Pew Fellow.

Blake Butler, Elizabeth Hughey & Adam Robinson (Bankhead Visiting Writers) Panel: February 25, Morgan 301 @ 6:00 pm

--Blake Butler, Elizabeth Hughey, and Adam Robinson are all graduates of MFA programs now working in writing, publishing, and related areas. Their panel discussion will revolve around life after the creative writing MFA.

Allison Joseph (Coal Royalty Chairholder) Reading: March 24, Jemison Mansion @ 7:30 pm

--Allison Joseph is the author of six books of poetry, most recently the 2010 book, My Father’s Kites: Poems. Her honors include the John C. Zacharis First Book Prize from Ploughshares and Emerson College, fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry. She is the editor-in-chief of Crab Orchard Review.

Please visit our Facebook page and/or the English department's Google calendar for the most current information on upcoming events.


Past Coal Royalty and Bankhead Visitors

Videos of past Bankhead Visiting Writers Series readings on YouTube

Audio podcasts of past Bankhead Visiting Writers Series readings on iTunes U

Semester to year-long residents have included: Claudia Keelan, Rikki Ducornet, Patricia Henley, Jean Valentine, Bei Dao, Lynn Emanuel, Donald Revell, Mary Ruefle, Bill Knott, Joel Brouwer, Charlie Smith, Cris Mazza, Tomaz Salamun, Karen Volkman, Don Belton, Wilton Barnhart, Mary Swander, John Keeble, Beverly Lowry, David Wojahn, Craig Nova, Andrew Hudgins, Lyn Hejinian, Kent Nelson, Deirdre McNamer, Carolyn Kizer, George Garrett, Ted Solataroff, Greg Pape, Brendan Galvin, Robert Reeves, Heather McHugh, Mark Costello, Cornelius Eady, Richard Yates, George Starbuck, Desmond Hogan, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Harper, Russell Banks, Jack Gilbert, Andre Dubus, Margaret Atwood, Gerald Stern, James Tate, Wright Morris.

Two-day to two-week visitors have included: Tamas Aczel, Charles Alexander, Aldo Alvarez, M. T. Anderson, Ralph Angel, David Antin, Rae Armantrout, Peter Balakian, Jim Barnes, Quan Barry, John Barth, Charles Baxter, Dan Beachy-Quick, Madison Smartt Bell, Aimee Bender, Pinckney Benedict, Charles Bernstein, Jake Berry, Carol Bly, Marianne Boruch, David Bottoms, Jenny Boully, Kate Braverman, Karen Brennan, Nicole Brossard, Olga Broumas, Oni Buchanan, Christopher Buckley, Janet Burroway, Robert Olen Butler, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Alan Cheuse, Tom Chiarella, Martha Collins, Ted Conover, Robert Coover, Lucy Corin, Robert Creeley, Michael Cunningham, Bei Dao, Kathryn Davis, Lydia Davis, Kwame Dawes, Toi Derricotte, Susan Dodd, Timothy Donnelly, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Gerald Early, Nancy Eimers, Stanley Elkin, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Lynn Emanuel, Brian Evenson, Nuruddin Farah, Jack Foley, Adelle Foley, Patricia Foster, Karen Joy Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Mary Gaitskill, Roxane Gay, David Gewanter, Cecil Giscombe, Lea Graham, Philip Graham, Susan Griffin, Tony Grooms, Allen Grossman, Janet Campbell Hale, Mark Halliday, Robert Hass, Terence Hayes, Michael Heffernan, Robert Hellenga, Robin Hemley, Patricia Henley, Safiya Henderson-Holmes, Brenda Hillman, Jane Hirshfield, Lily Hoang, Susan Holbrook, Noy Holland, BJ Hollars, Yunte Huang, Major Jackson, Lisa Jarnot, Brandon Davis Jennings, Greg Johnson, Rodney Jones, Felix Jung, Janet Kauffman, Claudia Keelan, Jesse Lee Kercheval, Joanna Klink, Yusef Komunyakaa, Keetje Kuipers, Maxine Kumin, Li-Young Lee, Eric LeMay, Jonathan Lethem, Philip Levine, Franz Lidz, Susan Ludvigson, Thomas Lux, Nathaniel Mackey, Sabrina Orah Mark, Peter Markus, Emily Martin, Walter McDonald, Alice McDermott, Erin McGraw, Reginald McKnight, Lynne McMahon, Charles McNair, Sandra McPherson, Valerie Miner, Rick Moody, Dinty Moore, Harryette Mullen, Susan Neville, Alice Notley, Josip Novakovich, Sigrid Nunez, Tim O'Brien, Gina Ochsner, Bill Olsen, Simon Ortiz, Grace Paley, Molly Peacock, Tom Pearson, Bob Perelman, Carl Phillips, W. Glascow Phillips, Robert Pinsky, D.A. Powell, Ann Powers, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Richard Price, Lia Purpura, Jamie Quatro, Shona Ramaya, Srikanth Reddy, Donald Revell, Barbara Jane Reyes, Adrienne Rich, Michael Robbins, Jerome Rothenberg, Joanna Ruocco, David St. John, James Salter, George Saunders, Barry Schwabsky, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Bob Shacochis, Carroll Dale Short, Richard Siken, Sue Silverman, Charles Simic, Jane Smiley, Lee Smith, R. T. Smith, W. D. Snodgrass, Gary Soto, Juliana Spahr, Darcey Steinke, Larry Sutin, Mathias Svalina, Cole Swensen, Larissa Szporluk, Henry Taylor, Shelly Taylor, Lorenzo Thomas, Melanie Rae Thon, Natasha Trethewey, JA Tyler, Elizabeth Dewberry Vaughn, Diane Wakoski, G.C. Waldrep, Alice Walker, Margaret Walker-Alexander, Lila Weaver, Kellie Wells, Richard Wilbur, Joy Williams, August Wilson, Monique Wittig, Jon Woodward, C. D. Wright, Kalamu Ya Salaam, David Young, Kevin Young