Previous Axton Readers

Spring 2018

Kristen Radtke

Kristen Radtke

Kristen Radtke is the author of the graphic nonfiction book Imagine Wanting Only This (Pantheon, 2017). She is the art director and New York editor of The Believer magazine.

Reading: Thursday, February 8, 7:30 PM
University Writing Center, Ekstrom Library

Master class: Friday, February 9 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Humanities Room 300

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor

The San Francisco Chronicle called Tess Taylor’s first book, The Forage House, “stunning”. Her second book, Work & Days, was called “our moment’s Georgic” by critic Stephanie Burt and was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Taylor currently chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle, and is on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. She was most recently a Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Reading: Thursday, March 1, 7:30 PM
Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library

Master Class: Friday, March 2, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Humanities Room 300

Jos Charles

Jos Charles

Jos Charles is the author of feeld, a winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series, selected by Fady Joudah (forthcoming September, 2018) and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). She is the recipient of the 2016 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship through the Poetry Foundation and the 2015 Monique Wittig Writer's Scholarship. Jos Charles received an MFA from the University of Arizona and currently resides in Long Beach, CA.

Reading: Thursday, March 29, 7:30 PM
Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library

Master Class: Friday, March 30, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Humanities Room 300

Fall 2017

Jeffrey Skinner

Jeffrey Skinner

October, 2017

Jeffrey Skinner's poetry has earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, and other fellowships and awards from such agencies as the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has published seven books of poetry, the latest of which, Chance Divine, won the Field Prize.

Sarah Gorham

Sarah Gorham

October, 2017

Sarah Gorham is a poet and essayist, and most recently the author of Alpine Apprentice (2017) and Study in Perfect (2014), the latter selected by Bernard Cooper for the 2013 AWP Award in Creative Nonfiction. Both were published by University of Georgia Press. Gorham is also the author of four collections of poetry— Bad Daughter (2011), The Cure (2003), The Tension Zone (1996), and Don’t Go Back to Sleep (1989). Other honors include grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and three state arts councils. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief at Sarabande Books, an independent, nonprofit, literary publisher.

Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison

October, 2017

Leslie Jamison is the author of The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestselling essay collection, and a novel, The Gin Closet, a finalist for the LA Times First Fiction Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, and the New York Times Sunday Book Review, where she is a columnist. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Columbia University. Her books have been published in the UK, Brazil, Germany, Holland, Italy, France, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Korea, and China. Her next book, The Recovering, will be published in Spring 2018.

Aisha Sabatini Sloan

Aisha Sabatini Sloan

September, 2017

Aisha Sabatini Sloan’s writing about race and current events is often coupled with analysis of art, film and pop culture. Dinty W. Moore deemed her first essay collection, The Fluency of Light, “One of the most original, startling memoirs I have seen in the past ten years.” Her second book, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, was chosen by Maggie Nelson as the winner of the1913 Open Prose Book Contest. A contributing editor for Guernica and a staff writer for Autostraddle, she has taught writing at OSU Cascades’ Low-Residency Program, Carleton College and the University of Michigan’s New England Literature Program.

Spring 2017

Kim Brooks

Kim Brooks

April 2017

Kim Brooks' first novel, The Houseguest, is now available from Counterpoint Press. Her memoir, Small Animals: A Memoir of Parenthood and Fear, will be published in 2018 by Flatiron Books/ Macmillan. Her stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, One Story, Five Chapters and other journals and her essays have appeared in Salon, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and WNYC's Note to Self. She lives in Chicago with her husband and children.

David Grossman

David Grossman

March 2017

Born in Jerusalem in 1954, David Grossman has been hailed as a “secular prophet” and his fiction and journalism have been translated into over thirty-five languages. He is the author of eight novels and two journalistic books addressing the lives of Israel’s Arab minority and that of Palestinians in the West Bank. Grossman’s haunting novel, See Under: Love, is widely considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Holocaust literature. His visit is co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Humanities.

Michael Garriga

Michael Garriga

March 2017

Michael Garriga is the author of The Book of Duels, now on its second printing. His work has been published extensively in magazines and journals, including New Letters, the Black Warrior Review, storySouth, and the Southern Review. He has worked as a sound man in a blues bar, a shrimp picker, and a bartender, but currently teaches creative writing in the English department at Baldwin Wallace University. Garriga lives with his family outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

Marcus Wicker

Marcus Wicker

February 2017

Marcus Wicker is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, The Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Prize, as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and The Fine Arts Work Center. His previous collection Maybe the Saddest Thing, a National Poetry Series winner, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Wicker’s poems have appeared in The Nation, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Oxford American, and Boston Review. His second book, Silencer, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017.

Fall 2016

Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff

November 2016

Lauren Groff is the author of the novel The Monsters of Templeton, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, Delicate Edible Birds, a collection of stories, and Arcadia, a finalist for the L. A. Times Book Award. Her third novel, Fates and Furies, was a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has appeared in journals including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, One Story, and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories,The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and four editions of the Best American Short Stories. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two sons.

Merritt Tierce

October 2016

Merritt Tierce was born and raised in Texas, graduated from college at 19, and then waited tables for ten years before attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. From 2011 to 2014 she worked as the executive director of an abortion fund in North Texas. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and is a 2013 National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” author. Her first book, the novel Love Me Back, won the 2014 Texas Institute of Letters’ Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction and was shortlisted for the PEN/Bingham prize for debut fiction and named a best book of 2014 by The ChicagoTribune. Merritt’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Oxford American, and Southwest Review, among other magazines and publications. She has been a fellow at the Yaddo artists’ community and Writers Omi at Ledig House, and lives in Denton, Texas.

Lauren Haldeman

September 2016

Lauren Haldeman is the author of the poetry collection Calenday (Rescue Press, 2014, finalist for the 2014 Julie Suk Award) and the artist book The Eccentricity is Zero (Digraph Press, 2014). Her work has appeared in Fence, jubilat, Fourteen Hills and The Rumpus. A comic book artist, illustrator, puppeteer and poet, Lauren has taught in the U.S. as well as internationally, including a reading and lecture tour of South Africa sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she was a recipient of the 2015 Sustainable Arts Foundation Award. You can find her online at laurenhaldeman.com and on twitter @laurenhaldeman.

Spring 2016

T.J. Jarrett

April 2016

A writer and software developer in Nashville, Tennessee. Her recent work has been published or is forthcoming in Poetry, African American Review, Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Callaloo, DIAGRAM, Third Coast, VQR, West Branch and others. She has earned scholarships from Colrain Manuscript Conference and Vermont Studio Center; fellowships from Sewanee Writer's Conference 2014 and the Summer Literary Seminars 2012 and 2014; winner of VQR's Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry 2014; a runner up for the 2012 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize and 2012 New Issues Poetry Prize; and her collection The Moon Looks Down and Laughs was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. She has been anthologized in Language Lessons by Third Man Books and Best American Non-Required Reading 2015 from Houghton-Mifflin and others. Her debut collection Ain't No Grave (finalist for the 2013 Balcones Prize) was published with New Issues Press (2013). Her second collection Zion (winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition 2013) was published by Southern Illinois University Press in the fall of 2014.

Transcript

Nina McConigley

March 2016

The author of the story collection Cowboys and East Indians, which won the 2014 PEN Open Book Award and a High Plains Book Award. She was born in Singapore and grew up in Wyoming. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston and an MA from the University of Wyoming. She was named by Glamour Magazine as one of `50 Phenomenal Women Making a Difference' in 2014, and her book was named one of 2014's Best Prize Winning books by O, Oprah Magazine. She has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and held scholarships to the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for The Best New American Voices. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Orion, Salon, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, and The Asian American Literary Review among others. She lives in Laramie, Wyoming and teaches at the University of Wyoming and at the MFA program at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

Transcript

Mat Johnson

February 2016

Mat Johnson reads from his novel Loving Day; followed by a Q&A. Introduction by Kiki Petrosino.

Nick Greer

February 2016

Nick Greer reads from his Calvino prize-winning chapbook Glass City; followed by a Q&A. Introduction by Kiki Petrosino.

Fall 2015

Adam Johnson

November 2015

A professor of English at Stanford University. Winner of a Whiting Writer's Award and Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, he is the author of several books, including Fortune Smiles, a short-story collection, and the novel The Orphan Master's Son, which was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Playboy, Harper's Magazine, Granta, Tin House and The Best American Short Stories. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children.

Dan Rosenberg

October 2015

The author of The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press, 2012, winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize) and cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015). He has also written two chapbooks, A Thread of Hands (Tilt Press, 2010) and Thigh's Hollow (Omnidawn, forthcoming, winner of the Omnidawn Chapbook Contest). His co-translation of Miklavž Komelj's Hippodrome is forthcoming from Zephyr Press. Rosenberg's poems have appeared recently in Beloit Poetry Journal, jubilat, Salt Hill, and Conjunctions. Rosenberg holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a Ph.D. from The University of Georgia. He currently teaches at Wells College in Aurora, N.Y., and co-edits the independent online poetry journal Transom.

Transcript

Frank X Walker

October 2015

Multidisciplinary artist and Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is a Full Professor in the departments of English and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky and the founding editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Cave Canem Fellow and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the author of six collections of poetry including, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry; and Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award. Voted one of the most creative professors in the south, he is the originator of the word, Affrilachia, and is dedicated to deconstructing and forcing a new definition of what it means to be Appalachian. The Lannan Poetry Fellowship Award recipient has degrees from the University of Kentucky and Spalding University as well as two honorary doctorates from the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University.

Transcript

Charles McLeod

September 2015

Charles McLeod is the author of a novel, American Weather (Outpost19, 2012), and two collections of stories: National Treasures (Outpost19, 2012), and Settlers of Unassigned Lands (University of Michigan Press, 2015). His fiction has received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in more than two-dozen publications. He teaches in the M.F.A Program at Portland State University.

Spring 2015

Paul Griner

April 2015

Paul Griner, a former Fulbright Scholar, is the author of the short story collection Follow Me (Random House), a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, and the novels Collectors (Random House) and The German Woman(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). His work has been published in Tin House, One Story, Ploughshares, Playboy, Zoetrope, The Telegraph of India, and many other magazines, journals, and anthologies, and has been translated into a half dozen languages. His novel Second Life will be published by Counterpoint/Soft Skull in January 2015. His collection of stories Hurry Please, I Want To Know, will be published by Sarabande in Jun 2015.

He is the recipient of UofL’s Outstanding Teaching Awards at both the college and university levels as well as well as the Graduate School’s Outstanding Mentor Award. He has a BA in History from the University of New Hampshire, an MA in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard, and an MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.

Michelle Latiolais

March 2015

Michelle Latiolais is an English professor and co-director of the Programs in Writing at the University of California at Irvine. Her novel Even Now won the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. Her most recent novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published by Bellevue Literary Press. Latiolais’ 2011 collection of short stories, Widow, was largely written after the tragic death of her husband, and her stories explore the physiology of grief -- reminding us that the inner life is best understood through the medium of storytelling.

Sayed Kashua

Sayed Kashua

February 2015

Sayed Kashua is the author of three novels: Dancing Arabs, Let it Be Morning and Person Singular, winner of the Berstein Prize. Kashua also writes a satirical weekly column in Hebrew for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. In a humorous, tongue-in-cheek style, Kashua addresses the problems faced by Arabs in Israel, caught between two worlds. He is the writer and creator of the hit Israeli TV show Arab Labor (Avoda Aravit), now in its third season. In 2004 Kashua was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize in Literature. He is also the subject of the documentary Forever Scared.

Kashua’s presentation at UofL is entitled “The Foreign Mother Tongue: Living and Writing as a Palestinian in Israel.” His visit is co-sponsored by the Program in Judaic Studies in the Division of Humanities.

Fall 2014

Nick Flynn

November 2014

Nick Flynn’s most recent book, The Reenactments, which Kirkus calls“a truly insightful, original work,” completes a trilogy begun with Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004). His previous book, The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands (2011), was a collection of poems linked to the second book of the trilogy,The Ticking is the Bomb (2010), which the Los Angeles Times called a “disquieting masterpiece.” Another Bullshit Night in Suck City won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, was shortlisted for France’s Prix Femina, and has been translated into fifteen languages. He is also the author of a play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (2008), as well as two other books of poetry, Some Ether (2000), and Blind Huber (2002), for which he received fellowships from, among other organizations, The Guggenheim Foundation and The Library of Congress. Some of the venues his poems, essays and non-fiction have appeared in include The New Yorker, the Paris Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review. His film credits include artistic collaborator and “field poet” on the film Darwin’s Nightmare (nominated for an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006), as well as executive producer and artistic collaborator on Being Flynn, the film version of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2012, Focus Features, directed by Paul Weitz, starring Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Julianne Moore, and Lili Taylor). A professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston, where he teaches each spring, he then spends the rest of the year in (or near) Brooklyn.

Heather Slomski

Heather Slomski

October 2014

Heather Slomski is the author of The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons, winner of the 2014 Iowa Short Fiction Award and forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press. She received her M.F.A. from Western Michigan University and held the Axton Fellowship in Fiction at the University of Louisville. Her stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, American Letters & Commentary, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, The Normal School, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Minnesota State Artist Initiative Grant and a Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and son and teaches writing at Concordia College.

Chelsey Minnis

Chelsey Minnis

September 2014

Chelsey Minnis graduated from from the University of Colorado, Boulder and has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in poetry. Her first book Zirconia won the Alberta Prize for Women from Fence Press in 2001. Fence Books published her second manuscript Bad Bad in 2007. Her third book Poemland was published by Wave Books in 2009. Her first book Zirconia was described as "accessible, confrontational, hilarious, occasionally shocking, never ever dull and often extremely moving." Her work has been cited as an example of the gurlesque as envisioned by poet Arielle Greenberg. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband Steve.

Spring 2014

Elissa Schappell

Elissa Schappell

April 2014

Elissa Schappell is the author of two books of fiction, most recently Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which was chosen as one of the “Best Books of the Year” by TheSan Francisco Chronicle, TheBoston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek/Daily Beast and O Magazine, and Use Me, a Los Angeles Times “Best Book of the Year” a New York Times “Notable Book,” and runner up for the PEN/Hemingway award. She is co-editor with Jenny Offill of two anthologies, The Friend Who Got Away and Money Changes Everything. Her fiction, non-fiction and criticism has appeared in many publications including The New York Times Book Review, SPIN,BOMB, One Story, and anthologies such as The Mrs. Dalloway Reader, The Bitch in the House, The KGB Reader, and Lit Riffs. Schappell is a Contributing Editor and the “Hot Type” columnist at Vanity Fair, a former Senior Editor at The Paris Review and a Founding-editor, now Editor-at-Large of Tin House magazine. She teaches in the MFA program at Columbia and in the low-residency program at Queens in NC. She lives in Brooklyn.

Austin Bunn

Austin Bunn

March 2014

Austin Bunn is a writer for film, theatre, and print. He wrote the screenplay for Kill Your Darlings (Sony Pictures Classics), with the film's director John Krokidas, which stars Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Foster, Michael C Hall. The film premiered at Sundance, screened at the Toronto and Hampton's Film Festival, and won the International Prize at the Venice Film Festival. His plays have been performed and workshopped at The Lark, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The New Harmony Project, The Orchard Project, and elsewhere. His short documentary, Lavender Hill: a love story, premiered at Outfest 2013. Bunn’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Missouri Review, WBEZ, NPR, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and elsewhere. He is the co-author, with film producer Christine Vachon, of the L.A. Times best-seller A Killer Life: How An Independent Film Producer Survives Deals and Disasters Far From Hollywood (Simon and Schuster). He received his B.A. from Yale University, and an M.F.A. From the Iowa Writers' Workshop (Fiction) and Playwrights' Worksop (Playwriting). He was an Axton Fellow in Fiction Writing at the University of Louisville, and he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University.

Kyle Coma-Thompson

Kyle Coma-Thompson

February 2014

Kyle Coma-Thompson is the author The Lucky Body (Dock Street Press, 2013). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, AGNI, The American Reader, New American Writing, Bat City Review and elsewhere. He has held fellowships as an Axton Fellow in Creative Writing at University of Louisville, a Bennett Fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy, and a Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia.

Fall 2013

Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland

November 2013

Tony Hoagland's four collections of poems include What Narcissism Means to Me, and Donkey Gospel. A book on poetic craft and art, Real Sofistikashun, is also published by Graywolf Press. His work has won the Poetry Foundation's Mark Twain Award in 2005, the Jackson Prize, the O.B. Hardisson Prize, and The James Laughlin Award. He teaches writing and literature at the University of Houston, and at the Warren Wilson low residency MFA. In 2012, he started Five Powers Poetry, a program for coaching high school teachers in the teaching of poetry in the classroom.

Tim Gautreaux

Tim Gautreaux

October 2013

Tim Gautreaux was born in Morgan City, Louisiana in 1947. He attended the University of South Carolina where he earned a Ph.D in English Literature. His published fiction includes two collections of short stories (Same Place, Same Things, Welding with Children) and three novels (The Next Step in the Dance, The Clearing, The Missing). His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, GQ and many other magazines. Among his awards are a National Magazine Award, Southeastern Booksellers Award for best novel, Mid-South Booksellers award, The Heasley Prize, The John Dos Passos Prize, Louisiana Writer of the Year Award, and an NEA Creative Fellowship. The Clearing, published by Alfred A. Knopf, made several top ten lists, including the USA Today list of the ten best books of 2003. His most recent novel, The Missing, appeared in March 2009 to glowing reviews. Presently Dr. Gautreaux maintains a connection to Southeastern Louisiana University as professor emeritus and writer in residence. He lives half the year in Jefferson NC. was born in Bishop, California in 1984.

Greg Wrenn

Greg Wrenn

September 2013

Greg Wrenn's first book of poems, Centaur, was selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2013 Brittingham Prize and was published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Born and raised in northeast Florida, Wrenn is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and recipient of the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America as well as the Margaret Bridgman Scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference. How work has appeared in New England Review, The Yale Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. A graduate of Harvard University and Washington University in St. Louis, he is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.