2015 - 2016 Axton Reading Series

The Anne & William Axton Reading Series

The Anne and William Axton Reading Series was established in 1999 through the generosity of the late William Axton, former University of Louisville English professor, and his wife, the late Anne Axton. The Series brings highly distinguished writers from across the country to the University of Louisville for two-day visits to read from their work, and to share their knowledge and expertise with the University and Louisville community. On Belknap Campus, writers give a public reading and Q&A on the first day, and on the following morning they conduct a master class where select student work is critiqued. Both events are free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Previous seasons have included Terrance Hayes, Junot Diaz, Brian Teare, Robert Pinsky, Charles Wright, Nathaniel Mackey, Susan Minot, Mary Karr, Stephen Dobyns, Lynnell Edwards, Colson Whitehead, Robin Lippincott, Robert Hass, Silas House, Beverly Lowry, George Saunders, Louise Glück, Hannah Tinti, Clare Vaye Watkins, and Lynnell Major Edwards.


Fall Axton Series

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.

Reading: Thursday, 9/17, 7:30PM, Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library

Master Class: Friday, 9/18, 10:00Am-Noon, Bingham Humanities 300




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.

Reading: Thursday, 10/8, 7:30PM, Shumaker Research Building (SRB) 139




Dan Rosenberg is 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.

Reading: Thursday, 10/29, 7:30PM, Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library

Master Class: Friday, 10/30, 10:00AM-Noon, Bingham Humanities 300




Adam Johnson is 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.


Reception, Reading, Q&A, and Book Signing: Saturday, 11/14, 5:00 - 7:00PM, The Tim Faulkner Gallery (1512 Portland Ave., Louisville, KY 40203)




Locations and dates subject to change. Please call the English Department at U of L to verify. (502) 852-6801