2013-2014 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 .

Spring Axton Series

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.

Reading: Thurs., 2/6, 7:30PM, Bingham Poetry Room

Master Class:  Fri., 2/7, 10AM-Noon, Humanities 300


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.

Viewing: Thurs., 3/20, 7:30PM, Floyd Street Theater

Master Class: Fri., 3/21, 10Am-Noon, Humanities 300



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.

Reading: Thurs., 4/10, 7:30PM, Bingham Poetry Room

Master Class: Fri., 4/11, 10AM-Noon, Humanities 300

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