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 2016 Axton Readers

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.


Reading: Thursday, September 22nd. 4 - 5:30pm. Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville.

Master Class: Friday, September 23rd. 10:00am - Noon.W210, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville.



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.



Reading: Thursday, October 20th. 7:30 - 9pm. Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville.

Master Class: Friday, October 21st. 10:00am - Noon. Humanities 300, University of Louisville.



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.





Reading: Saturday, November 5th. 5 - 6:30pm. The Tim Faulkner Gallery. 1512 Portland Ave. Louisville.

Master Class:


Spring 2016 Axton Readers

Nina McConigley is 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.

Reading: Thursday, March 3rd. 7:30 - 9:00pm. Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library.

Master Class: Friday, March 4th. 10:00am - 12:00pm. Bingham Humanities, Room 300.




T.J. Jarrett is 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.

Reading: Thursday, April 7th. 7:30 - 9:00pm. Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library.

Master Class: Friday, April 8th. 10:00am - 12:00pm. Ekstrom W210.




Fall 2015 Axton Readers


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)





UofL SC page

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