Master Lecturers

Master Lecturers

Fall 2019 and Spring 2020

Mitchell S. JacksonMitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years (Bloomsbury) received wide critical praise. Jackson is the winner of a Whiting Award. His novel also won The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for The Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s honors include fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, TED, NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts), and The Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, The Guardian, Time MagazineEsquire Magazine and elsewhere. His nonfiction book Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family (Scribner) was published in the spring of 2019. He is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.

Master Lecture on Airships by Barry Hannah


Wayétu MooreWayétu Moore’s debut novel, She Would Be King, was named a best book of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly & BuzzFeed. Her writing can be found in The Paris Review, Frieze Magazine, Guernica, The Atlantic Magazine and other publications. She’s a graduate of Howard University, University of Southern California and Columbia University. Moore is a founding faculty member of Randolph College MFA program and a 2019 Distinguished Visiting Writer at Syracuse University MFA.

Master Lecture on We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin


Deborah Eisenberg, Master Lecture on Skylark by Deszo Kosztolanyi


An Duplan, Master Lecture on Black Dada Reader by Adam Pendleton


Wyatt Mason, Master Lecture on Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

Spring and Fall 2019

Christopher Castellani's fourth novel, Leading Men, for which he received a Guggenheim fellowship, will be published by Viking in February 2019. He is also the author of the novels All This Talk of Love, The Saint of Lost Things, and A Kiss from Maddalena, winner of 2004 Massachusetts Book AwardHis essays on point of view in fiction, The Art of Perspective, was published by Graywolf in 2016. He is currently on the faculty of the MFA Program at Warren Wilson and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and he has taught at Swarthmore College and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He lives in Boston, where he is artistic director of GrubStreet. 

Master Lecture on HHhH by Laurent Binet.


Nick Flynn is the author of three memoirs, The ReenactmentsThe Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment, and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which has been made into a film, Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro as Flynn’s father, Julianne Moore, and Paul Dano. He is the author of five books of poetry, I Will Destroy You (forthcoming September 2019), My FeelingsThe Captain Asks For a Show of HandsSome Ether, which won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and Blind Huber. In January 2019, Ze Books will publish Stay, a collection of threads (ideas, images & thoughts) gathered together from all of Nick Flynn’s twelve published books, along with excerpts of essays & interviews, presented alongside the collaborations that led to—or came out of—these writings. Flynn has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center. His poems, essays, and non-fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review. Since 2016, he has been performing with his band Killdeer, a collaboration with Simi Stone, Philip Marshall, and Guy Barash. His work has been translated into fifteen languages.

Master Lecture on Eric Fair's memoir, Consequence.


Alice Mattison is a widely acclaimed author and longtime writing teacher. Conscience is her seventh novel. The Kite and the String: How to Write with Spontaneity and Control—and Live to Tell the Tale appeared in 2016. Her earlier novels include The Book BorrowerNothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn, and When We Argued All Night, and she is also the author of four books of stories and a collection of poems. Twelve of her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, and other work has been published in The New York TimesPloughshares, and Ecotone and has been anthologized in The Pushcart PrizePEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and Best American Short Stories. She has held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and has taught at Brooklyn College, Yale University, and, for more than twenty years, in the Bennington Writing Seminars, the MFA program at Bennington College.

Master Lecture on To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.


Leah Nanako Winkler is a Japanese-American playwright from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington Kentucky. Her play KENTUCKY was among the top 10 on the 2015 Kilroys List and recently received an Off-Broadway Premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre in coproduction with Page 73 and the Radio Drama Network. It subsequently received a West Coast Premiere at East West Players in November-December 2016. Leah is also the author of Two Mile Hollow (2017 Kilroys List, Upcoming Simultaneous World Premiere at Artists At Play in La, Mixed Blood/Theater Mu in Minneapolis, First Floor Theater in Chicago and Ferocious Lotus in San Francisco, Death For Sydney Black (terraNova Collective, Thinking Cap Theater, 2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention) Diversity Awareness Picnic (2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention), Double Suicide At Ueno Park (EST/Marathon 2015), Linus and Murray (EST/Marathon 2017) and The Adventures of Minami: The Robot From Japan Who Makes You Feel Safe When Loneliness Is Palpable (The Brick). With playwright Teddy Nicholas, she cowrote Flying Snakes in 3-D!!! which enjoyed performances in 2011-2012 at Ars Nova (ANT Fest), The Brick Theater and the New Ohio Theatre (Ice Factory ). Leah’s work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, The Bushwick Starr, The Flea Theatre, Primary Stages, Artists at Play and more. Her experimental stuff has been performed all throughout the city at places like little theatre @ Dixon Place, Prelude Festival, Bowery Poetry Club and more. Her collections of short plays, NAGORIYUKI & Other Short Plays and The Lowest Form Of Writing are available on Amazon and have been performed all over the US, France and Asia. Her plays have also been published in Nanjing University’s Stage and Screen Reviews, Smith and Krauss, Sam French and Dramatists Play Service. She was an artist in residence at New Group/Urban Arts Initiative, a winner of the 2015 Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, a 2015 and 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee, a two time recipient of the A/P/A commission for the Japanese American National Museum, a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship for Creative Writing, a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Playwrights Group, Ma Yi Lab, a 2016-2017 Sloan Commission recipient with the Ensemble Studio Theatre, a commissioned writer with 2G, a 2016-2018 Time Warner fellow at the Women’s Project, an alumnus of Youngblood and a 2017 Sundance/Ucross Fellow. The New York Times called her a “distinctive new voice.”


Chloe Honum grew up in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Her first book, The Tulip-Flame (2014), was selected by Tracy K. Smith for the Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize, named a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and won a Foreword INDIE Book of the Year Award and a Texas Institute of Letters Award. She is also the author of a chapbook, Then Winter (Bull City Press, 2017). The recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, Honum has been a guest poetry editor for the Pushcart Prize anthology. Her work has appeared in venues including The Paris ReviewPoetry, Orion, The Southern Review, and the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre.


Major Jackson is the author of four collections of poetry: Roll Deep (2015, Norton); Holding Company (2010, Norton); Hoops (2006, Norton); and Leaving Saturn (2002, University of Georgia Press). Holding Company and Hoops were both selected as finalists for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry; and Leaving Saturn, awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and in Best American Poetry. A recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, and a Whiting Writers’ Award, he has been honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress.

Jackson has served as a Distinguished Visiting Writer at Adelphi University, a creative arts fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence. He is a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.


Safiya Sinclair is a poet and librettist born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of Cannibal, winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Cannibal was selected as one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year,” and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, as well as being longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Sinclair’s other honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, fellowships from Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerGrantaThe NationPoetryKenyon ReviewOxford American, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia, and is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.


Leah Nanako Winkler is a Japanese-American playwright from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington Kentucky. Her play KENTUCKY was among the top 10 on the 2015 Kilroys List and recently received an Off-Broadway Premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre in coproduction with Page 73 and the Radio Drama Network. It subsequently received a West Coast Premiere at East West Players in November-December 2016. Leah is also the author of Two Mile Hollow (2017 Kilroys List, Upcoming Simultaneous World Premiere at Artists At Play in La, Mixed Blood/Theater Mu in Minneapolis, First Floor Theater in Chicago and Ferocious Lotus in San Francisco, Death For Sydney Black (terraNova Collective, Thinking Cap Theater, 2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention) Diversity Awareness Picnic (2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention), Double Suicide At Ueno Park (EST/Marathon 2015), Linus and Murray (EST/Marathon 2017) and The Adventures of Minami: The Robot From Japan Who Makes You Feel Safe When Loneliness Is Palpable (The Brick). With playwright Teddy Nicholas, she cowrote Flying Snakes in 3-D!!! which enjoyed performances in 2011-2012 at Ars Nova (ANT Fest), The Brick Theater and the New Ohio Theatre (Ice Factory ). Leah’s work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, The Bushwick Starr, The Flea Theatre, Primary Stages, Artists at Play and more. Her experimental stuff has been performed all throughout the city at places like little theatre @ Dixon Place, Prelude Festival, Bowery Poetry Club and more. Her collections of short plays, NAGORIYUKI & Other Short Plays and The Lowest Form Of Writing are available on Amazon and have been performed all over the US, France and Asia. Her plays have also been published in Nanjing University’s Stage and Screen Reviews, Smith and Krauss, Sam French and Dramatists Play Service. She was an artist in residence at New Group/Urban Arts Initiative, a winner of the 2015 Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, a 2015 and 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee, a two time recipient of the A/P/A commission for the Japanese American National Museum, a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship for Creative Writing, a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Playwrights Group, Ma Yi Lab, a 2016-2017 Sloan Commission recipient with the Ensemble Studio Theatre, a commissioned writer with 2G, a 2016-2018 Time Warner fellow at the Women’s Project, an alumnus of Youngblood and a 2017 Sundance/Ucross Fellow. The New York Times called her a “distinctive new voice.”

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Ocean Vuong is a poet and essayist. He is the author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds, which was a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Whiting Award, and the Thom Gunn Award, and finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, Vuong has received honors from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. His writings have been featured in The AtlanticThe NationNew Republic, The New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he immigrated to the US at the age of two as a child refugee. He lives Western Massachusetts and teaches at UMass Amherst's MFA for Poets & Writers program.

Master Lecture  on Eduardo C. Corral’s poetry collection, Slow Lightning  


Nathan McClain is the author of Scale (Four Way Books, 2017), the 2017 Gregory Pardlo Fellow of The Frost Place, and a graduate of Warren Wilson's MFA Program for Writers. A Cave Canem fellow, his poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in CallalooPloughsharesBroadsidedThe Southeast ReviewTinderbox, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches creative writing at Drew University.

Master Lecture on Ellen Bryant Voigt’s Headwaters 


Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction, including, most recently, the highly-acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel, LOVERS AT THE CHAMELEON CLUB: PARIS, 1932.

Her novel A CHANGED MAN won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and BLUE ANGEL was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed ANNE FRANK: THE BOOK, THE LIFE, THE AFTERLIFE, and the New York Times bestseller READING LIKE A WRITER.

The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Francine Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.

Master Lecture on Muriel Spark's novel, Loitering with Intent 


Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels “Two Girls, Fat and Thin,” “Veronica” and “The Mare” as well as the story collections “Bad Behavior,” “Because They Wanted To” and “Don't Cry.”  Her story “Secretary” was the basis for the feature film of the same name.  Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories.  In 2002 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction; in 2010 she received a New York Public Library Cullman Center research grant.  Her novel “Veronica” was nominated for the National Book Award in 2005.  She has taught at the University of Houston, New York University, The New School, Brown, Syracuse and Claremont McKenna College.  She has been Writer-In-Residence at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Sidney Harmon Chair at Baruch College.  Gaitskill has most recently published a collection of essays titled “Somebody With A Little Hammer.”

Master Lecture on The Journals of John Cheever

Fall 2017 – Spring 2018

Amy Hempel is the author of The Dog of the Marriage, Tumble Home, Reasons to Live, and At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, and the coeditor of Unleashed. Her stories have appeared in Elle, GQ, Harper’s, Playboy, The Quarterly, and Vanity Fair. She teaches in the Graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College and at Stony Brook University’s Southampton MFA program.

Master Lecture on Mary Robison's novel, Why Did I Ever


Randall Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea González Poetry Award and most recently a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. Randall is a Cave Canem Fellow, a member of the Affrilachian Poets, and a member of the experimental performance group: Heroes Are Gang Leaders. TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press in the publisher of his latest poetry collection Pitch Dark Anarchy. Hook: A Memoir is published by Augury Books. Randall is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Haven.

Master Lecture on Carlene Hatcher Polite's novel, The Flagellants


Paul La Farge is the author of four novels: The Night Ocean (The Penguin Press, 2017); The Artist of the Missing (FSG, 1999), Haussmann, or the Distinction (FSG, 2001), and Luminous Airplanes (FSG, 2011); and a book of imaginary dreams, The Facts of Winter (McSweeney's Books, 2005). He is the grateful recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Bard Fiction Prize, and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2013-14. He lives in a subterranean ‘annex’ in upstate New York, where he is almost certainly up to no good. 

Master Lecture on Rachel Ingalls’s novel, Mrs. Caliban


Gregory Pardlo's ​collection​ Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors​ include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is also the author of Air Traffic, a memoir in essays forthcoming from Knopf. 

Master Lecture on Patrick Rosal's poetry collection, Brooklyn Antediluvian


Taylor Plimpton is the author of Notes from the Night: A Life After Dark (Crown) and the co-editor of The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays (Abrams). A former editor at Men’s JournalManhattan and Beach magazines, he’s had his writing published there, as well as in Sports IllustratedTown & CountryTricycle: The Buddhist Reviewnewyorker.comTheRumpus.net, and in many other places. He’s been teaching at the Writer’s Foundry since 2013.

Master Lecture on James Salter's novel, A Sport and a Pasttime


Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), winner of a Whiting Writer's Award, the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the 2017 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, and selected as one of the American Library Association’s “Notable Books of the Year.” Cannibal was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Sinclair's other honors include a Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, fellowships from Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, as well as the Amy Clampitt Residency Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in PoetryKenyon Review, Granta, The Nation, New England Review, Boston Review, Oxford American, the 2018 Forward Book of Poetry, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia, and is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

Master Lecture on Shara McCallum’s poetry collection, Madwoman


William Wall is the 2017 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for his short story collection, The Islands: Six Fictions, chosen by David Gates. Wall has also won the Doolin Prize for poetry, Virginia Faulkner Award, the Sean O’Faoláin Prize, several Writer’s Week prizes, and the Patrick Kavanagh Award. Wall was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. He was shortlisted for the Young Minds Book Award, the Irish Book Awards, the Raymond Carver Award, the Hennessy Award and several others.

He is the author of two additional short story collections; four novels, with two forthcoming in 2018 and 2019; and four poetry collections.

Wall has received Irish Arts Council Bursaries, travel grants from Culture Ireland and translations of his books have been funded by Ireland Literature Exchange. He has received public commissions. His work has been translated into many languages, including Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Latvian, Serbian and Catalan.

He has a particular interest in Italy and has read at several festivals there, including the Tratti Festival at Faenza, the Festival Internationale di Poesia di Genova, and at the Pordenone Legge festival near Venice. Wall translates from Italian. He has co-presented workshops in translation. In 2014, Wall was part of the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange, which gave readings at various places in Italy, including Sant Agata de Got, Rome, Lugo di Romagna and Bologna.

A native of Cork, Ireland, where he now resides with his wife, Liz Kirwan, Wall grew up in the coastal village of Whitegate. He received degrees in philosophy and English from University College Cork.

Master Lecture on Frank O’Connor’s first story collection, Guests of a Nation


Rebecca Wolff is the author of four collections of poetry, one novel, and numerous pieces of occasional prose. Her first book, Manderley, was selected for the National Poetry Series by Robert Pinsky. Her second, Figment, was selected for the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her third, The King, was published by W. W. Norton in 2009. Her novel The Beginners was published by Riverhead in 2011. Her latest collection, One Morning—, was published by Wave Books in 2015. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Wolff founded the influential literary journal Fence, the imprint Fence Books and The Constant Critic website. She lives in Hudson, New York, and is currently a fellow at the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany.

Master Lecture on Octavia Butler’s novel, Parable of the Sower