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Skidmore College
New York State Summer Writers Institute

2024 Writers-in-Residence and Public Readings 

The New York State Summer Writers Institute will offer evening readings by an extraordinary line-up of distinguished writers this June and July. Except where noted, the readings, which are free and welcome the public, will begin at 8 pm and be held on the Skidmore College campus. Click here for a PRINT version of the schedule.  

Monday June 24, 8 PM: Cristina Garcia (fiction) & Megan Fernandes (poetry) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Tuesday June 25, 8 PM: Margot Livesey (fiction) & Daniel Torday (fiction) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Wednesday June 26, 8 PM: Phillip Lopate (non-fiction) & Elizabeth Benedict (fiction) Reading at Caffe Lena*

Thursday June 27, 8 PM: Honor Moore (memoir) & Rosanna Warren (poetry) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Friday June 28, 8 PM: NY Times Columnist John McWhorter: Conversation w/ Bob Boyers, Davis Auditorium

Saturday June 29: Film, “Leon Morin, Priest” @ 6:30 PM: 8:30 Conversation w/Phillip Lopate, Davis Auditorium

Sunday June 30, 3 PM: Student Reading, Davis Auditorium


Monday July 1, 8 PM: James Hannaham (fiction) & Richard Blanco (poetry) Reading, Davis Auditorium

Tuesday July 2, 8 PM:  Francine Prose (fiction) & Campbell McGrath (poetry) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Wednesday July 3, 8 PM: Elisa Gonzalez (poetry) & Vinson Cunningham (fiction) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Thursday July 4, 8 PM: Jenny Offill (fiction) & April Bernard (poetry) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Friday July 5, 8 PM: Poetry & Jazz: An Evening with Robert Pinsky, Todd Coolman, Bill Cunliffe and Pat LaBarbera at Caffe Lena*


Monday July 8, 8 PM: Joyce Carol Oates (fiction) & Henri Cole (poetry) Reading, Gannett Auditorium

Tuesday July 9, 8 PM: Mary Gaitskill (fiction) & Amy Hempel (fiction) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Wednesday July 10, 8 PM: Jerald Walker (non-fiction) & Sandra Lim (poetry) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Thursday July 11, 8 PM: Rick Moody (fiction) & Adam Braver (fiction) Reading at Caffe Lena*

Friday July 12, 8 PM: Louise Gluck Memorial: Henri Cole, Kathryn Davis, Peg Boyers, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Saturday July 13: Film, “Death In Venice” @ 6:30 PM. Discussion 9 PM TBA, Davis Auditorium

Sunday July 14, 3 PM: Student Reading, Davis Auditorium


Monday July 15, 8 PM: Thomas Chatterton Williams (memoir) & Peg Boyers (poetry) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Tuesday July 16, 8 PM: Paul Harding (fiction) & Karan Mahajan (fiction) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Wednesday July 17, 8 PM: William Kennedy (fiction) & Chase Twichell (poetry) Reading, Dining Hall (upstairs)

Thursday July 18, 8 PM: Caryl Phillips (fiction) & Binnie Kirshenbaum (fiction) Reading at Caffe Lena*

Friday July 19, 8 PM: Panel on the 2024 November Election: Poet Tom Healy and Historians

           Jennifer Delton & Beau Breslin, Gannett Auditorium


April BernardApril Bernard's sixth book of poems, The World Behind the World, has just been published by W.W. Norton; previous collections are Brawl & Jag, RomanticismSwan Electric, Psalms, and Blackbird Bye Bye, which won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her novels are Pirate Jenny and Miss Fuller; she has also published short fiction in Little Star, Electric Literature, and The Southampton Review.  A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and other journals, she is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Skidmore College as well as a faculty member of the Bennington MFA Writing Seminars.

Vinson CunninghamVinson Cunningham  is a staff writer and a theatre critic at The New Yorker. His essays, reviews, and profiles have appeared in publications such as the New York Times Magazine, and the New York Times Book Review. A former White House staffer, he now teaches in the MFA Writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. In writing about Cunningham's debut novel, Great Expectations, Colum McCann describes it as “brilliantly written, piercingly smart, quietly subversive.”


mary gaitskill Mary Gaitskill is the author of three novels (The Mare, Veronica and Two Girls, Fat and Thin) and three collections of short stories (Bad Behavior, Don’t Cry and Because They Wanted To), Mary Gaitskill is one of the most celebrated writers in the country. Her most recent books include a collection of essays (Somebody With A Little Hammer) and a controversial novella called This Is Pleasure which appeared in a summer 2019 issue of The New Yorker Magazine. Stacey D’Erasmo wrote of her in The NY Times Book Review that “Ambiguity—the inseparability of light and darkness, love and pain, nurture and destruction, progress and regress—is her métier. The question she seems to ask again and again, and with astonishing force…is how to feel, how we do feel.” She has taught at the summer writers institute for seventeen years.

Eliza GonzalezElisa Gonzalez, a recipient of a 2020 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, has had work appear in the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Paris Review and elsewhere.  Of Gonzalez’s 2023 debut poetry collection, Grand Tour, Louise Glück described poems that “make me feel as if poems have never before been written.”


Paul HardingPaul Harding is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tinkers, and Enon. His third novel, This Other Eden was shortlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize and the 2023 National Book Award for Fiction. He is director of the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook University
Tom HealyTom Healy is the author of three books of poetry, Velvet, Animal Spirits and What the Right Hand Knows, which was a finalist for the 2009 L.A. Times Book Prize and the Lambda Literary Award. He has taught on the faculties of NYU, The Pratt Institute and The New School. 

Bjinnie KirshenbaumBinnie Kirshenbaum is the author of seven novels and one short story collection. Her books have been selected as Favorite Books of the Year by The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek Magazine, Vogue and National Public Radio. Her novel Hester Among the Ruins, the story of the adulterous relationship between a Jewish-American biographer and a dashing German intellectual whose mother once had Nazi sympathies. Publisher's Weekly called the novel, "complete and convincing." Kirshenbaum's works include the novels Rabbits For Food, Pure PoetryA Disturbance in One Place, and On Mermaid Avenue, the short story collections History on a Personal Note, Married Life, and Other True Adventures. She is a professor of Fiction in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University.

Sandra LimSandra Lim is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The Curious Thing. Her writing has appeared in a range of literary journals, including The New York Review of Books, Poetry, The New Republic, and The New York Times Magazine. "In her hands," writes Ocean Vuong, "percision and audacity meld into a performance of quiet, implacable force."

Margot LiveseyMargot Livesey's first book, a collection of stories called Learning By Heart, was published by Penguin Canada in 1986. Since then Margot has published nine novels: Homework, Criminals, The Missing World, Eva Moves the Furniture, Banishing Verona, The House on Fortune Street, The Flight of Gemma Hardy, Mercury, and The Boy in the Field. Her tenth novel, The Road from Belhaven, will be published in February 2024 by Knopf. The Hidden Machinery, a collection of essays on writing, was published by Tin House Books in 2017.

Margot has taught at Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon, Cleveland State, Emerson College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Tufts University, the University of California at Irvine, the Warren Wilson College MFA program for writers, and Williams College. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the N.E.A., the Massachusetts Artists’ Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. Margot is currently teaching at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

John McWhorterJohn McWhorter is a regular columnist for The New York Times whose most recent book is WOKE RACISM: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. He has taught linguistics, American Studies, and classes in the Core Curriculum program at Columbia University, since 2008 where he is currently an Associate Professor in the English and Comparative Literature department. He was Contributing Editor at The New Republic from 2001 to 2014. From 2006 to 2008 he was a columnist for the New York Sun and he has written columns regularly for The RootThe New York Daily NewsThe Daily Beast, CNN and Time Ideas. He has published a number of books on linguistics and on race relations, of which the better known are Power of Babel: A Natural History of LanguageOur Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of EnglishDoing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why You Should, Like, Care, and Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America. He makes regular public radio and television appearances on related subjects.

Honor MooreHonor Moore 's newest book, Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Midcentury, was published on by W.W. Norton on March 10. Moore’s previous memoir, The Bishop’s Daughter, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a Los Angeles Times Favorite Book of the Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The American Scholar, and many other journals and anthologies. For the Library of America, she edited Amy Lowell: Selected Poems and Poems from the Women’s Movement, an Oprah Summer Reading List pick. She has been poet-in-residence at Wesleyan University and the University of Richmond, visiting professor at the Columbia School of the Arts, and three times the Visiting Distinguished Writer in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. When still in her twenties, Mourning Pictures, her play in verse about her mother’s death, was produced on Broadway. The White Blackbird, A Life of the Painter Margarett Sargent by Her Granddaughter, published in 1996 and recently reissued, was a New York Times Notable Book. She lives and writes in New York, where she is on the graduate writing faculty of The New School.

Joyce Carol Oates 2023Joyce Carol Oates won the National Book Award for her novel them and has since written dozens of novels and short story collections that have made her one of the most celebrated writers of her generation. Among her best known works are Blonde, We Were The Mulvaneys, Zombie and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. The Falls won the 2005 Prix Femina as the best novel in France. John Updike wrote of her in The New Yorker: “If the phrase ‘woman of letters’ existed, Joyce Carol Oates would be, foremost in this country, entitled to it.” Apart from her many works of fiction, Oates has also written acclaimed books of poetry and a number of books of non-fiction and memoir, the best known of which are On Boxing and A Widow’s Tale.

Caryl PhillipsCaryl Phillips began writing for the theatre and his plays include Strange Fruit, Where There is Darkness, The Shelter, and The Wasted Years. He has written many dramas and documentaries for radio and television, including the three-hour film of his own novel The Final Passage. His other novels include A State of Independence, Higher Ground, Cambridge, Crossing the River, The Nature of Blood, A Distant Shore, Dancing in the Dark, Foreigners, In the Falling Snow, The Lost Child, and A View of the Empire at Sunset. His non-fiction: The European Tribe, The Atlantic Sound, A New World Order, and Colour Me English. He is the editor of two anthologies: Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging and The Right Set: An Anthology of Writing on Tennis. His literary awards include the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a British Council Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and Britain's oldest literary award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, for Crossing the River which was also shortlisted for the 1993 Booker Prize. A Distant Shore was longlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize, and won the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize; Dancing in the Dark won the 2006 PEN/Open Book Award. He is presently Professor of English at Yale University. 

Robert PinskyRobert Pinsky was the Poet-Laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2002, and is the author of many books of poetry and prose. His books of poetry include The Figured Wheel, Jersey Rain, The Want Bone, Gulf Music and others. His translation of Dante’s Inferno was a national best-seller, and his latest book, a memoir, is called Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet. He teaches at Boston University.





ProseFrancine Prose is the author of many acclaimed works of fiction, including Guided Tours of Hell, Primitive People, and BigfootDreams. Her novel, Blue Angel, was hailed in Publishers Weekly as “a peerlessly accomplished performance…timelessly funny,” and in Mademoiselle as a “funny yet devastating novel that will rock literary and academic worlds alike.” Prose is a contributing editor of Harper’s and writes for The New Yorker, Gentleman’s Quarterly, and AtlanticMonthly. Recent books include The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women& The Artists They Inspired, Caravaggio, and A Changed Man. Other recent titles include the novels Goldengrove and Lovers at the Chameleon Club. Her recent non-fiction books include Reading Like A Writer, and Anne Frank. (Photo by Frances F. Denny.)


Daniel TordayDaniel Torday is the author of The 12th Commandment, The Last Flight of Poxl West, and Boomer1. A two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Award for fiction and the Sami Rohr Choice Prize, Torday’s stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, and n+1, and have been honored by the Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays series. Torday is a Professor of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College.

Jerald WalkerJerald Walker's collection How to Make a Slave and Other Essays was a Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction, in which the judges noted how it "shows us something knotty, fraught, and unforgettable, not just about race and the commonplace, 'living while black,' but about living while human. Walker is furious and funny. He is talking to himself about his life and allows us to listen in.” Also the winner of the 2020 Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction, Walker is the author of two previous books of nonfiction. 


Previous visiting writers include Russell Banks, Louise Glück, Mary Gordon, Tom Healy, Margo Jefferson, William Kennedy, Binnie Kirshenbaum, James Miller, Michael Ondaatje, Katha Pollitt, and Victoria Redel.

Faculty bios can be found here:

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