Texas Tech University

Reading Series

2018-19 TTU Creative Writing Program Reading Series

All readings in English Auditorium 001 at 7:30pm unless otherwise noted

September 6 | William Wenthe, Jessica Smith, and Robby Taylor


William Wenthe

William Wenthe has written four books of poems: God's Foolishness (2016); Words Before Dawn (2012); Not Till We Are Lost (2003); and Birds of Hoboken (1995). Not Till We Are Lost won the Best Book of Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Texas Commission on the Arts, and two Pushcart Prizes. He has published poems in journals including Poetry, The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, Tin House, Orion, TriQuarterly, and The Southern Review. In addition, he teaches 20th Century British Poetry and has written articles on Yeats, H. D., poetic form and literary theory.

Jessica Smith

Originally from Georgia, Jess Smith is currently pursuing a PhD in English & Creative Writing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX where she co-founded and curates the LHUCA Literary Series. Her poetry, essays, and criticism can be found in Prairie Schooner, Waxwing, 32 Poems, The Rumpus, and other journals. She received her MFA in poetry from The New School and is the recipient of scholarships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Vermont Studio Center.

Robby Taylor

Robby Taylor is currently pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. He received his MFA in Fiction from Arizona State University in Tempe, where he was the Theresa A. Wilhoit Fellow.

September 27th | Jared Yates Sexton


Jared Yates Sexton

Jared Yates Sexton, author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage, was one of the first journalists to attend and report from the 2016 Donald Trump rallies. His cultural criticism has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, and elsewhere. The author of three collections of fiction and a crime novel, Sexton currently serves as an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia Southern University.

October 11th | Curtis Bauer


Curtis Bauer

Curtis Bauer is the author of two poetry collections, most recently The Real Cause for Your Absence (C&R Press, 2013); his next book, American Selfie, is forthcoming from Barrow Street Press in 2019. He is also a translator of poetry and prose from the Spanish; his publications include the full-length poetry collections Image of Absence, by Jeannette L. Clariond (The Word Works Press, 2018), From Behind What Landscape, by Luis Muñoz (Vaso Roto Editions, 2015) and Eros Is More, by Juan Antonio González Iglesias (Alice James Books, 2014). He is the publisher and editor of Q Avenue Press Chapbooks and the Translations Editor for The Common. He is the Director of the Creative Writing Program and teaches Comparative Literature at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

October 25th | Detention Nation Reading in Conjunction with the School of Art at 7:00p.m.



Information on the Exhibition: Organized by Delilah Montoya, of Albuquerque and Houston, the exhibition is a collaborative installation by Montoya and a collective of artist-activists based in Texas and New Mexico who go by the name Sin Huellas (without a trace or without tracks). The exhibition will explore the physical, mental and emotional experiences of the thousands of immigrants currently locked up in private detention centers across America. The exhibition will open on Saturday, October 20th with a panel discussion of artists and scholars and will
continue through December 15th in the Landmark Gallery.

A short video about the exhibition can be viewed on Vimeo.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the School of Art will present the semester long speaker series entitled "Detention Nation: Artistic Discourse on the Borderlands." Speakers, dates, and venues for each of these presentations will be announced soon.

The School of Art Book Club has selected Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza as the fall semester reading assignment for some classes (and optional to all School of Art) to coincide with the exhibition and speaker series.

November 1st | The Discipline of Creativity: Lecture from Charmayne Hafen | 3:30pm in English and Philosophy Room 201


Charmayne Hafen

Charmayne has a Bachelor of Science in journalism and psychology and a Master of Arts in counseling. She published her second book, Indebted: The Berkshire Dragon, a Reader's Choice Favorite, this year. Charmayne is currently working on her third book, Return to Twilight, the second book in the award winning Land of Twilight trilogy. When she's not writing, she's running counseling groups for adults and a therapeutic photography group for teens. She lives in Lakewood, Colorado with her husband, John, and her two Chihuahuas, Pepe and Frida.

November 8th | Kurt Caswell

Kurt Caswell

Kurt Caswell's newest book of nonfiction is Laika's Window: The Legacy of a Soviet Space Dog. He is also the author of Getting to Grey Owl, and In the Sun's House: My Year Teaching on the Navajo Reservation. He teaches writing and literature in the Honors College at Texas Tech University.

November 15th | Vievee Francis

Vievee Francis

*NOTE: This reading will take place in the Icehouse Building at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (511 Avenue K) at 7:00p.m.

Join us for the first LHUCA Literary Series of the semester, featuring visiting writer Vievee Francis. Texas Tech students - undergraduate Emma Hightower and MA student Catherine Ragsdale - will also read from their work. The evening will be a celebration and discussion of literature as a force for social change, an effort toward building up language and encouraging writers and non-writers alike to rally for a world full of generosity and connection. As George Orwell famously put it, "One ought to recognize that present political chaos is connected with the decay of language."

November 29th | Cyrus Cassells


Cyrus Cassells

Cyrus Cassells's sixth and latest book is The Gospel according to Wild Indigo. His poetry has garnered a Lannan Literary Award, a Lambda Literary Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, a Pushcart Prize, two NEA grants, and best of the year citations from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas, translated from the Catalan, is forthcoming in 2019 from Stephen F. Austin University Press. He is a Professor of English at Texas State University in San Marcos.