Spring 2016 Literary Events

Each semester, the English Department hosts dozens of literary events, from fiction reading to critical lectures, and from scholars and writers all over the world. Spring 2016 is no exception to this, and will be hosting a particularly high number of literary readings.  Below you’ll find a few highlights from our events calendar this semester; for a complete listing of English Department events, please visit our events page.


Scattering The Dark: Celebrating the Next Generation of Female Polish Poets
Date: March 29th, 2016
Time: 6:30pm
Location: 315 Wheeler Hall
Event Description: “Wow! What a book! The tradition of women’s writing that flows out of the work of Symborska and Anna Swir—the way this mighty tradition turns in the hands of a younger generation from the traumatic history of their country to a poetics of everyday life, of play, and experiment. An absolutely rich and appealing book.”—Robert Hass

Polish Poets Julia Fiedorczuk, Izabela Morska, and Krystyna Dabrowska will read selections from their 2016 publication of the poetry anthology Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets.  The reading will be follows with a conversation with Robert Hass, UCB English Professor and former US Poet Laureate.

Reading from What Belongs to You
Date: April 4th, 2016
Time: 5:00pm
Location: 300 Wheeler Hall
Event Description:  “A rich, important debut, an instant classic to be savored by all lovers of serious fiction because of, not despite, it’s subject: a gay man’s endeavor to fathom his own heart.” ―Aaron Hamburger, The New York Times Book Review

The English Department is pleased to welcome author Garth Greenwood for a reading from “the first great novel of 2016”, What Belongs to You (Publishers Weekly). What Belongs to You is an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames, can shape who we are and determine how we love. Garth Greenwell is the author of Mitko, which won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction Award and a Lambda Award. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Arts Fellow. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and A Public Space. What Belongs to You is his first novel.

Reading from The Sympathizer
Date: May 5th, 2016
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Wheeler Hall, Room TBD
Event Description“Stunned, amazed, impressed. [The Sympathizer is] so skillfully and brilliantly executed that I cannot believe this is a first novel. (I should add jealous to my emotions.) Upends our notions of the Vietnam novel.”Chicago Tribune 

English Department B.A. and Ph.D alumnus Viet Thanh Nguyen will be in town to read from his first novel, The Sympathizer, which debuted in 2015 to great critical esteem. The novel, heralded by Maxine Hong Kingston as “(a) book that will go down in history as an important novel of the war in Vietnam,” has appeared on numerous best novels lists, including The New York Times and The Guardian. Viet Nyugen is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and the co-editor of Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field. His next book is Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, forthcoming from Harvard University Press in April 2016. He is an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.  You can visit his website here.