Creative Writing Reading Series

The Creative Writing faculty at WCU is pleased to bring notable authors to our campus for readings, craft talks, book signings, and other exciting events. All events are free and open to the public. In cases where exact times and locations are still to be determined, please check back here for updated information as the event date draws closer. Our reading series is made possible by generous support from WCU’s College of Arts and Humanities, The English Department, and the Smith Endowment. For more information on creative writing at WCU, please visit our Creative Writing Minor page.

WCU 2024 Creative Writing Reading Series

Please join the Creative Writing Department for their 2023-24 book reading series, sponsored by the Smith Endowment. On Tuesday, February 13th, 2024, at 6pm, the department welcomes WCU professor Dr. Jacqueline Alnes for a reading and signing of her novel, The Fruit Cure, which offers a powerful critique of the failures of our healthcare system, and an inquiry into the dark world of wellness culture schemes, scams, and diets masquerading as hope. On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at 6pm, the department welcomes WCU professor Dr. Kristine Ervin for a reading and signing of her novel, Rabbit Heart. Kristine Ervin was just eight years old when her mother, Kathy Sue Engle, was abducted from an Oklahoma mall parking lot and violently murdered in an oil field. First, there was grief. Then the desire to know: what happened to her, what she felt in her last terrible moments, and all she was before these acts of violence defined her life. Both events will take place at the Phillips Autograph Library, 700 South High Street, West Chester.

Please join the Creative Writing Department for their 2023-24 book reading series, sponsored by the Smith Endowment. On Tuesday, February 20th, 2024, at 6pm, the department welcomes WCU professor Dr. Jacqueline Alnes for a reading and signing of her novel, The Fruit Cure, which offers a powerful critique of the failures of our healthcare system, and an inquiry into the dark world of wellness culture schemes, scams, and diets masquerading as hope.

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at 6pm, the department welcomes WCU professor Dr. Kristine Ervin for a reading and signing of her novel, Rabbit Heart. Kristine Ervin was just eight years old when her mother, Kathy Sue Engle, was abducted from an Oklahoma mall parking lot and violently murdered in an oil field. First, there was grief. Then the desire to know: what happened to her, what she felt in her last terrible moments, and all she was before these acts of violence defined her life.

Both events will take place at the Phillips Autograph Library, 700 South High Street, West Chester.

READING and SIGNING: Dr. Jacqueline Alnes Assistant Professor of English at WCU -  FEBRUARY 13, 2024 in PHILLIPS AUTOGRAPH LIBRARY at 6 PM. THE FRUIT CURE OFFERS A POWERFUL CRITIQUE OF THE FAILURES OF OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, AND AN INQUIRY INTO THE DARK WORLD OF WELLNESS CULTURE SCHEMES, SCAMS, AND DIETS MASQUERADING AS HOPE.

Please join the Creative Writing Department for a book reading and signing with WCU professor Dr. Jacqueline Alnes on February 13, 2024, in the Phillips Autograph Library from 6pm to 7:30pm.

Jacqueline Alnes is a writer, runner, and Assistant Professor of English at West Chester University. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, Longreads, Guernica, Women’s Running, and elsewhere, and she has interviewed writers including Abdulrazak Gurnah, Melissa Broder, Hala Alyan, David Diop, Lidia Yuknavitch, and more for Electric Literature. The Fruit Cure is her first book.

The Fruit Cure book description: Jacqueline Alnes was a Division One runner during her freshman year of college, but her career was cut short by a series of inexplicable neurological symptoms. What started with a cough escalated to Alnes collapsing on the track and experiencing months of episodes that stole her ability to walk and speak. Undiagnosed and desperate for answers, she turned to an online community centered around a strict, all-fruit diet which she later discovered to be a cult of personality, rampant with toxic masculinity and abuse, that preyed on people like her.

For readers plagued by mysterious symptoms, inundated by messages from media about how to attain “the perfect body,” or caught in the grips of a fast-paced culture of capitalism, The Fruit Cure offers a powerful critique of the failures of our healthcare system, and an inquiry into the dark world of wellness culture schemes, scams, and diets masquerading as hope.

WCU 2023 Creative Writing Reading Series

CReative Writing club series flyer

WCU 2022 Visiting Authors and Guest Speakers

Kimberly Garza photo and details about upcoming reading

WCU 2021 Visiting Authors and Guest Speakers

Flyer for Feldman Meet and Greet, 11/8 3 pm in Main 200 Flyer for Feldman's reading, 11/8 12 pm Bull Center stage Flyer for Virginia Wood reading

WCU 2020 Visiting Authors

Jaquire Diaz 2020 reading posterEmma Eisenberg Reading 2020 Dorothy Allison Reading February 2020

Other Recent Events

Jacqueline Alnes 2020 Reading Mat Johnson Reading Poster

Revision of Doaks Reading Poster

Past Events

Annie LiontasAnnie Liontas

Annie Liontas: Monday, November 16th, 2015 at 6:00 pm

Philadelphia author and editor Annie Liontas will be reading from her critically acclaimed debut novel, Let Me Explain You (Scribner) on Monday, November 16, 2015. The reading will take place on the campus of West Chester University in the Philips Memorial Autograph Library at 6:00PM. The reading is free and open to the public. Ms. Liontas will also meet with students from our English major for an intimate reception to talk about craft in the context of their own writing projects. That reception is from 3:45-5:00 in Main Hall 201.

About the Author: Annie Liontas is an important emerging writer whose debut novel, Let Me Explain You, was featured in The New York Times Book Review as Editor's Choice and was selected by the ABA as a 2015 Indies Introduce Debut and Indies Next title. Her forthcoming co-edited collection, A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors, is drawing advance praise for its nearly 70 short essays from prominent writers on what they most remember of their writing mentors. Additionally, Ms. Liontas has also been dedicated to urban education, working alongside fellow teachers and youth in Newark and Philadelphia, since 2003. For more information about Annie Liontas, please visit her website.

Andrew ErvinAndrew Ervin

Andrew Ervin: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Philadelphia author and literary critic Andrew Ervin will be reading from his newest book Burning Down George Orwell's House (Soho Press, 2015) on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The reading will take place at 8:00 pm at Walnut St. Labs, 23 N. Walnut St., West Chester, PA 19380. The venue is located in the heart of the West Chester Borough, less than a mile north of the WCU campus. Burning Down George Orwell's House has been acclaimed as “a vastly entertaining novel, cunningly observed and delicately flavored with the very finest Scotch whiskey on the planet,” and “a serious meditation on just how Orwellian our world has really become.”

About the Author: Ervin's first book was a collection of novellas, Extraordinary Renditions (Coffee House Press), which Publishers Weekly included on its list of the Best Books of 2010 and the Huffington Post called "one of the year's most memorable works of fiction." Ervin's short fiction has appeared in Conjunctions, The Southern Review & Fiction International; his reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, USA Today, The Believer, The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle; and his interviews have appeared in Tin House, The Rumpus, Ninth Letter, Rain Taxi, and American Book Review. For more information about Andrew Ervin, please visit his website.

R. Erica DoyleR. Erica Doyle

R. Erica Doyle: Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 3:20 pm and 7:30 pm

Poet and educator R. Erica Doyle will visit WCU on Thursday, March 26, 2015 to give a craft talk and reading and lead a discussion of LGBTQ issues in the classroom. Doyle's craft talk will take place at 3:20 pm in Anderson 111; her reading will take place at 7:30 pm in Swope Music Building 100 (Ware Family Recital Hall).

About the Author: R. Erica Doyle is the acclaimed author of Proxy, which won a Lambda Literary Award and a Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America (2014). A Caribbean-American poet, Doyle lives and works in New York City. Her work has been published and/or is forthcoming in the following journals: Sinister Wisdom, Ploughshares, Callaloo, Blithe House Quarterly, Good Foot, Boog City & BLOOM. A Cave Canem Fellow, Doyle has also been recognized by the New York Foundation on the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has also been published in many highly respected anthologies, including Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (2008) and Best American Poetry (2001). For more information about R. Erica Doyle, please visit her website.

Cristin O'Keefe AptowiczCristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz: Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 3:20 pm and 7:00 pm

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz will read and discuss her newest book, Dr. Mütter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine (Gotham/Penguin, 2014) at WCU on Thursday, February 12. Aptowicz will give a craft talk at 3:20 pm and a reading at 7:00 pm. Both events will take place in the Philips Autograph Library, located in Philips Hall. Dr. Mütter's Marvels is an acclaimed biography of Thomas Dent Mütter, a visionary nineteenth-century surgeon and influential figure in the birth of modern medicine. The book recently debuted at #7 on the New York Times Bestseller list for Books about Health.

About the Author: Aptowicz is a New York Times-bestselling author whose recent awards include the ArtsEdge Writer-In-Residency at the University of Pennsylvania (2010-2011), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry (2011), and the Amy Clampitt Residency (2013). A three-time National Slam Champion and a native of Philadelphia, Aptowicz has an impressive publishing record in both poetry and nonfiction. She has published six books of poetry; her most recent, The Year of No Mistakes, won the Writers League of Texas Book of the Year Award (2013-14). Her book chronicling the rise of slam, Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through 20 Years of New York City Poetry Slam (2008), garnered high praise from many poets and critics. Her work in both genres has been published in Rattle, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, PANK, La Petite Zine, decomP, and Umbrella. For more information about Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, please visit her website.