UK Happenings

Visiting Writers Series to Feature Notable Authors

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2019) The Visiting Writers Series (VWS), hosted by the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the University of Kentucky Department of English, kicks off Sept. 17 with Whiting Award-winner Kayleb Rae Candrilli.

The VWS began in the spring of 2014 with a reading by poet Roger Reeves. Each year, the program continues to bring nationally renowned authors to the University of Kentucky campus. "This series is a source of inspiration and excitement for our students and continues to add to the overall vibrant literary culture of Lexington,” Crystal Wilkinson, associate professor of English, said.

You can find a full schedule of 2019 VWS events listed below.

Kayleb Rae Candrilli:  7 p.m., Sept. 17, William T. Young Auditorium

Kayleb Rae Candrilli is the author of "What Runs Over," a 2017 Lambda Literary Finalist for Transgender Poetry and a finalist for the 2018 American Book Fest's Best Book Award in LGBTQ nonfiction. Her work has appeared in various publications including Poetry, TriQuarterly, Muzzle and the New Orleans Review. Candrilli has served as the nonfiction editor of the Black Warrior Review and as a feature editor for NANO Fiction. She was a 2015 Lambda Literary Emerging Fellow in Nonfiction, and again in 2017 as a fellow in poetry. Candrilli is a Best of the Net winner and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in prose and poetry.

The Gaines Center for the Humanities Bale Boone Symposium featuring Tayari Jones: 7 p.m., Oct. 2, Singletary Center for the Arts

New York Times best-selling author Tayari Jones, is the author of four novels, most recently "An American Marriage." The book, published in 2018, is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection and also appeared on Barack Obama’s summer reading list as well as his end of the year roundup. "An American Marriage" was also awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Orange Prize), Aspen Words Prize and an NAACP Image Award. With over 500,000 copies in print domestically, it has been published in 15 countries. Jones, a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Her third novel, "Silver Sparrow" was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016.

Chanelle Benz: 7 p.m., Nov. 14, William T. Young Auditorium

Chanelle Benz, a professor at Rhodes College, has authored short stories published in Guernica, Electric Literature, The American Reader, Fence and The Cupboard. Her book, "The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead," was named a Best Book of 2017 by The San Francisco Chronicle and one of Electric Literature’s 15 Best Short Story Collections. It also won the 2018 Sergio Troncoso Award for Best First Fiction and the Philosophical Society of Texas 2018 Book Award for fiction. Her most recent book, "The Gone Dead," was released in June.

Randall Horton: 7 p.m., Dec. 11, William T. Young Auditorium

Randall Horton is a poet-in-residence at Civil Rights Corps, a nonprofit organization dedicated to challenging systemic injustice in the American legal system in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the experimental performance group Heroes Are Gang Leaders, which recently received the 2018 American Book Award in Oral Literature. Horton's past honors include the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and most recently, a GLCA New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction for "Hook: A Memoir," published by Augury Books/Brooklyn Art Press. His most recent collection of poetry, "Pitch Dark Anarchy," was published by TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press. Horton is currently an English professor at the University of New Haven.

All Visiting Writers Series events are free and open to the public.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.