Department of English Visiting Writer Series

Visiting Writer Series 2016

Spring 2016

Justin Torres

Thursday, Feb 25th
5:00 p.m., Museum of Art


Justin Torres is the author of the award-winning We the Animals, a novel following three half-Puerto Rican brothers who “tear their way through childhood” in Brooklyn. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and other publications, and his nonfiction pieces have appeared in places like The Guardian. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Torres has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. His critically acclaimed novel We the Animals won the Indies Choice Book Award.

This event is co-sponsored by the Common Reading Program.

Kevin Willmott

Wednesday, March 23rd
5:00 p.m., WSU CUB Auditorium


A prolific independent writer and filmmaker, Kevin Willmott is known for his work dealing with the concept of “Living History.” He says, “It’s about the way history makes us feel, not the history that we know.” In this vein, Willmott received critical acclaim for his work on C.S.A.: Confederate States of America, which imagines the impact on America had the South won the Civil War. He has written for television miniseries, as well as adapted books and plays for film. In addition to co-writing screenplays and making films, Willmott has directed for the stage, including Now Let Me Fly, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the end of segregation in public schools. He currently teaches film studies at Kansas University.

This event is co-sponsored by the Common Reading Program.

Screenwriting Workshop

A weeklong, one-credit workshop (English 358)
March 21-25, 2016

In this weeklong workshop, students meet with veteran director and filmmaker Kevin Willmott who will provide instruction on the conventions of screenwriting story, character development, structure, and insider tips on writing for film and TV. Open to students of all majors, the course includes three nights of hands-on workshop/instruction with the filmmaker (March 21, 22, and 24 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm), as well as an evening presentation, screening, and Q&A (March 23, see above).

To enroll, contact Leisa McCormick ( in Avery Hall 202.

Sean Thomas Dougherty

Thursday, April 21
5:00 p.m., Museum of Art

Sean Thomas Dougherty

Perhaps best known for his live performances, Sean Dougherty has been called a “master of momentum.” His poems reflect the influences of his working class, interracial upbringing. He has written several books of poetry or mixed-genre literature, including Scything Grace, All I Ask for Is Longing: New and Selected Poems 1994-2014, and Broken Hallelujahs.  Dougherty’s poems have appeared in multiple journals and anthologies, and he has edited several critical collections of poetry as well. He has performed his work across the U.S. and Europe in venues such as the Chicago Lollapalooza Music Festival and the London Poetry Café, as well as hundreds of universities.

This event is co-sponsored by the Common Reading Program and Lewis and Clark State College.