Contemporary Writers Series
2009-2010

SPRING 2010

Roy Foster headshotRoy Foster

Thursday, March 11, 2010; 7 p.m.
Montante Cultural Center
Seventh Annual Hassett Reading

Roy Foster was born in Waterford, Ireland and educated in Ireland and in the United States. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a Foundation Scholar in History, he subsequently became Professor of Modern British History at Birkbeck College, University of London, as well as holding visiting fellowships at St Anthony's College, Oxford, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and Princeton University. In 1991 he became the first Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and was elected a Fellow of Hertford College. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1989. He is the author of Charles Stewart Parnell: The Man and His Family, Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life, W.B. Yeats: The Apprentice Mage andW.B. Yeats, A Life II, The Arch-Poet, 1915-1939, and Modern Ireland. He is also the editor of The Oxford History of Ireland. His most recent book is The Irish Story: Telling Lies and Making It Up in Ireland. 

Web Resources

A Profile from The Guardian
In conversation with Charlie Rose
“A Hungover Celtic Tiger,” A comment of the financial crisis in Ireland
New York Times review of W. B. Yeats: A Life, Vol. 2: The Arch-Poet, 1915-1939
Andrew Greeley’s review of Modern Ireland
The Independent’s review of Luck and The Irish


Julia Glass headshotJulia Glass

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Grupp Fireside Lounge

Julia Glass grew up in Massachusetts, graduated from Yale, and received a fellowship to study painting in Paris. She is the author ofThree Junes, which won the National Book Award for Fiction, The Whole World Over, and I See You Everywhere. For all three of her novels, she was awarded the 2009 Sense of Place Award. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her short fiction has won several prizes, including the Tobias Wolff Award, the Nelson Algren Award, and the Pirate’s Alley Falkner Society Medal for Best Novella; her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.

Web Resources

Julia Glass reads from The Whole World Over at Google
Podcast, Reading from I See You Everywhere at Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver
“Loving This Book Warps The Mind A Little,” NPR’s You Must Read This
New York magazine profile
“A Matter of Inspiration,” An essay about influence
National Book Award Acceptance Speech
With Powells
With Barnes and Noble
With Debra Gwartney at Wordstock Festival
New York Times Review of I See You Everywhere


FALL 2009

Chris Offut headshotChris Offutt 

Monday, September 21
7 p.m.; Grupp Fireside Lounge

Chris Offutt grew up in eastern Kentucky. He attended Morehead State University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of two short story collections, Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods; a novel, The Good Brother; and two memoirs, The Same River Twice and No Heroes. He’s received awards from the Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation. He was named one of 20 best young American fiction writers by Granta magazine. He’s taught at Iowa, the University of Montana, Grinnell College, and the University of New Mexico. He was formerly the Executive Story Editor for HBO's True Blood and currently is Co-Producer and Writer for Showtime's Weeds, as well as Executive Producer & Creator of Tough Trade a new show for Epix, a new premium cable network.

Web Resources

Offutt Reading  “A Good Pine” on NPR
“Getting It Straight,” An Essay on Writing
“Excerpt from The Offutt Guide to Literary Terms”
With Indie Bound
With Steve Inskeep About No Heroes
New York Times Review of No Heroes
Lost at Sea Review of No Heroes


John Edgar Wideman headshotJohn Edgar Wideman

Thursday, October 8
7 p.m.; Grupp Fireside Lounge

John Edgar Wideman grew up in Pittsburgh and attended the University of Pennsylvania; he studied at New College, Oxford, and later earned a degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including the award-winning memoirs Brothers and Keepers and Fatheralong, and the fictional Homewood Trilogy — Sent for You Yesterday, Hiding Place, and Damballah — all set in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh. His essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine. Wideman’s honors include two PEN/Faulkner Awards, the O. Henry Award, the American Book Award for Fiction, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Currently he is Professor of Africana Studies and English at Brown University.

Web Resources

Video Essay by Wideman on his hometown, Pittsburgh
NY Times Featured Author
NY Times Review of Fanon
Ishmael Reed’s 1984 New York Times Review of Brothers & Keepers
Charlie Rose Interview