Binghamton Center for Writers

Distinguished Writers

The Distinguished Writers Series features nationally and internationally recognized writers. We're committed to finding dynamic pathways to bringing the world's most influential thinkers and writers to the Binghamton community.

Spring 2024

Angie Cruz | Wednesday, March 20 from 6:00-8:00pm | Binghamton University Art Museum
 Angie Cruz

Angie Cruz is a novelist and editor. Her most recent novel is How Not To Drown in A Glass of Water (2022). It was shortlisted by The Aspen Words Literary Prize, winner of the Gold Medal, Latino Book Award/The Isabel Allende Most Inspirational Book Award, longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize and chosen for The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2022 and The Washington Post 50 Notable Works of Fiction. Her novel Dominicana was the inaugural book pick for GMA book club and shortlisted for The Women’s Prize, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction, a RUSA Notable book and the winner of the ALA/YALSA Alex Award in fiction. It was named most anticipated/ best book in 2019 by Time, Newsweek, People, Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Esquire. Cruz is the author of two other novels, Soledad and Let It Rain Coffee and the recipient of numerous fellowships and residencies including the Lighthouse Fellowship, Siena Art Institute, and the Macdowell Arts Colony. She has published shorter works in The Paris Review, VQR, Callaloo, Gulf Coast and other journals. She is the founder and Editor-in-chief of the award winning literary journal, Aster(ix), and is currently an Associate Professor at University of Pittsburgh. She divides her time between Pittsburgh, New York and Turin.

Registration is required.

Past Events

Fall 2023
Victoria Chang | Tuesday, October 17 from 6:00-8:00pm | Jay S. & Jeanne Benet Alumni Lounge in Old O'Connor
 Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang’s forthcoming book of poems, With My Back to the World, will be published in 2024 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Corsair Books in the U.K. Her most recent book of poetry, The Trees Witness Everything, was published by Copper Canyon Press and Corsair Books in the U.K. in 2022 and was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by the New Yorker and The Guardian, and her nonfiction book, Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions), was published in 2021 and was named a favorite nonfiction book of 2021 by Electric Literature and Kirkus. Her poetry collection OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) was named a New York Times Notable Book, a Time Must-Read Book, and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. It was also longlisted for a National Book Award and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. She has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Chowdhury Prize in Literature.

Spring 2023

Javier Zamora | Wednesday, March 22 from 6:00-8:00pm | Binghamton Univeristy Art Museum | Livestreaming on Zoom

Javier Zamora photographed by Gerardo Del Valle
Javier Zamora's memoir, Solito, is a Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as featured on Today as well as a New York Times Bestseller. His poetry collection, Unaccompanied, won the Northern California Book Award (2018) and was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award (2019). Zamora was also a 2018-2019 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University (Olive B. O'Connor), MacDowell, Macondo, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation (Ruth Lilly), Stanford University (Stegner), and Yaddo.

Fall 2022

Lisa Ko | Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00pm ET via Zoom

Lisa Ko 300x300
Lisa Ko is the author of the novel, The Leavers, which was a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2017 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. 

Kaveh Akbar | Thursday, November 10 at 7:00pm ET via Zoom

Kaveh 300x300
Kaveh Akbar is the author of the full volumes of poetry Pilgrim Bell and Calling a Wolf a Wolf. He is also the author of the chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, published in 2016 by Sibling Rivalry Press.

Spring 2022

Adrian Matejka | Thursday, February 17 at 7:00pm EST via Zoom

Adrian Matejka
Adrian Matejka's most recent collection of poetry is Somebody Else Sold the World. His other books are Map to the Stars; The Big Smoke, which was the winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a finalist for both the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; Mixology, which was selected for the National Poetry Series; and The Devil's Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), winner of the New York / New England Award. Among Matejka's other honors are fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He served as Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana in 2018-19 and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Melissa Febos | Tuesday, March 29 at 7:00pm EST via Zoom

Melissa Febos
Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Publishing Triangle Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and was widely named a Best Book of 2017. Her second essay collection, Girlhood, a national bestseller, was published by Bloomsbury on March 30. A craft book, Body Work, will be published by Catapult on March 15, 2022.​

Fall 2021

Andre Dubus III | Thursday, October 7 at 7:00pm EST via Zoom

Andre Dubus
Andre Dubus III’s seven books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent novel, Gone So Long, received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and was named on many “Best Books” lists, including selection for The Boston Globe’s “Twenty Best Books of 2018” and “The Best Books of 2018”, “Top 100”, Amazon.

Ada Limón | Thursday, November 11 at 7:00pm EST via Zoom

Ada Limon
Ada Limón is the author of five poetry collections, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry, she serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Spring 2021

Ross Gay | Thursday, March 18 at 7:00pm EST via Zoom

Ross Gay
Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His new poem, Be Holding, will be released from the University of Pittsburgh Press in September of 2020. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.

Cathy Park Hong | Tuesday April 6th, 7:00pm EST via Zoom

Cathy Park Hong’s book of creative nonfiction, Minor Feelings, was published in Spring 2020 by One World/Random House (US) and Profile Books (UK). She is also the author of poetry collections Engine Empire, published in 2012 by W.W. Norton, Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Translating Mo'um. Hong is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is the poetry editor of the New Republic and is a full professor at Rutgers-Newark University.

Fall 2020 

Jericho Brown | Thursday October 22nd at 7:00pm EST via Zoom

Jerich Brown
Jericho Brown's most recent poetry collection, The Tradition (2019), was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets.  He is Winship Distinguished Research Professor in Creative Writing and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

Carolyn Forché | Thursday, November 12 at 6:30pm EST via Zoom

Carolyn Forche
Carolyn Forché’s most recent collection is
In the Lateness of the World (Penguin Press). She is also the author of the memoir What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Random House, 2019), a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others, nominated for the 2019 National Book Awards. Her first volume, Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour.