Literary Series

Attend one of our exciting and inspirational literary events with renowned and influential authors!

Literary Talks & Readings 

Welcome to SMC! Have you wanted to listen to intriguing stories? Meet and talk with fascinating, creative artists? Enjoy poetry and richness of language? It has been a regular feature of life at SMC—every semester for the last 21 years. We have the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of award-winning authors who want to share their art and experience with the students. Usually, during the Activity Hour (11:15am-12:30pm Tuesday/Thursday), when most students do not have classes. And they are free and open to everyone. This semester, the Literary Series is on Zoom. So, these wonderful sessions are only a few clicks away on a computer screen near you. Tell your friends and relatives about these events. All of you are most heartily welcome.

This series is made possible by generous support of the SMC Associates.

Literary Series Info

Mark Doty: An Afternoon with Mark Doty

Renowned author of poetry and prose Mark Doty is a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University and also teaches in NYU’s low-residency MFA program in Paris. His work includes nine books of poetry, three memoirs, and a book about craft and criticism. He is the first American poet to have won Great Britain’s T.S. Eliot Prize, and has also received a National Book Award, a National Book Critics Circle Award, two NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2011, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. His most recent book is What Is the Grass (W.W. Norton, 2020), a memoir that centers on his poetic relationship with Walt Whitman.

Thursday, September 9 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Zoom

Marsha de la O: Of Bodies Changed to Other Forms

Award-winning poet Marsha de la O will read selections of her work, with a focus on fluidity of identity and consciousness. She is the author of three books of poetry. Her first, Black Hope, won the New Issues Prize. Antidote for Night received the Isabella Gardner Award. Her latest book, Every Ravening Thing, was published by Pitt Poetry Series through the University of Pittsburgh. She has also published extensively in journals and anthologies, including The New Yorker, the Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and North American Review.

Thursday, October 7 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Zoom

Michael Berry: Translation and the Virus: COVID-19, Cyber-Politics, and Wuhan Diary by Fang Fang

Wuhan Diary by Fang Fang, a blog that ran for 60 days in early 2020 documenting the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, quickly became an online phenomenon attracting tens of millions of Chinese readers, and a lightning rod for fierce political debate in China. Michael Berry will talk about his work translating Wuhan Diary into English, and how the blog provided an important portal for Chinese around the world to understand the outbreak, the local response, and how the novel coronavirus was impacting everyday people. He is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies and Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC English Department, and SMC Earth Sciences, Life Science, and Physical Sciences departments.

Thursday, October 21 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Zoom

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Unfathomable. Astonishing. Measureless: Creating Women Characters: A Reading by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Award-winning author, poet, and activist Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has written 19 novels — many of them bestsellers nationally and internationally — on topics such as contemporary life in America and India, women’s experiences, immigration, history, and mythology. She teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston, where she is the McDavid Professor of Creative Writing, and her work has been translated into 29 languages and published in more than 100 renowned magazines and anthologies.

Thursday, November 4 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Zoom

Ben H. Winters: The Art of Genre Fiction with Ben H. Winters

Novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters will talk about writing genre fiction. His latest work is the novel The Quiet Boy (2021), and he is also the author of the novel Golden State (2019), the New York Times bestselling Underground Airlines (2016), The Last Policeman and its two sequels, the horror novel Bedbugs (2011), and several works for young readers. Winters has won the Edgar Award for mystery writing, the Philip K. Dick Award in science fiction, the Sidewise Award for alternate history, and France’s Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire. He was also a producer on the FX show “Legion.”

Tuesday, November 16 | 11:15 a.m. | Free | Zoom

Literary Series Contact Information:

If you have questions regarding the SMC Literary Series, please email