The Geisler Library Writers Reading Series was established in 1987 to promote an appreciation of books and their authors. The series features locally, nationally and internationally known writers reading and discussing their fiction and/or nonfiction works.

Past guests have included such writers as Maxine Kumin, Sabina Murray, Ethan Canin, Marilynne Robinson, Ted Kooser, Robert Dana, Jane Hirshfield, Patricia Hampl, Richard Powers, James Alan McPherson, Terry Tempest Williams, and Kay Ryan as well as Central College faculty and students.

In cooperation with The Central College Spirit Shoppe, copies of authors' works are available for purchase at the readings.

Readings are free and open to the public. Please join us!

For information about Writers Reading, please contact Beth McMahon, Director of Geisler Library, at 641-628-5345.

2015-16 |2014-15 | 2013-14 | 2012-13 | 2011-12 | 2010-11 | 2009-10 | 2008-09 | 2007-08 | 2006-07 | 2005-06 | 2004-05 | 2003-04 | 2002-03 | 2001-02 | 2000-01 | 1999-00 | 1998-99 | 1997-98

2016-17  Series

September 29, 2016 - Danielle Ofri

7:30 pm, Cox-Snow Recital Hall
Author of the 2016 Common Reading Medicine in Translation: Journeys with my Patients Dr. Danielle Ofri reads from her recent book What Doctors Feel: Emotions and the Practice of Medicine. 
Copies of both books will be available for purchase at the event and at the Central College Spirit Shoppe.

October 4, 2016 - Sara Perez

7:30 pm, Upper Chapel

Poet Sara Perez is a Central College alumna and current adjunct instructor of Poetry Writing at Central. After graduating with an MFA in Creative Writing & Environment and a Masters in Literature she transitioned from teaching Kindergarten students for Des Moines Public Schools to college students. A teacher of composition, creative writing & literature she teaches full-time at Iowa State University and in Simpson’s Evening and Graduate Programs. Sara also writes and produces creative content for Better Homes & Gardens publications. Sara will be joined by students from her Poetry Writing course sharing their work from the semester.

Winter/Spring 2017 - information coming soon

2015-16  Series

September 17, 2015 - Kelsey Timmerman

7:30 pm, Cox-Snow Recital Hall
Author of the 2015 Common Reading Where Am I Eating? Kelsey Timmerman reads from his first book Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes. 
Copies of both books will be available for purchase at the event and at the Central College Spirit Shoppe.

October 29, 2015 - Ken McCullough

7:30 pm, Upper Chapel

Poet and novelist Ken McCullough reads from his extensive body of works. His poems have been described by the Washington Post as ""individual, accessible, and ‘American’ in the broadest and best sense of that difficult term." He has the distinction of being selected twice as the Winona Poet Laureate of Winona, MN and a leader in promoting the arts in that community.

November 12, 2015 - Alumni contributors to "World Class: 25 Years of Central College Travel Writing"

7:00 pm, Upper Chapel, reception to follow 

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Central College's study abroad program, Professor of English Keith Ratzlaff edited a collection of essays written for Central's Travel Writing class over the years. Ten authors from this collection will share the stage to read from essays inspired by their study abroad and travel experiences. Prof. Ratzlaff writes "What all of [the essays] have in common is the urge to make sense of the world, to find meaning in the meeting of cultures, to journey out as all good travelers and essays do, and return with something like the truth."

This event is co-sponsored by the English Department, Global Experiential Education, and the Office of Alumni & Development. 

February 18, 2016 - Dr. Cathy Haustein

7:30 pm, Upper Chapel

Central College Professor of Chemistry and instructor of Short Story Writing Cathy Haustein reads from her novel Natural Attraction, a gender-bending, science-inspired, Western-themed historical romance. 

April 14, 2016 - Monica Berlin and Beth Marzoni

7:30 pm, Upper Chapel

Co-authors Monica Berlin and Beth Marzoni read from No Shape Bends the River So Long, winner of the 2013 New Measure Poetry Prize. This unique collaboration features poetry co-written by the two authors. Monica Berlin is Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Knox College (Galesburg, IL). Beth Marzoni is Assistant Professor of English at Viterbo University (LaCrosse, WI).

2014-15  Series

Sept. 25, 2014 - Chitra Divakaruni

7:30 pm, Cox-Snow Recital Hall
Author of the 2014 Common Reading, "One Amazing Thing," reads from her newest novel "Oleander Girl". Chitra Divakaruni has published fifteen novels and short story collections, including an American Book Award winner. Her work has been published in over fifty magazines and translated into eighteen languages. She is the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

Copies of "Oleander Girl" will be available for purchase at the event and at the Central College Spirit Shoppe.

Oct. 23, 201 - Matt Rasmussen

7:30 pm, Geisler Library Reading Room

Poet Matt Rasmussen will read from his critically-acclaimed collection "Black Aperture". Mr. Ramussen was the winner of the 2014 Pushcart Prize, 2012 Walt Whitman Award, Minnesota Book Award, and 2013 National Book Award Finalist. He teaches English at Gustavus Adolphus College and is a founding editor of Birds, LLC, an independent publishing company for poetry.

February 19, 2015 - Keith Ratzlaff

7:30 pm, Geisler Library Reading Room

Poet and Central College professor of English Keith Ratzlaff will read from selected works.

March 26, 2015 - Tim Bascom

7:30 pm, Geisler Library Reading Room

Director of Creative Writing at Waldorf College Tim Bascom will read from his memoir "Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia". His second memoir, "Running to the Fire: An American Missionary Comes of Age in Revolutionary Ethiopia", is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in April 2015.

May 5, 2015 - Celebration of Student Writers

4:00 pm, Geisler Library Reading Room

Students from Prof. Keith Ratzlaff's Travel Writing class will share their semester's work. This reading is presented as part of Central College's Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship and research symposium.

2013-14  Series

Sept. 19, 2013 - Mark Putnam, Peggy Fitch and Leslie Duinink

7:30 pm, Graham Annex, Sutphen Common Room
Members of the Central College community, including President Mark Putnam, Peggy Fitch, PhD and Class Dean Leslie Duinink, read and comment upon their favorite excerpts of "The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates". The winning essay from the first year student Wes Moore essay competition will also be read.  Prior to the reading, audience members will be encouraged to write a few sentences sharing their favorite part of "Wes Moore".  

Oct. 24, 2013 - Curtis Bauer

7:30 pm, Geisler Library Reading Room
Poet and Central College alumnus Curtis Bauer will read from his work.  Mr. Bauer is the author of three poetry collections as well as a translator of Spanish poetry and prose.   He teaches Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Nov. 21, 2013 - Jennifer Wilson

7:15 pm, Graham Annex, Sutphen Common Room (please note time change!)
Travel writer and memoirist Jennifer Wilson will read from her book "Running Away to Home:  Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters".  Ms. Wilson has also written extensively for publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appetit and Gourmet.  

This reading will take place in conjunction with Central’s Meet Me in Croatia international dinner.  To purchase tickets for the 6:00 pm dinner, please contact Treva Reimer at (641) 628-5334. 

Jan. 30, 2014 - Walter Cannon

7:30 pm, Geisler Library Reading Room
Walter Cannon, PhD
, Professor of English at Central College, will read from his new book of poems, "The Possible World" Dr. Cannon has participated in poetry workshops at Squaw Valley and Sligo, Ireland in connection with the Yeats School, where he has been an invited lecturer. He also has been the recipient of grants from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  His poems, essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of journals and books including Nimrod, Water-Stone Review, The Blue Earth Review, Flyway, Mid-America Poetry Review, The Upstart Crow and Cahiers Élisabéthains. In addition, he has co-edited a collection of essays entitled "Who Hears in Shakespeare?: Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen". 

Feb. 20, 2014 - Kevin Kling

7:30 pm, Cox-Snow Recital Hall
Essayist, storyteller, actor and playwright Kevin Kling reads from his work.    Mr. Kling’s award-winning plays have been performed around the world and he is a frequent performer at national storytelling festivals.   He has also written two books of essays as well as two children’s books.  Mr. Kling has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation and The Minnesota State Arts Board.  He has also won multiple awards for his work including the Whiting Award, the A.P. Anderson Award and the Eric Peterson Award.  Mr. Kling is also a commentator on National Public Radio’s ‘All Things Considered’.

March 13, 2014 - Bob Hicok

7:30 pm, Cox-Snow Recital Hall
Poet in residence Bob Hicok reads from his work.  Mr.  Hicok is the author of several collections of poems, including "The Legend of Light", which was the winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry in 1995 and named a 1997 ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year.  His book "Animal Soul" was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and his book "This Clumsy Living" received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress.  His work has been selected numerous times for the Best American Poetry series. Mr. Hicok has won Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University and Virginia Tech. 

April 10, 2014 - Joshua Doležal

7:30 pm, Cox-Snow Recital Hall (location updated 3/31/14)
Joshua Doležal, PhD
,  Associate Professor of English at Central College, reads from his new memoir Down From the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging.  Dr. Doležal's essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, Fourth Genre, The Gettysburg Review and elsewhere. He teaches American literature, creative writing and sustainability.

Copies of Down from the Mountaintop will be available for purchase at this event, thanks to a partnership with The Next Chapter book store in Knoxville, IA. Cash or check only please.

April 24, 2014 - CANCELLED

7:30 pm, Geisler Library Reading Room
This event has been cancelled. Please join us again in September from the 28th season of Writers Reading. Details coming soon,