Spring semester 2013 writers' visits were supported by a generous grant from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Conor Grennan read from his book "Little Princes", the fall’s common reading for the class of 2016. Mr. Grennan left his position with the East West Institute in 2004 to travel the world, during which time he volunteered in the Little Princes Children’s Home in the village of Godawari, Nepal. When he learned that the children in the home were not orphans, but were in fact trafficked, he moved to Kathmandu, Nepal, and founded Next Generation Nepal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families.
- Novela Carpenter read from her book "Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer". Ms. Carpenter, a freelance journalist and food writer, chronicles her adventures in developing GhostTown Farm in her backyard in Oakland, California. This reading was given in conjunction with Central’s All Around the World From Iowa dinner, which featured foods from a number of countries, made with as many Iowa-sourced ingredients as possible.
- Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander read from her work. Ms. Swander is a nationally and internationally known award-winning author of non-fiction, poetry, drama, and journalism. She is best known for her memoirs "Out of This World: A Journey of Healing" and "The Desert Pilgrim: En Route to Mysticism and Miracles", and her poetry collection "Driving the Body Back". Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine,The New Republic, U.S.A. Today and NPR radio. She has received a Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and two Ingram Merrill awards.
- Rob Dillard, host of Iowa Public Radio’s Being in Iowa series, played excerpts of his work and discussed the challenges of writing for radio. Mr. Dillard joined IPR in 2001 as host of Morning Edition and moved to reporting in 2007. Being in Iowa has taken him around the state shining light on small segments of the population, including Muslims, military veterans, Latinos and the physically disabled. The series has won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and Northwest Broadcast News Association (NBNA).
- Poet and Central alumna Sara Perez read from her work. Ms. Perez holds an MFA from Iowa State University, and has taught at Des Moines Area Community College.
- Dr. Walter Cannon, Professor of English at Central College. reads from his work. In addition to scholarly work on Shakespeare in performance and performance history, Dr. Cannon has published poetry in a variety of journals and literary reviews—Sidewalks, Flyway, Slant, Mid-America Poetry Review, Icarus International, Nimrod, The Blue Earth Review, Water-Stone Review, and The Turtle Quarterly. He has been first prize winner for the annual Lyrical Iowa contest and semi-finalist for the Emily Dickinson Prize.
- Author Scott Russell Sanders read from his work. Mr. Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including "A Private History of Awe" and "A Conservationist Manifesto". Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, where he taught from 1971 to 2009.
- Poet Brian Turner read from his work. Mr. Turner is the author of two poetry collections, "Phantom Noise" and "Here, Bullet", which won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times “Editor's Choice” selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others. Mr. Turner served seven years in the US Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina 1999-2000. His poetry has been published in Poetry Daily and The Georgia Review, as well as in the "Voices in Wartime" anthology published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name. Mr. Turner was also featured in Operation Homecoming, a unique documentary that explores the firsthand accounts of American servicemen and women through their own words.