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Ropewalk Visiting Writers

Free and open to the public. Always.

FALL 2013

Kirsten Clodfelter


Thursday, October 24
Traditions Lounge, Second Floor in University Center East

Kirsten Clodfelter's Casualties, a collection of five short stories was selected 1st runner-up in USI’s RopeWalk Press Editor’s Fiction Chapbook Prize and earned her manuscript publication. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Iowa Review, Brevity, and Narrative Magazine, among others. Winner of a Dan Rudy prize, her work has also been awarded an honorable mention from Glimmer Train and 2nd place in Narrative Magazine's 30 Below contest. Clodfelter holds an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University.

Christine Sneed


Tuesday, October 29
Traditions Lounge, Second Floor in University Center East

Christine Sneed's story collection Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry won the 2009 AWP Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction. Portraits was also awarded Ploughshares’ 2011 John C. Zacharis Prize for a first book and was the Chicago Writers Association’s book of the year in the traditionally published fiction category. Her second book, a novel titled Little Known Facts, was published by Bloomsbury USA in February 2013 and was recently named Chicago Magazine's Best New Book by a Local Author. Her short stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Ploughshares, Southern Review, New England Review, Glimmer Train, and other journals. She was also chosen for the Chicago Public Library Foundation's 2013 Twenty-First Century Award, honoring significant recent achievement by a Chicago-area writer. She teaches for Northwestern University's graduate writing program and lives in Evanston.

Arisa White

ARISA WHITE                                  

Thursday, November 7

Traditions Lounge, Second Floor in University Center East

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the author of the chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon (which will soon be made into an opera), as well as the full-length collections Hurrah's Nest and A Penny Saved. Her debut collection, Hurrah's Nest, won the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Award for poetry and was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, among others. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. Co-editor for HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and the editorial manager for Dance Studio Life magazine. She is a native New Yorker, living in Oakland, CA, with her partner.

David Lazar

Thursday, November 21

Traditions Lounge, Second Floor in University Center East


David Lazar's books include Occasional Desire from the University of Nebraska Press, The Body of Brooklyn, and Truth in Nonfiction (both Iowa), Powder Town (Pecan Grove), Michael Powell: Interviews and Conversations with M.F.K. Fisher(both Mississippi). Forthcoming are Essaying the Essay from Welcome Table Press and After Montaigne from the University of Georgia Press. This fall (2013) he is curating a digital chapbook on nonfiction editing for Essay Press. Five of his essays have been named “Notable Essays of the Year” by Best American Essays. He created the undergraduate and Ph.D. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Ohio University, and directed the creation of the undergraduate and M.F.A. programs in Nonfiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago. He is the founding editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika, now in its thirteenth year. Hotel Amerika has been called one of the essential literary magazines of the United States, and has been represented in Best American Poetry, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and Best American Essays.


Chad Simpson

CHAD SIMPSON                                 

5 p.m. Thursday, February 28
Traditions Lounge, Second Floor in University Center East

Chad Simpson is the winner of the 2012 John Simmons Short Fiction Award. His short story collection, Tell Everyone I Said Hi, was published by the University of Iowa Press in October 2012. Simpson was raised in Monmouth, Illinois, and Logansport, Indiana. His stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney's, The Sun, Esquire, Barrelhouse, American Short Fiction, and many other print and online publications. He also is the author of a chapbook of short fiction, Phantoms, published by Origami Zoo Press in 2010. A recipient of an Illinois Arts Council fellowship in prose, he teaches at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he received the Philip Green Wright/Lombard College Prize for Distinguished Teaching in 2010. He lives in Monmouth, Illinois, with his wife, Jane.


Chloe Caldwell

CHLOE CALDWELL                                  

5 p.m. Thursday, March 21

Traditions Lounge, Second Floor in University Center East

Chloe Caldwell is the author of the essay collection, Legs Get Led Astray. Her non-fiction has appeared in The Rumpus, Nylon Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, Chronogram, The Frisky, The Sun Magazine, SMITH Magazine, Jewcy, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Freerange Nonfiction, and The Faster Times. She is the founder and curator of the Hudson River Loft Reading Series and has taught Creative Writing workshops at Omega Teen Camp, The Hudson Opera House, and Crow Arts Manor. Caldwell splits her time living in upstate New York and Portland, Oregon.

Donald Ray Pollock

5 p.m. Thursday, April 18

Traditions Lounge, Second Floor in University Center East


Donald Ray Pollock was born in 1954 and grew up in southern Ohio, in a holler named Knockemstiff. He dropped out of high school at seventeen to work in a meatpacking plant, and then spent thirty-two years employed in a paper mill in Chillicothe, Ohio. He graduated from the MFA program at Ohio State University in 2009, and still lives in Chillicothe with his wife, Patsy. His first book, Knockemstiff, won the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Third Coast, The Journal, and Sou’wester. The Devil All the Time is his first novel.