Writers at Drew.


Writers at Drew

About Writers@Drew

Co-Sponsored by The Casement Fund and the English Department, the Writers@Drew reading series hosts a variety of published authors, who recite excerpts from their works for the Drew community throughout the academic year. The list of previous guest authors includes Jennifer Egan, Junot Díaz, Mary Gaitskill, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Jacqueline Woodson, as well as faculty and Drew alumni/ae William Giraldi, Nicole Sealey, and John Murillo.

Renée Branum and Jessie Gaynor

Date/time: Thursday, October 5, 2023, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Mead Hall
Event flyer: Renée Branum & Jessie Gaynor

Renée Branum’s stories and essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, Narrative Magazine, The Kenyon Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review. Her story “As the Sparks Fly Upward” was included in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2019. She holds MFAs in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Nonfiction from the University of Montana. She was awarded an NEA 2020 Prose Fellowship to aid in the completion of her first novel, Defenestrate. She lives in Cincinnati.

Jessie Gaynor is the author of The Glow. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The New Yorker, WSJ Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a senior editor at Literary Hub and she has an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Rona Jaffe fellow. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her family.

Ann Wallace

Date/time: Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Location: Mead Hall
Event flyer: Ann Wallace

Ann E. Wallace, CLA ’92,PhD, graduated from Drew with a degree in Art History and Studio Art. She is the 2023-2024 Poet Laureate of Jersey City, New Jersey. A survivor of ovarian cancer, woman with multiple sclerosis, and COVID longhauler, she has written on the experience and rhetoric of illness. Her work has appeared in HuffPost, Good Morning, America, Fox News Radio, and others. Wallace is Professor of English at New Jersey City University. She is author of the poetry collection Counting by Sevens (Main Street Rag, 2019) and of a recently completed manuscript Days of Grace and Silence: A Chronicle of COVID’s Long Haul. She hosts and co-produces Saturday Morning Poetry for her local Native Plant Society on Instagram @npsnjhudsoncounty. Her published creative work can be found at AnnWallacePhD.com.

Lynn Steger Strong

Date/time: Thursday, April 13th, 2023, 4pm – 5pm
Location: Mead Hall
Event flyer: Lynn Steger Strong

Lynn Steger Strong is the author of the acclaimed novels Hold Still, Want, and Flight. Her nonfiction and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at Columbia University and is currently the Visiting Fiction Writer at Bates College.


Patrick Phillips and Kannan Mahadevan

Date/time: Thursday, March 23rd, 2023, 4pm – 5pm
Location: Mead Hall
Event flyer: Phillips and Mahadevan

Patrick Phillips is currently a fellow of the Cullman Center for Writers at the New York Public Library and a Carnegie Foundation Fellow. His first book of nonfiction, Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America, was published by W. W. Norton and named a best book of the year by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Smithsonian. Elegy for a Broken Machine appeared in the Knopf Poets series in 2015 and was a finalist for the National Book Award. ​Phillips is also the author of Chattahoochee, Boy, and Song of the Closing Doors, which was published by Knopf in 2022. He lives in San Francisco and teaches writing and literature at Stanford.​

Kannan Mahadevan earned an MFA in Fiction from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop and is a former fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Racquet. He has taught creative writing workshops for the University of Iowa and the Berlin Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches a Short Fiction Workshop at Drew. He lives in Brooklyn.

Phillips’ books may be purchased from Drew’s bookstore either in person or online here.

Publishing Symposium

Date/time: Thursday, February 15th, 2023, 7pm
Location: Online (Zoom link on Event Flyer)
Event flyer: Publishing Symposium

Matt Ortile is the executive editor of Catapult magazine and was previously the founding editor of BuzzFeed Philippines. He’s also the author of the essay collection The Groom Will Keep His Name and co-editor of the nonfiction anthology Body Language. He’s received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and MacDowell; taught workshops for Kundiman and PEN America; and written for Esquire, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, and Out magazine. He is a graduate of Vassar College, which means he now lives in Brooklyn.

Lauren Wein, Vice President and Editorial Director
Before joining Avid Reader Press, where she oversees the imprint’s fiction and memoir program, Lauren Wein spent more than two decades as an editor at Grove Atlantic and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. At Avid, she’s published two Reese’s Book Club selections—Group by Christie Tate and Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, both New York Times bestsellers. Other recent publications include Antoine Wilson’s Mouth to Mouth, Julia May Jonas’s Vladimir, Hala Alyan’s The Arsonists’ City, and Chloe Cooper Jones’s Easy Beauty.


Tanya McKinnon is the principal literary agent at McKinnon Literary. She represents serious nonfiction, literary fiction, children’s books, and graphic novels. Since establishing her agency in 2014, she’s seen the publication of numerous New York Times bestsellers, as well as numerous award winners, including works by Imani Perry, Michael Eric Dyson, Tiya Miles, and George O’Connor. She acquires nonfiction in categories that include history, sociology, psychology, and popular culture; fiction that’s story- and character-driven with a strong voice; and books for young readers of all ages. She has a particular interest in multicultural and African American work.

Cara Blue Adams

Date/time: Tuesday 18 October 2022, 4pm
Location: Mead Hall

Cara Blue Adams is the author of the short story collection You Never Get it Back (University of Iowa Press, 2021), named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and awarded the John Simmons Short Fiction Prize, judged by Brandon Taylor.

(Sponsored by the English Department, and generously funded by the Casement Fund).

Event flyer: Cara Blue Adams

Authors on Reproductive Freedom

Shelly Oria is the author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014) and the editor of Indelible in the Hippocampus, Writings from the MeToo Movement (McSweeney’s 2019), as well as the forthcoming I Know What’s Best for You: Stories on Reproductive Freedom (McSweeney’s 2022). Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and on Selected Shorts at Symphony Space, received a number of awards, and been translated to several languages.

Onnesha Roychoudhuri is a writer, storyteller, and educator. A former fellow at the Center for Fiction, her work has appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone, Kenyon Review, n+1, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Boston Review, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, The Nation, The American Prospect, Salon, and Mother Jones. Onnesha has read and performed on stages for The Moth, Tedx, Lincoln Center, and more. She is the author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year.

Kate Tarker is an American playwright who grew up in Germany. Her newest play, Montag, is premiering at Soho Rep in Fall 2022. Other plays include THUNDERBODIES (Soho Rep), Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man (The Wilma, FoolsFURY), and Laura and the Sea (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble). Kate is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, a MacDowell fellowship, The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, and Theater Masters’ Visionary Playwright Award, and she has been featured twice on the Kilroys List. She holds an MFA from Yale.

(Sponsored by the English Department, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and generously funded by the Casement Fund).

Event flyer: W@D_Authors on reproductive freedom_Sept22
From Drew Stories, about the event:  Click here.

Past Events

Fall 2018 Events
September 27 : Writers@Drew presents: Tomás Morín, Mead Hall, Founders' Room, see Drew Story

October 10 : Merrill Maguire Skaggs Lecture presents: Colson Whitehead, Dorothy Young Concert Hall, see Drew Story

November 14 : Writers@Drew presents: Jennifer Egan, Dorothy Young Concert Hall, see Drew Story