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Millet starts off Richmond Writers Series

Published: September 27, 2012, 1:39 am ET
Collegian Staff

The bi-annual Writers Series, sponsored by the Department of English faculty, began Wednesday with a reading by award-winning novelist Lydia Millet.

Millet read one of her works and also answered questions about her writing, her work and literature.

The reading began at 7 p.m. in the Brown-Alley Room of Weinstein Hall, and was the first of five readings to occur in the series over the course of the semester.

According to the web page for the series, Mike Czyzniejewski, Richard McCann, John D’Agata and Ben Marcus will also share their work.

“We look for speakers who are well-regarded in the literary arts community and whose work can be taught in courses in the semester,” English professor David Stevens said.

Stevens and another professor of English and Creative Writing, Brian Henry, first started the Writers Series in 2006 to expose Richmond students and the greater university community to living writers, Sevens said.

“The idea is to give voice and context to an art-form usually bound to the page,” he said.

Millet can be considered an experimental writer, and her stories have ranged from the traditional to the absurd or surreal, Stevens said.

“I haven’t been to Richmond since I was a freshman in college myself,” Millet said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it again, getting a sense of how life feels there.

“This is a great visiting writer series. The students are lucky.”

This fall’s series focuses on writers who have experimented with style in their various genres, Stevens said.

“Next spring will highlight authors whose work showcases a performative element,” he said. “But, many semesters, we just take the best authors we can get, regardless of their connections to each other.”

According to the webpage for the Writers Series, Czyzniejewski will visit on Oct. 3, McCann will visit on Oct. 10, D’Agata will visit on Oct. 17 and Marcus on Oct. 24.

The English Department faculty has already started planning the spring Writers Series, Stevens said.

“The spring series will feature a spectacular list of writers, most of whom have achieved celebrity status outside the field of literature,” he said.

Contact staff writer Nabila Khouri at

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