Every summer the School of Letters invites writers, poets, publishers and scholars to speak each week that school is in session. All readings and lectures take place at Gailor Auditorium unless otherwise noted, and a reception usually follows upstairs in the atrium. The public is welcome. Events held outside of Sewanee are also listed here.
Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of Battleborn, one of the most enthusiastically acclaimed story collections in living memory. Watkins’ first book, it was made “best of the year” lists at the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, and the American Library association, and on the same day won both The Story Prize and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Not surprisingly, The National Book Foundation named Watkins one of its “5 Under 35” Fiction Writers of 2012. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. An assistant professor at Bucknell University and a former instructor at the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, Watkins is also the co-director of the Mojave School, a non-profit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.