Readings, Lectures and Events / School of Letters Readings and Lectures

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.

Click here for a list of past events.


June 6, 2018

Faculty Reading with Poet Nickole Brown

Nickole Brown's first collection of poetry, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition will be reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015 and won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry. The audio book of that collection became available in 2017. Nickole received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years.She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved position there to write full time. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places in addition to the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, including the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA and the Hindman Settlement School.

Currently at work on a collection of poems about animals, she is thrilled to volunteer each week at Animal Haven of Asheville and the Western North Carolina Nature Center, and has recently joined the team at Heart of Horse Sense.  A clutch of these new poems recently won Rattle's 2018 Chapbook Contest—To Those Who Were Our First Gods will be published in December. Nickole Brown lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, with their exceptionally loving and beautiful golden retriever, Solace. 

Read more about Nickole here. Photo ©Gordon Hight.

Wednesday, June 6 at 4:30 pm in Gailor Auditorium. Reception and book signing following in Gailor Atrium.


June 12, 2018

Lecture with Maha Jafri

Maha Jafri is an Assistant Professor of English at Sewanee. She specializes in Victorian literature, with research and teaching interests in the history of the novel and narrative, psychology, ethics, and intellectual history. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in the Oxford Forum for Modern Language Studies and The Henry James Review. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Between Us: Gossip, Sociability, and the Victorian Novel.

Wednesday, June 12 at 4:30 pm in Gailor Auditorium. Reception following in Gailor Atrium.


June 27, 2018

Roger Hodge Reading

Roger Hodge is the author, most recently, of Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands. He is deputy editor of The Intercept, an online news magazine devoted to investigative journalism, and his writings have appeared in many publications, including the Sewanee Review, Texas Monthly, Oxford American, The New Republic, and Harper’s Magazine. He was formerly the editor of Harper's Magazine 2006 - 2010, and the editor of the Oxford American from 2012-2015.

Texas Blood is an intoxicating, singularly illuminating history of the Texas borderlands from their settlement through seven generations of Hodge’s ranching family. John Jeremiah Sullivan says of Texas Blood: “Imagine finding out that the land where Cormac McCarthy set one of his most brutal novels was your family’s ranch . . . I’ve read loads of books about Texas but rarely encountered one so deeply of it, so deep the story escapes and becomes a treatise on the twisted American past, and the force exerted by that on our complex present."

Roger Hodge is a 1989 graduate of Sewanee, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and their two sons.

Wednesday, June 27 at 4:30 pm in Gailor Auditorium.