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Creative Writing

British novelist Zadie Smith to speak at Stanford

This year’s Stanford Presidential Lecture in the Humanities and Arts will feature acclaimed British author Zadie Smith on March 7.

Zadie Smith, a prize-winning British novelist, essayist and short-story writer, will speak at Stanford to deliver the 2019 Stanford Presidential Lecture in the Humanities and Arts on Thursday, March 7. As part of the event, Smith will read from one of her works and then converse with Harry Elam Jr., vice president for the arts…

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Poet Eavan Boland recites new poem at UN event honoring Irish women’s suffrage

English professor and acclaimed poet EAVAN BOLAND recited a poem at the United Nations headquarters Wednesday, Dec. 5, in celebration of 100 years since the women of Ireland were granted suffrage. Boland, the Bella Mabury and Eloise Mabury Knapp Professor in Humanities and the Melvin and Bill Lane Director of the Creative Writing Program, read an excerpt from…

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Stanford English students, researchers help unearth new insights about Virginia Woolf’s press, other early 20th-century authors

Over the past six years, several Stanford researchers and English students have been helping develop a digital archive of early 20th-century publishers.

Using the latest tools in digitization and data analysis, a group of Stanford English students is helping scholars uncover new insights about British writer Virginia Woolf and the history of literary movements in the early 20th century. Until now, no one has studied in detail Woolf’s impact on the publishing industry of that era and…

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Samuel Beckett letter at Stanford opens new opportunities for scholarship

A coffee-stained handwritten letter from renowned Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett to Radomir Konstantinović, a Yugoslav and Serbian writer and philosopher, is now available in Stanford Libraries’ SPECIAL COLLECTIONS. The Beckett-Konstantinović letter at Stanford is one of only about two dozen surviving letters between the two literary figures. Much of their correspondence was lost when Konstantinović’s summer home…

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Literature professor collaborates with students and artist on poetry project

Amir Eshel teaches that art is a way to react to life’s most challenging circumstances.

When poet and Stanford Professor Amir Eshel saw a series of drawings in the studio of German artist Gerhard Richter, he had an experience many would describe as spiritual. Eshel was in Cologne, Germany to interview Richter for his forthcoming book Poetic Thinking Today (Stanford University Press, 2019). He wanted to learn more about the artist’s four-part…

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Stegner Fellow Jamel Brinkley’s novel named a Finalist for the National Book Award

Jamel Brinkley is a graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has received fellowships from Kimbilio Fiction, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Stanford University where he is currently a Stegner Fellow. A Lucky Man is his first book. He lives in California.

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Stanford unveils new Presidential Residencies on the Future of the Arts and welcomes international guest artists

Guest artists from around the world bring vitality and variety to campus in the fall.

Artists from across the globe come to Stanford to perform, create and engage. The 80-plus guest artists visiting campus this fall are hosted by over 20 Stanford departments, centers and programs. Some of the artists will be at Stanford for a single public event and others will stay for an extended visit for deep engagement…

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Hernán Diaz and Robert Moor win Stanford Libraries’ 2018 Saroyan Prize for Writing

Hernán Diaz and Robert Moor are the 2018 winners of the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.  The prize, established in 2003 by Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, commemorates Saroyan’s life and legacy, and just as importantly, honors emerging authors who have found a distinctive creative voice. Diaz and Moor will each receive…

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Student Arts Grants: A Year in Photos 2017-18

This year’s Student Arts Grants supported a wide range of projects across the Stanford campus. The projects covered many genres including contemporary plays, documentary and fiction film shorts, musical theater, painting, photography, drag performance, and more. Many of this year’s grantees utilized Roble Arts Gym as a rehearsal/work space as well as a venue for their exhibits…

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Stand and fight for justice, urges poet Elizabeth Alexander to graduating Stanford students

Baccalaureate speaker Elizabeth Alexander encourages graduating students to lead lives that are fair, just and kind.

In a world filled with beauty and possibility but also violence and injustice, poet and scholar Elizabeth Alexander calls for actions that are fair, just and kind. Video by Kurt Hickman Baccalaureate, a multifaith celebration for graduating students, featured poet Elizabeth Alexander, a student reflection and spiritual music. Alexander delivered the call for action as…

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Poet Eavan Boland elected to the Royal Irish Academy

The Royal Irish Academy elected English professor and acclaimed poet EAVAN BOLAND as an honorary member. Boland, the Bella Mabury and Eloise Mabury Knapp Professor in Humanities and director of the Creative Writing Program, was among 28 new members admitted for “their exceptional contribution to the sciences, humanities and social sciences as well as to public service,”…

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Louis Menand unmasks the rock god in his cultural history of rock’n’roll

The Pulitzer Prize winner investigates rock’s origins at the 2018 Stanford Humanities Center’s Camp Memorial Lecture.

Who invented rock’n’roll? It’s not who you think. At the Stanford Humanities Center’s 2018 Harry Camp Memorial Lecture, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and cultural critic Louis Menand exposed rock’n’roll’s origin myths, shedding light on the power of media to shape cultural myths today. In his lecture, titled “Conditions for the Possibility of Rock’n’Roll: An Exercise in Cultural History,” Menand…

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Stanford’s spring quarter guest artists

Guest artists are all over campus this spring. Indie rock band Glass Animals play Stanford Stadium; the open-air literary celebration Stories of Exile, Reckoning and Hope takes place on the main stage in White Plaza; Mina Morita directs Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan in Roble Studio Theater; and Stanford Live’s popular Cabaret series continues in Bing’s cozy…

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Stanford senior turned novelist talks about her book, “Frat Girl”

Menlo Park’s Kepler’s Books and Magazines recently helped senior KILEY ROACHE launch her new novel, Frat Girl. Here is how the website Goodreads describes the book: “For Cassandra Davis, the F-word is fraternity – specifically, Delta Tau Chi, a house on probation and on the verge of being banned from campus. Accused of offensive, sexist behavior, they have one year to clean…

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Stanford Stegner Fellows lead and influence with words

Hundreds of fellows have contributed to the best writing of our time, and millions have read their work.

Imagination can be supported. Hands can be guided, and craft can be improved. The workshop can reveal the best a writer has to offer. Wallace Stegner founded the Stanford Creative Writing Program and Writing Fellowships in 1946. (Image credit: Mary Stegner) These beliefs have been the guiding principles of the Stegner Fellows program since its inception…

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Stanford Professor Chang-rae Lee on “Writing Across and Through Gender” at the Clayman Institute’s Artist’s Salon

How does a writer imbue his characters with a gender, gendered behaviors and attributes, that seem authentic, and not stereotypical, to the reader? How do the social aspects of gender inform the fictional universe of his novel? For award-winning novelist and Stanford professor Chang-rae Lee, the ultimate freedom in writing across and through gender means…

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