All events are free and take place at UMMA unless otherwise noted.

Oct 26

Zell Visiting Writers Series: Monica Youn and Joyce Carol Oates, Poetry and Prose Reading

Monica Youn is the author of three books of poetry: Blackacre (Graywolf Press, 2016); Barter(Graywolf Press, 2003); and Ignatz (Four Way Books, 2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and the New York Times Magazine, and she has been awarded fellowships from the Library of Congress and Stanford University, among other awards. A former attorney, she now teaches poetry at Princeton University and at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. She previously taught at Bennington College, Columbia University, and at the Sarah Lawrence College MFA Program. Youn’s poetry has been described as “interested in the intersection between the beauty we want in life, and the darkness that often serves as an invisible barrier for it,” with her background in law allowing her to “probe and navigate these gray areas gently, using an economy of language that both cuts to the heart of the matter and reveals nuanced layers of caution, lust, and desperation.”
One of the most prolific American writers of the 20th century, Joyce Carol Oates counts historical biographies, depictions of working class families, and magical realist Gothic fiction among her oeuvre. She often depicts hardships and violence in American towns, and has received both critical and popular acclaim in her 50-year career. Oates is the author of over 70 books, including the novels them (1969), winner of the National Book Award; Bellefleur (1980); You Must Remember This (1987); Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart (1990); We Were the Mulvaneys (1996); Blonde (2000), winner of the National Book Award; The Gravedigger’s Daughter (2007); and The Accursed (2013). Her short stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Harper’s, and have been widely anthologized. In an interview for the Paris Review, she says: “I try to write books that can be read in one way by a literal-minded reader, and in quite another way by a reader alert to symbolic abbreviation and parodistic elements. And yet, it's the same book—or nearly. A trompe l'oeil, a work of ‘as if.’”

UMMA is pleased to be the site for the Zell Visiting Writers Series, which brings outstanding writers each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (AB ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Series webpage.