Thursday Poetry and Prose


Please join us again this semester for our Thursday Poetry and Prose series, which takes place between 5-5:30 PM every Thursday afternoon in 139 Combs (unless otherwise indicated). Finish up every hard week of work with a half an hour of really good literature!

Fall 2020 

Details coming soon!


Spring 2020 


30          ENGL 357 (Southern Literature) students and Dr. Richards will read from Frederick Douglass’s Incidents in the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

  • 5-5:30 PM Thursday afternoon in 139 Combs



6           TBA

13          Phillips Scholarship Reading

20          Dr. Barrenechea reads “The Whiteness of the Whale” from Moby Dick

27          TBA


March: Canceled due to COVID-19

19          Cassie Donish, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize,

                    will be reading from their prize-winning book, Year of the Femme.

                    5 p.m., The Parlor, The Mansion, 1201 William Street.

26          Gayle Wald, Women’s History Month speaker, 
          “It’s Awfully Important to Listen: Ella Jenkins and Children’s Music in the United States.”


April: Canceled due to COVID-19

2        Warren Rochelle reads from his short story, “His Grandfather’s Gift.”

          The Parlor, The Mansion, 1201 William Street*

9        Alumni Reading and Panel

          The Parlor, The Mansion, 1201 William Street*

          5-6 p.m.*

16       English 302A students reading

          *Traditionally this has been the last reading of the semester. Depending on

          the number of students involved, this reading can last up to an hour.



Fall 2019 


5          Various faculty and students reading from the works of Toni Morrison

*This special Thursday Poetry and Prose will last an hour.


12        Kate Haffey, Literary Modernism, Queer Temporality: Eddies in Time

            Followed by reception/signing

19        Rachel Levy, reading from her own work.


26       Readings in recognition of Banned Books Week. This special event will last an hour.

           For more information, contact Dr. Blevins.



3          Creating a New Culture II: Poetry Readings

            Poetry readings of native Mayans, Aztecs, and significant texts of the first Spanish

            colonizers in 1519, given by students and faculty

            Co-sponsored by Dept. of Modern Languages & Literature

10       Jon Pineda, reading from his recent works


17      Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, former Poet Laureate of Virginia,

          reading from her new book, These Flecks of Color: New and Selected Poems  


24      Linguistic 310 (History of English), readings in Old English

           For more information, contact Dr. Fallon.


31       English 390D student readings of the “Poetry of Desire.”


7       Zach Whalen, DGST 301A Creative Coding student presentations


14        Linda Gregerson, Visiting Phi Beta Kappa scholar, lecture, title TBD

            Co-sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa


21        * English 302A students reading

*Traditionally this has been the last reading of the semester. Depending on

the number of students involved, this reading can last up to an hour.





Spring 2019


24        Gary Richards reads from Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

31        Rachel Dankert, “The Very Painting of Your Fear: Envisioning Macbeth  and the Witches, “ HCC Digital Auditorium* 5-6 p.m.*



7        Phillips Scholarship Reading

14        Jonathan Levin reads from the poetry of Mary Oliver

21        Richard Finkelstein reads from the works of Ben Jonson


14        Creative Writing Club readings

21        Warren Rochelle reads from a novel-in-progress, The Golden Boy

             The Mansion* (1201 William Street)

28        Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home Panel Discussion: Professors Hafffey, Mathur, Richards, and Whalen


4        Katherine Maus, “Succession and Singularity in England and Rome: Shakespeare’s Henry IV Plays and Julius Caesar.” For more information, please contact Professor Richard Finkelstein, at

11        Alumni Reading and Panel

            The Parlor, The Mansion*  (1201 William Street)

            5-6 p.m.

18        English 302A students reading

*Traditionally this has been the last reading of the semester. Depending on

the number of students involved, this reading can last up to an hour.


Fall 2018


20       Richard Finkelstein reads selected poems in Strike Sparks, by Sharon Olds

27       Gary Richards reads Eudora Welty short stories.


11        Brenta Blevins reads texts addressing, “What Is the Future of Literacy?”

18       Douglas Lanier, “Shakespeare and Refugees”

15       Richard Finkelstein reads from the poetry of Wallace Stevens.

25      Eric Lorentzen reads “Goblin Market,” by Christina Rossetti


1       Ben LaBreche reads about literature and revolution

8      DGST 301A students read their creative code work

15      Antonio Barrenechea reads Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.”

29     English 302A students read their creative writing


Spring 2018


25        Gary Richards reads Eudora Welty short stories.


1          Jon Pineda reads Denis Johnson.

8          Beverly Almond reads from Fair and Tender Ladies, by Lee Smith.

15       Richard Finkelstein reads from the poetry of Wallace Stevens.

22      Antonio Barrenechea reads Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home (1965).


15       English 310 (History of English) reads Old English poetry and prose, in

                                Old English and in translation.

22       Zach Whalen, a reading of computer-generated prose.

29       Warren Rochelle reads “Mirrors,” a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.


5          Phillips Scholarship Reading

12       Alumni Reading and Discussion

19         English 302A students reading

Fall 2016


8    Dorothy Parker, read by Gary Richards

15    Poems by computers, read by Zach Whalen

22    Clement Akassi, Howard University

     Reading from work of Cuban poet, Gaston Baquero, discussion to follow

29 Laura Bylenok reads her own work


13    Warren Rochelle reads his new work: The Werewolf and His Boy

20    C.K. Williams, read by Tim Waltonen

27     Japanese Poetry in Translation, read by Steve Rabson


3   Larry Levis, read by Jon Pineda

10  Old English poems in the original and in translation, read by Paul Fallon

17   Hannah More, read by Chris Foss


1    English 302A students reading their own work


Spring 2016

January 21          Claudia Emerson Birthday Memorial Reading (followed at 5:35 by a 20-minute presentation on Claudia Emerson’s latest book,  Impossible Bottle, from Chris Foss)

January 28         Mara Scanlon reads  Frank O’Hara

February 4          Chris Foss reads Late Victorian Decadent Poetry from The Yellow Book

February 11        Jonathan Gray (Associate Professor of English at John Jay College/CUNY), Zach Whalen, and Chris Foss read from their new essay collection, Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives

February 18        Phillips Award winners read from their own work

February 25        Jon Pineda reads a story from his own work in progress

March 10            Colin Rafferty reads from his book Hallow This Ground

March 17            Joni Tevis  (Assistant Professor of English at Furman University) reads her creative non-fiction

March 24            Gary Richards reads from Tennessee Williams’s short fiction

March 31            Alumni Reading

April 7                 English 302A students read from their own work

April 14               ELC Club Poetry Reading/Tie-Dye Extravaganza


Fall 2015
September 3 Jon Pineda will read Filipino American poets
September 10 Marcel Rotter and Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich: bilingual reading in German and English of the German poets William Busch, Christian Morgenstern, and others
September 17 Luke Johnson reads Ellen Bryant Voigt
September 24 Tim Waltonen
October 1 Warren Rochelle
October 8 Kenneth Bellamy will read Charles Bukowski
October 15 Modern Languages and Literatures: bilingual reading in English and Spanish (details forthcoming)
October 22 UMW Dead Poets Society will present (organizer Miranda Schnakenberg)
October 29 Sushma Subramanian
November 5 ENGL 470A: Poetry students will read their own work
November 12 ENGL 302A: Introduction to Creative Writing students will read their own
November 19 Visiting writer Craig Gidney will read from his work

Spring 2015

January 15      Special Memorial Reading for Claudia Emerson

January 22      Luke Johnson reads from the poetry of Mary Ruefle

January 29      Colin Rafferty reads Charles Simic

February 5      Antonio Barrenechea reads from America Discovered by Samuel Jones Cassels

February 12    Chris Foss reads either “British romantic women poets” or “Aesthetes and decadents of the 1890’s”

February 19    A reading by Barbara Thomas Phillips Scholarship finalists Aeriel Merillat, Sydney Allen, and Virginia Dare Cox

February 26    Maysoon AlSayed reads Badr Shakir al Sayyab

March 12        Dr. Waltonen reads Charles Wright

March 19        Connie Smith and Maria-Laura Bocaz read contemporary Latin women poets

March 26        Kate Haffey reads elegies by different poets

April 2             Jon Pineda reads from his new book Little Anodynes

April 9             Alumni/ae Reading

April 16           ENGL 302A Students read original work


Fall 2014

September 11   Mara Scanlon and Students : Poetry of the Great War

September 18   Jon Pineda reads his own work

September 25   Rita Martin, Cuban poet

October 2   Tim Waltonen reads Seamus Heaney

October 9   Connie Smith reads Alice Walker

October 16   Visiting Author: Elena Passarello

October 23   Ben LaBreche and Seventeenth Century British Literature

October 30   Kate Haffey

November 6   Shumona Dasgupta reads short stories by South Asian Women Writers

November 13   ENGL 304 Students read their own work

November 20   ENGL 302A Students read their own work

Spring 2014

Jan. 23                       Connie Smith reads Mary Oliver, especially Dog Songs

Jan. 30                       Gary Richards reads Robert Frost

Feb 6                           Andy Duncan

Feb. 13                        Tim Waltonen reads Seamus Heaney

Feb. 20                        A reading by the Phillips Scholarship Winners

Feb. 27                        Michael O’Siadhall

March 13                    Jon Pineda reads his own poetry

March 20                   Ana Chichester and Connie Smith read Olga Orozco, Argentine poet

March 27                   Antonio Barrenechea reads from José Hernández’s “Martin Fierro”

April 3                        Maysoon Al-Sayed Ahmad and Patricia Orozco read Arabic Poetry

April 10                      Alumni Reading

April 17                      ENGL 302 Students Read Their Work

Fall 2013

September 5      Connie Smith reads Galway Kinnell

September 12    Marie McAllister reads Restoration Poems on Sex and Marriage

September 19     Rei Berroa, a Dominican-American poet will give a bilingual poetry reading.

September 26    Jon Pineda reads from Apology

                         A reception and book signing will follow the reading

October 3        Emilio Williams reads “From the Notebooks to the Stage:  A Playwright’s Perspective into Creativity”

October 10      Warren Rochelle reads from his own work

October 17      Zach Whalen reads Twitterbots

October 24       Luke Johnson reads from After the Ark and other poems

October 31       Bill Kemp reads Edgar Allan Poe

November 7     Paul Fallon’s ENGL 310 students read Old English poems

November 14   Shumona Dasgupta reads from short stories about the Partition of India

November 21  ENGL 302A Creative Writing Students read their own work


Spring 2013

January 31           Visiting Writer Lee Zacharias, fiction                       

February 7           Phillips Scholarship Winner and Finalists

February 14         Michael McCarthy reads the poetry of Rainer Rilke

February 28         Amanda Rutstein,  Poetry

March  14               Visiting Scholar Eliza McGraw,    Edna Ferber and Jewish writers

March  21               Connie Smith/Ana Chichester, Bilingual Poetry

March  28               Visiting Writer Judith Vollmer, poetry

April  4                     English 371: CoPo Brings It

April  11                   Alumni Reading

April  18                   English 302A Students


Fall 2012

9/13     Gary Richards, Contemporary Broadway Lyrics

9/20     Mike McCarthy reads Larry Levis

9/27     Colin Rafferty reads Lydia Davis

10/4     B.J. Hollars, Visiting Writer in creative nonfiction (Combs 139)

10/11   Elizabeth Wade reads Stacy Gnall

10/18   Mara Scanlon and Claudia Emerson read Emily Dickinson, the 1859 poems  (Combs 139)

10/25   Eric Lorentzen reads Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”

11/1     Paul Fallon’s LING 310 students read poems in Old English

11/8     ENGL 304 students read their work

11/15   ENGL 302 students read their work_

11/29   Antonio Barrenechea reads “The Popol Vuh” as part of Native American Week


Spring 2012

January 26: Colin Rafferty reads Sherman Alexie

February 2: Tyler Babbie reads Samuel Taylor Coleridge

February 9: Visiting Professor Allison Seay reads her own work

February 16: Mara Scanlon and ENGL 366: We Do the MoPo in Different Voices

February 23:

March 1: A reading of work from Aubade

March 15: Michael McCarthy reads Czeslaw Milosz

March 22: Ana Chichester and Connie Smith read Claribel Alegria’s poetry in honor of Women’s History Month

March 29: Jim Gaines reads _____

April 5: Gary Richards’s American Humor class reads comic poetry

April 12: Alumni reading

April 19: Brady Earnhart and Warren Rochelle’s Introduction to Creative Writing students read their own work



Fall 2011

8 Sept: Mike McCarthy reads B. H. Fairchild

15 Sept: Special Guest Poet: Michael Perrow

22 Sept: Jessica Locke & friends read Eugenio de Salazar

29 Sept: A special Banned Books Week reading

6 Oct: Tim Waltonen reads Denise Levertov

13 Oct: Eric Lorentzen reads “Best Poems Ever”

20 Oct: Claudia Emerson reads Philip Levine

27 Oct: Gary Richards reads Stephen Sondheim

3 Nov: Paul Fallon’s Linguistics 310 students read Old & Middle English Poetry

10 Nov: Colin Rafferty’s English 470D students read “multi-genre”

17 Nov: Antonio Barrenechea reads from Gaspar de Villagra’s “Historia de la Nueva Mexico”

1 Dec:  Warren Rochelle & Brady Earnhart’s English 302A students read their own original poems


Fall 2010

2 Sept: Tim Waltonen reads an “American Songbook”
9 Sept: Connie Smith reads “A Cadence of Hooves”: a celebration of horses
16 Sept: SPECIAL READING: Warren Rochelle reads from his new book, The Called (at the mansion)
23 Sept: María Laura Bocaz-Leiva, Marcelo Fajardo and Warren Rochelle will read poems by Oscar Hahn
30 Sept: Antonio Barrenechea reads Mario de Andrade’s “Hallucinated City”
7 Oct: Jeremy Larochelle will read poems by Martín Espada
14 Oct: GUEST POET: Jon Pineda (NOTE: changed to Combs 139, the usual venue)
21 Oct: Mara Scanlon’s English 371 students present “Why Poetry Matters”
28 Oct: Claudia Emerson presents “The Art of Losing: A Reading of Elegies”
4 Nov: Mike McCarthy reads Robinson Jeffers
11 Nov: Ben LaBreche’s English 317 students read short Renaissance lyrics
18 Nov: Warren Rochelle & Brady Earnhart’s English 302A students read their own original poems

Spring 2010

21 Jan: Creative Writing Scholarship Award Winners Reading
28 Jan: Antonio Barrenechea reads E. J. Pratt’s “The Cachalot”
4 Feb: Connie Smith reads Rita Dove
11 Feb: Tim Waltonen reads John Ashbery
18 Feb: Mike McCarthy reads Ronald Johnson
25 Feb: Brady Earnhart reads Robert Lowell
11 Mar: Jessica Locke, Maya Mathur, and Patricia Orozco read the works of Spanish women poets
18 Mar: Natalie Sayth reads Marianne Moore
25 Mar: Ana Chichester and Connie Smith read Gabriela Mistral
1 Apr: Eric Lorentzen reads “Poetry?”
8 Apr: Special Guest Poet: Steve Cushman
15 Apr: Warren Rochelle and Brady Earnhart’s English 302A students read their own original poems

Fall 2009

3 Sept: Eric Lorentzen reads W. H. Auden
10 Sept: Zach Whalen reads “ergon/logos” by Molleindustria
17 Sept: Guest Poet: Betty Adcock reads from her collection “Slantwise” (William Street House)
24 Sept: Jessica Locke and Maya Mathur read Jose Marti
1 Oct: Patricia Orozco and Connie Smith read Gloria Anzaldua
8 Oct: Mike McCarthy reads Hafiz
15 Oct: DIGITAL WHITMAN (org. Mara Scanlon)
22 Oct: Jim Gaines reads Baudelaire
29 Oct: Chelsea Newnam reads Marge Piercy
5 Nov: Tim Waltonen reads Elizabeth Bishop
12 Nov: Gary Richards’ English 375 students read comic poems
19 Nov: Warren Rochelle & Brady Earnhart’s English 302A students read their own original poems

Spring 2009

22 January: Eric Lorentzen reads from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience

29 January: Shama Ahmed reads “Borne Across”: Poets in Translation: (Bengali, Arabic, Spanish)

5 February: Tim Waltonen reads Richard Wright

12 February: Elizabeth Rabin reads “Murder Ballads”

19 February: Judith Parker’s LING 305 students read from Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination

26 February: Zach Whalen gives a New Media poetry reading

12 March: Connie Smith & Ana Chichester read Nancy Morejón

19 March: Mara Scanlon’s ENGL 457P students read Emily Dickinson & H.D.

26 March: Maya Mathur & Jessica Locke read 16th – & 17th- Century Women’s Poetry

2 April: Jim Gaines & “Paris Mutuel” read Jacques Prévert

9 April: Chris Foss reads poems about disability

16 April: Warren Rochelle & Brady Earnhart’s ENGL 302A students read their own original poems


Fall 2008

4 September: Eric Lorentzen reads Walt Whitman

11 September: Shama Ahmed reads Philip Levine

18 September: Guest Poet: Sheryl St. Germain reads from her collection “Let It Be a Dark Roux”

25 September: Connie Smith and Jessica Locke read Latina Poets

2 October: Jeremy Larochelle reads recent Amazonian poetry

9 October: Antonio Barrenechea reads Alonso de Ercilla’s “La Araucana” (The Araucaniad)

16 October: Gary Richards Brenda Marie Osbey

23 October: Phi Beta Kappa Series Guest Speaker: Anne Mellor

30 October: Special Event: Steve Watkins reads from his book Down Sand Mountain

6 November: Claudia Emerson reads

13 November: Colin Rafferty reads from his own original non-fiction

20 November: English 302A students read their own original poems (Rochelle/Earnhart)


Spring 2008

24 January: Antonio Barrenechea reads Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Evangeline”

31 January: Tim Waltonen reads Philip Levine

7 February: Taja Winston reads poetry of resistance about Black America

14 February: Claudia Emerson organizes a special Valentine’s Day session: our favorite love poems

21 February: Whitney Roberts reads Gwendolyn Brooks

28 February: Gardner Campbell reads S. T. Coleridge

13 March: Tyler Babbie reads Gerard Manley Hopkins

20 March: Connie Smith and Jessica Locke read Rosario Costellaños

27 March: Mara Scanlon reads Derek Walcott

3 April: Eric Lorentzen reads William Wordsworth’s “Michael”

10 April: William Williams reads William Cullen Bryant

17 April: Brady Earnhart’s 302A students read their own original poems


Fall 2007

6 September: Chris Foss reads “The Sphinx” and other deliciously decadent and/or shockingly scandalous poems by Oscar Wilde

13 September: Tyler Babbie reads W. H. Auden

20 September: Connie Smith reads Audre Lorde

27 September: Guest reader: Warren Rochelle reads from his new novel Harvest of Changelings (5-6 PM, with a reception and book signing to follow!)

4 October: Brady Earnhart reads Robert Creely

11 October: Claudia Emerson reads Steve Scafidi

18 October: Tim Waltonen reads Lisel Mueller

25 October: Elizabeth Staggs reads Lawrence Ferlinghetti

1 November: Eric Lorentzen reads Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”

8 November: Whitney Roberts reads Derek Mahon

15 November: Guest Poet: Fred Chappell

29 November: English 302A reads their own original poems (Warren Rochelle/Brady Earnhart)


Spring 2007

25 January: Gardner Campbell reads Robert Herrick

1 February: Antonio Barrenechea reads Joel Barlow

8 February: Judith Parker organizes Poems for Peace

15 February: Taja Winston reads Langston Hughes

22 February: Guest Speaker: Nokuthula Mazibuko

1 March: Gregg Stewart reads Robert Frost

15 March: Connie Smith and Ana Chichester read Alfonsina Storni

22 March: Guest Poet: Carmen Leñero

29 March: Bill Kemp reads Tennyson

5 April: Maya Mathur reads “Beastly Tales and Revolting Rhymes”

12 April: Eric Lorentzen and Chris Foss read The Smiths

19 April: Warren Rochelle’s and Brady Earnhart’s 302A students read their own original poems


Fall 2006

Each Thursday from 5:00-5:30 in Combs 139.

7 September: Marie McAllister reads Comic Poems about Love and Marriage from the Restoration

14 September: Eric Lorentzen reads the Brownings

21 September: Tyler Babbie reads Edna St. Vincent Millay

28 September: Gary Stanton reads “Cowboy Poetry”

5 October: Gregg Stewart reads John Crowe Ransom

12 October: Connie Smith reads Pattiann Rogers

19 October: Maya Mathur reads 16th & 17th Century “Carpe Diem” poems

26 October: Whitney Roberts reads Louise Gluck

2 November: Tim Waltonen reads Oppen & Ignatow

9 November: Chris Foss reads from the Greatest Poem of All-Time

16 November: Courtney McAllister reads Charles Wright

30 November: English 302A reads their own original poems (Warren Rochelle/Brady Earnhart)