GV Writers Series will return with diverse authors, unique experiences for students

Allison Rafferty, Staff Writer

GVL / Lauren Seymour

Grand Valley State University’s annual Writer’s Series is set to bring a talented and diverse array of writers to the university once more. 

GVSU’s Writer’s Series invites writers from various genres to interact with students and speak about their writing experiences. This year the series will begin on Fri., Sept. 24 and will conclude on Mon., April 4, 2022. 

The Sept. 24 event begins at 12 p.m. with guest writer Deesha Philyaw and will conclude with guest writer Tommy Dean on April 4. Other guest writers include Sejal Shah, Nandi Comer, Sumita Chakraborty, Chuck Carlise, Brandon Rushton and Sarah Einstein.

GVSU Associate Professor of Writing and organizer of this year’s Writer’s Series, Amorak Huey, said that he tries to bring in writers that he feels will best help, and leave a lasting impact on, university writing students. 

“I’m trying to bring in a range of voices working in different genres, whose work is contemporary and important, and fits with the work we teach in the writing major,” Huey said. 

Huey said it is the range and talent of the selected authors that makes this series stand out. 

“The caliber of writers we are able to bring in is pretty remarkable,” Huey said. “These are prize-winning, incredibly talented authors. It’s as good a series of visiting writers as you’ll find anywhere, including many schools with bigger budgets and graduate programs.”

Along with guest writers, the Writer’s Series also features GVSU faculty members from within the Writing Department with their own published work.

This year Associate Professor Oindrila Mukherjee will be reading a fiction piece on Friday, Jan. 28. Two visiting professors will also speak about their poetry for this series. 

“It’s a chance for students to see us outside the classroom, as practitioners of the art, not only as teachers,” Huey said. 

Not only do students get to listen to published authors speak about their work and their own experiences with writing and publishing, but they also get to talk with the authors and ask questions. 

Every event in the series includes a Q&A session, which helps students get to know specifics on the industry, all while making the experience more personable. 

I think these events are fun for students,” Huey said. “They’re a chance to connect with writing and authors outside of a classroom setting. I think students learn a lot from meeting and having conversations with active, practicing, published authors. You find out that these authors are people, too, just like us. They’re incredibly talented people, certainly, but writers like us, who are working and learning and growing.”

Huey said that events like the Writing Series are important for GVSU to host because they create spaces where art and audience come together. 

“We bring working authors into the university community because it matters,” Huey said. “It’s part of the mission of the university, part of educating students, part of helping to shape the society we live in to include space for the arts, for creative writing, for language that engages and challenges.”

The 2021-22 Writer’s Series will take place entirely via Zoom, with various dates and times throughout the year to ensure every student has the opportunity to attend. 

GVSU students studying writing at the university have the option to attend any of the Zoom events free of charge.