The English Department annually sponsors and co-sponsors significant contemporary writers and scholars, often winners of Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur "genius grants," National Book Awards and various other honors.

All writers brought to campus work with students personally; all public presentations are free. For more information, please email Kathy Barton at or call 704-894-2254.


Literary Events

Fall 2022 - Spring 2023

All events are free and open to the public. Attendees must comply with college COVID policies. 

Davidson Reads: Laeta Kalogridis ’87 and Molly Sentell Haile ‘94

Wednesday, October 19, 2022
7 p.m.
C. Shaw Smith 900 Room

Sponsored by the English Department and Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement

Event is free and open to the public. No tickets required. 

Laeta Kalogridis ’87

Laeta Kalogridis ’87 is a screenwriter and producer of television and feature films. She is a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina; University of Texas at Austin’s Michener Center for Writers; and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s MFA program.

She has been a working writer for over 20 years now, and has watched the industry evolve from a place where she was considered an interesting oddity for writing genre (the phrase “you write like a man” was used with surprising and somewhat depressing regularity) to a field where women, people of color and other marginalized voices are starting to be recognized for the depth and breadth of their talent in all areas of filmed entertainment.

She looks forward to seeing, and helping galvanize, even more change in the industry going forward. Change is good.

Her writing credits include Alexander (directed by Oliver Stone), Shutter Island (directed by Martin Scorsese), Battle Angel Alita (directed by Robert Rodriguez), uncredited rewrites on the first X-Men, the first Tomb Raider, and Cruella, as well as the the creation of the Netflix television show Altered Carbon. She also created the television shows Birds of Prey and Bionic Woman.

Her producing credits include the films White House Down (directed by Roland Emmerich), The House with a Clock in Its Walls (directed by Eli Roth) and Avatar (directed by James Cameron).

She lives in Los Angeles with her spouse, kids and a surprising number of pets, all of whom are very helpful in the writing process.

Molly Sentell Haile ’94

Molly Sentell Haile ’94 is a writer and educator whose short stories and nonfiction have appeared in Oxford American, The North Carolina Literary ReviewEpiphanyand elsewhere. Her work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Award and a Notable designation in The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her short story "Little Things" won the 2020 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. An English major at Davidson College and a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program, Molly has taught creative writing at Salem College and has been a regular contributor to O. Henry magazine. She currently teaches creative writing classes for people with cancer, survivors, and caregivers at Hirsch Wellness Network in Greensboro and volunteers with Greensboro Bound Literary Festival.

Abbott Lecture Series: Sarah Boyce '07

Thursday, December 1, 2022
7:00 p.m.
Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center, Semans Auditorium

Sponsored by the Abbott Honors in English Program

Event is free and open to the public. No tickets required. 

Sarah Boyce ’07 currently serves as the Deputy Solicitor General for North Carolina.  In that capacity, Sarah represents the State of North Carolina, its agencies, and its officials in the federal and state courts.  Sarah was an English major at Davidson and graduated with honors in 2007.  She then taught middle school for two years in Washington, DC, before attending Duke University School of Law.  Following her graduation from Duke, Sarah worked as a Bristow Fellow at the U.S. Department of Justice and then clerked for Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer at the U.S. Supreme Court.  After a stint in private practice in Washington, DC, Sarah moved back home to North Carolina in 2020 to join the N.C. Department of Justice.  Sarah lives in Cary with her husband, Michael, and their two sons.

Reading: 2023 Visiting McGee Professor of Creative Writing

Thursday, February 9, 2023
7 p.m.
Hamilton W. McKay Atrium | Wall Academic Center

Event is free and open to the public. No tickets required. Book signing and reception will follow the reading.

Sandra Beasley is the author of four poetry collections—Made to Explode, Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir and cultural history of food allergies. She served as the editor for Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include the 2019 Munster Literature Centre’s John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, a 2015 NEA fellowship, and five DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the 2022 Housatonic Book Award Winner

Correspondence: The Art and Comics of Austin English

Thursday, March 23, 2023
7:00 p.m.
Lilly Family Gallery, Chambers Building

Sponsored by the Bacca Foundation Visiting Artist and Scholar Program, Art and English Departments, DACE, Digital Studies, Creative Writing & Humanities 

Event is free and open to the public. No tickets required. Book signing will follow the reading.

Austin English (born 1983  in San Francisco, CA), is is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn. As a cartoonist, he has published the books Gulag Casual and Meskin and Umezo. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States, including Marvin Gardens in New York and Et Al Gallery in San Francisco. His art has been written about in publications including Art in AmericaBomb Magazine, and The Huffington Post, among others. He runs the comics publishing house Domino Books, which he founded in 2011. He teaches comics and drawing at Parsons School of Design and art history at The School of Visual Arts, both in New York City. He also serves as the co-managing editor of The Comics JournalAustin English will be in residency at Davidson College March 21 – 25, 2023.

2023 Literary Gala: Danielle Evans Reading

Thursday, April 13, 2023
C. Shaw Smith 900 Room | Alvarez College Union
7 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets required. Book signing will follow the reading.

Danielle Evans is an acclaimed writer and an award-winning author. A graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her stories have appeared in The Paris ReviewA Public Space, and The Best American Short Stories anthologies.

Her debut book, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, is met with critical acclamations, winning the 2011 PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize for first book, the Patterson Prize for fiction, and the Hurston-Wright award for fiction.

An honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway award, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, is a collection of short stories about mixed-race and African American teenagers, women, and men and their struggle to belong. In her book, The Office of Historical Corrections, Evans continues to the discussion on the subject of race in American history. In this collection of short stories, Evans provokes us to think about the truths of American history–about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight.

Evans is a 2011 National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and a 2020 National Endowment for Arts fellow. She currently lives in Baltimore and teaches the John Hopkins University’s creative program, The Writing Seminars.

Learn more about Danielle Evans

Past Presenters
NC Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green stands at podium holding her book, and reading poems into the microphone

Jackie Shelton Green

Clint Smith

Clint Smith

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Don Delillo

Don Delillo

Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine

Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie