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Literary Arts

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.

Key: 900 Room = C. Shaw Smith 900 Room, Alvarez College Union; BT = Barber Theatre, Cunningham Fine Arts Center; CI = Carolina Inn; DFPH = Duke Family Performance Hall, Knobloch Campus Center; TTH = Tyler-Tallman Hall, Sloan Music Center; Atrium = Hamilton W. McKay Atrium, E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center

2018-19 Calendar

Beachy Head Cliff Photo

The Song Cycles of Beachy Head

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 • 7:30 p.m. • TTH

In a wonderfully collaborative project involving the English and Music Departments, join three visiting scholar-performers for a lecture-recital of an original musical setting of Beachy Head, a poem by Charlotte Smith. The song cycle is a delightful narrated recital of 26 art songs for mezzo-soprano and piano. Come experience this performance that is sure to excite the imagination.

Free and open to the public.

Mike Branch

Mike Branch Reading "How to Cuss in Western"

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 • 4:30 p.m. • Atrium

Mike Branch is the author of eight books and over 150 articles and essays. He will read from his newest creative nonfiction collection, How to Cuss in Western, which combines detailed observations of the natural environment with humor and musings on family, region, and place. Beneath the surface of his trademark humor lies an important message about appreciating one's local environment and doing everything possible to save and preserve wild places and the cultures they have inspired.

Free and open to the public.

Janet Mock

Reynolds Lecture: Janet Mock

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 • 7 p.m. • DFPH Tickets

Janet Mock is a writer, TV host and producer, and advocate whose bestselling memoir Redefining Realness was the first autobiography written from the perspective of a trans girl. She produced the MSNBC series Beyond My Body and the HBO documentary The Trans List. Mock is a contributing editor at Allure, where she writes the column "Beauty Beyond Binaries." This is event is free, but tickets, limited to two per person, are required. Tickets will be available to Davidson College students, faculty, and staff on August 20 and the general public on September 10.

Flanagan and Ottaway

"Davidson Reads" An Evening of Nonfiction with Dr. Brenda Flanagan and Amanda Ottaway '12

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 • 7 p.m. • TTH

Dr. Brenda Flanagan, Edward Armfield Professor of English, will give a presentation on Nina Simone & The Civil Rights Movement accompanied by accomplished jazz and R&B musician, Gerard Benson and Judith Porter, talented jazz pianist and instructor.

Amanda Ottaway '12,attended Davidson on a full scholarship for women's basketball. She is an author and journalist and will give a reading from her recently published book The Rebounders: A Division I Basketball Journey (Stories from a Davidson College student-athlete.

Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Reading • 11:05 a.m. • 900 Room
A Q&A on Poetry, Activism, and Community • 7:30 p.m. • TTH

Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and is a 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate, 2007 Sam Ragan Award in Fine Arts and won the 2003 North Carolina Award in Literature.

These events are open to the college campus community and the public. No tickets are required.