University of Dubuque


English - Reading Series


We believe that the literary arts offer an opportunity for exchange between the internal landscapes of the author and the reader. Often, this exchange is a solitary act between those two entities, separated by time, space, and circumstance. What readings offer, then, is another wonderful dimension in which we’re able to engage with the writer as s/he literally gives voice to her/his landscape-- the solitary experience becomes a shared, communal one. The writer becomes real to us, and we, to her/him. This exchange, so often potent and opening, is what we are excited to offer our students and the Dubuque community by hosting this reading series.

Each semester, emerging and established contemporary writers come to campus to share their work and discuss their professional and creative processes. We invite you to join us!

For more information about future events, or to schedule a reading, please contact Lauren K. Alleyne at

Please click on the links below to see video of recent visitors!


Thursday, February 20th

Lauren K. Alleyne

Lauren K. Alleyne is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is currently the Poet-in-Residence and an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Dubuque.

A Cave Canem graduate, her work has been awarded prizes such as a 2012 Lyric Iowa Poetry Prize (2nd place), the 2010 Small Axe Literary prize, two Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes (2009, 2011), the 2003 Atlantic Monthly Student Poetry Prize, the Robert Chasen Graduate Poetry Prize at Cornell, among others. She has been published in several journals and anthologies, including Crab Orchard Review, The Cimarron Review, Black Arts Quarterly, The Caribbean Writer, The Belleview Literary ReviewGrowing Up Girl and Gathering Ground. Her chapbook, Dawn In The Kaatskills, was published in 2008 by Longshore Press, and her debut collection, Difficult Fruit, is forthcoming in Feb, 2014 from Peepal Tree Press.


Tuesday, March 25th

Andrew S. Jones and Matthew Muilenburg


Matt Muilenburg is an English instructor and professional writing consultant at UD. His creative nonfiction is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review while his fiction has been published in several literary journals, including his short story “The Conquest of Big Moses,” which won the Editor’s Choice prize for fiction when it appeared in the ScissorTale Review. Matt is a graduate of the Wichita State MFA program and a former news and sports editor for several papers across the Midwest. He currently lives in Cascade with his wife and two sons.


Andrew Jones teaches in the English department at the University of Dubuque and works as a freelance publishing consultant. A graduate of the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, his writing has appeared in publications such as The Sierra Nevada Review, Arroyo Literary Review, and Poetry Midwest, among others.


Monday April 21st

Nicelle Davis


Nicelle Davis now resides in Lancaster, California, with her son, J.J. Becoming Judas is her second book. Her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Her third collection, In the Circus of You, will be released by Rose Metal Press in 2014. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Quarterly, PANK, SLAB Magazine, and others. She is the director of the Living Poetry Project. She runs a free online poetry workshop at The Bees’ Knees Blog, is an assistant poetry editor for Connotation Press, and is Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, and with Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center. She currently teaches at Antelope Valley College.





FALL 2013

Monday, September 16th

Christopher Bakken

Christopher Bakken is the author of two books of poetry: Goat Funeral (winner of the 2006 Helen C. Smith Memorial Award from the Texas Institute of Letters) and After Greece (winner of the 2001 T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry).  In 2006, he co-translated The Lions’ Gate: Selected Poems of Titos Patrikios.  His culinary memoir, Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table was published in 2013 by University of California Press.   His poems, essays, and translations have appeared widely in the U.S. and Europe, in places like The Paris Review, The Hudson Review, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Ploughshares, and PN Review.   His other awards include the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Nonfiction from the Southwest Review  and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize.  Bakken served as a Fulbright Scholar in American Studies at the University of Bucharest in 2008 and he is currently Department Chair and Associate Professor of English at Allegheny College.   

Saturday, November 9th

Mary Swander at Streamlines

Mary Swander is the author of the two memoirs The Desert Pilgrim (Ice Cube Press) and Out of this World as well as three books of poetry, Heaven-and-Earth House, Driving the Body Back, and Succession.

Swander has also co-authored a musical, Dear Iowa, with composer Christopher Frank, which has been produced across the Midwest and on Iowa Public Television. Her awards include the Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts, the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and the Nation-Discovery Award. In 2009, she was named to a two-year term as the Poet Laureate of Iowa. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, she is a Distinguished Professor of English at Iowa State University.


Tuesday, December 3rd

Stephen Frech

Stephen Frech has earned degrees from Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Cincinnati.  He has published three volumes of poetry: Toward Evening and the Day Far Spent (Kent State University Press) won the 1995 Wick Poetry Chapbook Contest, If Not For These Wrinkles of Darkness won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize, published in 2001, and The Dark Villages of Childhood won the 2008 Mississippi Valley Poetry Chapbook Prize.  He has a fourth volume titled A Palace of Strangers Is No City, a sustained narrative of prose poetry/flash fiction, published by Cervena Barva Press in 2011.  His translation from the Dutch of Menno Wigman’s book of poems Zwart als kaviaar/Black as Caviar was published in 2012.  He has been the recipient of the Elliston Poetry Writing Fellowship, the Milton Center Post-Graduate Writing Fellowship, and grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council. 

He is founder and editor of Oneiros Press, publisher of limited edition, letterpress poetry broadsides.  Oneiros broadsides have been purchased by special collections libraries around the world, among them the Newberry Library (Chicago), the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the University of Amsterdam Print Collection.


Stephen Frech is Associate Professor of English at Millikin University.


Thursday, January 31st, 7pm

  Performance Poetry The J-term English 281 class gives a performance of their original poetry.

Thursday, May 2nd

  Patricia Foster
Patricia Foster received an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. She is the author of the memoir All the Lost Girls, winner of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award, a book of essays, Just beneath My Skin, and a novel, Girl from Soldier Creek (Fred Bonnie Award for first novel). She is the editor of Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul; Sister to Sister, and co-editor of The Healing Circle and Understanding the Essay (with Jeff Porter). A recipient of a Florida Arts Council Award, a Dean’s Scholar Award, and an Alabama Voices Award, Foster’s work has appeared in numerous journals. She has been a professor in the MFA Program in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa for nineteen years.

April 18th

  Aliki Barnstone and Monica Hand
Aliki Barnstone is a poet, translator, critic, and editor. Her books of poems are Blue Earth (Iris, 2004), Wild With It(Sheep Meadow, 2002), a National Books Critics Circle Notable Book, Madly in Love (Carnegie-Mellon, 1997),Windows in Providence (Curbstone, 1981), and The Real Tin Flower (which was introduced by Anne Sexton and was published by Macmillan in 1968, when she was twelve years old). Other books are The Collected Poems of C.P. Cavafy: A New Translation (W.W. Norton, 2006) and Changing Rapture: Emily Dickinson's Poetic Development(University Press of New England, 2007). She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize twice. She edited A Book of Women Poets from Antiquity to Now (Schocken, 1980; second edition, 1992), The Calvinist Roots of the Modern Era(University Press of New England, 1997), The Shambhala Anthology of Women's Spiritual Poetry (Shambhala, 1999; 2003), and she introduced and wrote the readers' notes for H.D.'s Trilogy (New Directions, 1998). Her poems and translations have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, New Letters, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, TriQuarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She has recorded a collaborative CD with musician Frank Haney. She has a book forthcoming: Pique, a book of poems (the Sheep Meadow Press). Barnstone spent the fall of 2006 in Greece as a Senior Fulbright Scholar. Her Fulbright project is a book of poems in the voice of an imaginary poet, Eva Victoria Perera, a Sephardic Jew from Thessaloniki, who survives the Holocaust.
  Monica A Hand, author of “me and Nina,” (Alice James Books, 2012), is also a book artist. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications including Aunt Chloe, Black Renaissance Noire, Naugatuck River Review, The Sow’s Ear, Drunken Boat, Beyond the Frontier, African-American Poetry for the 21st Century, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade and American Creative Writers on Class. She has a MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University and last year had two poems nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has attended residencies at Poets House in New York and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. A Cave Canem alum, she is also a founding member of Poets for Ayiti a diverse collective of poets formed on the wake of the earthquake in Haiti to draw attention to the work of Haitian poets and to celebrate the endurance of the Haitian people. Currently, she is a PhD candidate – Creative Writing – Poetry at the University of Missouri- Columbia.


 FALL 2012-- The Non-Fiction Edition!

October 1st

Lauren K. Alleyne

Yes! UD's Poet-in-Residence writes prose too! Lauren K. Alleyne's non-fiction has appeared in journals and anthologies such as The Crab Orchard ReviewThe Movable NestWomen's Studies Quarterly, among others.


November 1st

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay's writing appears or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, New Stories From the Midwest 2011 and 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She writes regularly for Salon, The Rumpus, and The Wall Street Journal. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University.


December 3rd


Marianne Choquet was born and raised in Dubuque, IA, obtained a BA in English Literature from the University of Iowa and went on to travel, live and work around the world. While abroad, she acquired a Certificate de Lange Franciase from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. and an MA in Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of Barcelona, where she will return to defend her composite PhD in early 2013. She writes fiction and non-fiction, and her scholarly work has been published in Canada and Spain.


Spring 2012  
Patricia Smith  
Pilar Gomez-Ibañez
Catherine Chung 
Fall 2011    
  David Mura 
  Gunda Davis


Lauren Alleyne, Joanna Elefthariou, Claire McQuerry
Spring 2011  
Nina Revoyr
Fall 2010  

Seamus Cashman and Joan McBreen
Lauren Alleyne
  Roger Bonair-Agard