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Virtual Visiting Writers & Open Mics

Presented by the Department of English & Weber State University's Creative Writing Program


Visiting Writer Events

To promote the safety and well-being of our students and guests, all visiting writers and open mics for 2020 will be hosted over Zoom.

Please register in advance and you will receive a confirmation email with instructions to join the meeting after clicking the "Reserve Your Spot" buttons.

Side by side image of Kristi Maxwell and Joy Priest


Virtual Visiting Writers: Kristi Maxwell & Joy Priest

Date: Tuesday, September 15
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Reserve Your Spot

Dr. Kristi Maxwell is the author of seven books of poetry: My My (Saturnalia Press), Bright and Hurtless (Ahsahta Press), Realm Sixty-four (Ahsahta Press), Hush Sessions (Saturnalia Books), Re- (Ahsahta), That Our Eyes Be Rigged (Saturnalia), and PLAN/K (Horseless Press). Her scholarly publications include articles on experimental writing practices and the hybrid writing of Jenny Boully and Anne Carson, and her research interests involve theories of representation and difference, textual performance, and the body. A former Elliston Poetry Fellow, she received a PhD in Creative Writing & Literature, along with a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, where she served as editor-in-chief of Sonora Review. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department.

Joy Priest is the author of HORSEPOWER (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry from AWP. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in ESPN, Gulf Coast, Mississippi Review, The RumpusVirginia Quarterly Review, and Best New Poets 20142016, and 2019, among othersPriest is the winner of the 2019 Gearhart Poetry Prize from The Southeast Review, and the 2016 College Writers’ Award from the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation. She was the 2018 Gregory Pardlo Scholar at The Frost Place and is the recipient of fellowships and support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Kentucky Arts Council, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the University of South Carolina, where she received her MFA in Poetry with a certificate in Women & Gender Studies. She has facilitated writing workshops with incarcerated juvenile and adult women, and has taught composition, rhetoric, comedy, and African American Arts & Culture at the university level. She is currently a 2019-2020 Fine Arts Work Center Fellow in Poetry.

Image of Brandon Hobson

Virtual Visiting Writer: Brandon Hobson

Date: Wednesday, October 14
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Reserve Your Spot

Dr. Brandon Hobson is the author of the forthcoming novel, The Removed, as well as the novel, Where the Dead Sit Talking, which was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, winner of the Reading the West Award, and longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. He has won a Pushcart Prize, and his fiction has appeared in such places as McSweeney’s, Conjunctions, American Short Fiction, NOON, and elsewhere. Hobson is an assistant professor of English at New Mexico State University and also teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.

Side by side images of Michael Earl Craig and Shelly Taylor

Virtual Visiting Writers: Michael Earl Craig & Shelly Taylor

Date: Tuesday, November 17
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Reserve Your Spot

Poet Michael Earl Craig grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University, the University of Montana, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Craig’s poetry collections include Can You Relax in My House (2002), Yes, Master (2006), Thin Kimono (2010), and Talkativeness (2014).  His work has been included in the anthologies Isn’t It Romantic (2004), Everyman’s Library Poems About Horses (2009), and The Best American Poetry (2014). Craig lives near Livingston, Montana, where he works as a farrier.

Shelly Taylor is the author of two full-length collections, Black-Eyed Heifer (Tarpaulin Sky, 2010) and Lions, Remonstrance (Elizabeth P. Braddock Book Prize, Coconut Books, 2014).  She also has published three chapbooks: Peaches the Yes-Girl (Portable Press at YoYo Labs, 2008), Land Wide to Get a Hold Lost In (Dancing Girl, 2009), and Dirt City Lions (HorseLess, 2012).  Taylor co-edited, with poet Abraham Smith, an anthology of rural American poetry and essays, Hick Poetics (Lost Roads, 2015).  “B-Side Girls”, a third full-length manuscript, was recently listed as a finalist for the Ahsahta Sawtooth Book Prize. Taylor’s poetry was included in Guernica magazine’s special issue, “The Future of Language”.  She lives in southern Georgia and is a teacher and a barrel racer.


ROAR Open Mics

The Department of English will host virtual open mics on October 6, November 10 and December 1. 

For access to this series, please email Abraham Smith ( to request an invitation to the Zoom meeting.

Additionally, the ROAR Open Mic Series has teamed up with Metaphor Literary Journal to present Meta-ROAR, a virtual open mic featuring the winners of Metaphor's Flash Fiction Contest, live on Friday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Reserve Your Spot for Meta-ROAR


Logo for Meta-ROAR open mic on a neon green background


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