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Please sign up to receive e-mails about upcoming Madison-area events! You can click the calendar above to sync your calendar with this year's readings.







Poet Nate Marshall (9/20/18)






Novelist Tommy Orange (9/26/18)






Activist DeRay Mckesson (9/27/18)






Novelist Chloe Benjamin (10/11/18)






Novelist Lucy Tan (10/12/18)






Novelist Jamel Brinkley (10/12/18)






Author Meghan O’Gieblyn (10/13/18)






Poet Natalie Eilbert (10/13/18)






Novelist Jabari Asim (10/26/18)






Author Susan Orlean (11/12/18)


Upcoming Readings

The Program in Creative Writing brings writers and writing professionals to the Madison campus each semester to read from their work, discuss the writing life, or otherwise engage with our writing community. We encourage all Madison community members to sign up to receive e-mails about upcoming literary events.

Below you’ll find a more-or-less complete schedule of upcoming literary events in Madison, which will be updated as changes occur. All readings are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. You can also subscribe to our Google Calendar (excerpted at left) to see how these events fit into your schedule and to keep constant tabs on what’s happening around town on your phone or other device. If you have an event that you would like added to our calendar, please contact the Readings Coordinator, Sean Bishop.


SEPTEMBER 20, 6:00 PM, ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (315 W GORHAM)— The FELIX Series of New Writing and the UW Program in Creative Writing present poet Nate Marshall, author of Wild Hundreds and co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets.

SEPTEMBER 21, 6:00 PM, ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (315 W GORHAM)— Essayist, music critic, and former editor at Pitchfork and MTV News: Jessica Hopper reads from her memoir Night Moves.

SEPTEMBER 22, 7:00 PM, ARTS & LITERATURE LAB (2021 WINNEBAGO)— The Watershed Series and the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center present “Poets, Quarks, & Dark Matter,” a reading featuring Katrin Talbot, Guy Thorvaldsen, and Angie Trudell Vasquez.

SEPTEMBER 25, 6:00 PM, ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (315 W GORHAM)— Lucy Jane Bledsoe, author of the novels A Thin Bright Line and The Evolution of Love, reads from her short story collection Lava Falls.

SEPTEMBER 25, 6:30 PM, ARTS & LITERATURE LAB (2021 WINNEBAGO)— The Watershed Series presents a reading in memory of Madison poet Susan Elbe, featuring Marilyn Annucci, Robin Smith Chapman, Catherine Jagoe, Jesse Lee Kercheval, Sara Parrell, Alison Townsend, Thomas Ferrella, and Ron Czerwien.

SEPTEMBER 26, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S MADISON ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents novelist Tommy Orange, author of There There.

SEPTEMBER 27, 6:00 PM, ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (315 W GORHAM)— Essayist Courtney Kersten reads from her debut memoir, Daughter in Retrograde.

SEPTEMBER 27, 8:00 PM, ORPHEUM THEATER (216 STATE ST)— Room of One’s Own presents a conversation with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, about his forthcoming book On the Other Side of Freedom.

OCTOBER 7, 10:00 AM, OVERTURE CENTER CAPITOL THEATRE (201 STATE ST)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents James Patterson, the world’s #1 bestselling author.

OCTOBER 8, 4:00 PM, HELEN C. WHITE HALL RM 6191 (600 N PARK ST)— The University of Wisconsin presents Patrick Anderson, author of Autobiography of a Disease.

OCTOBER 11, 5:30 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY “BUBBLER” ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents novelist Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers.

OCTOBER 11, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMUNITY ROOMS 301 & 302 (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents novelist Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists.

OCTOBER 11, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY “BUBBLER” ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents poet Britteny Black Rose Kapri, author of Black Queer Hoe, with poet José Olivarez, author of Citizen Illegal.

OCTOBER 12, 6:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY “BUBBLER” ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents novelist Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised.

OCTOBER 12, 7:30 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents Jamel Brinkley, author of the short story collection A Lucky Man.

OCTOBER 13, 10:30 AM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY “BUBBLER” ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents poet Cynthia Marie Hoffman, author of Call Me When You Want to Talk About the Tombstones.

OCTOBER 13, 11:00 AM, WISCONSIN INSTITUTES FOR DISCOVERY (330 N ORCHARD), DELUCA FORUM— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents author Heather Swan, author of Where Honeybees Thrive.

OCTOBER 13, NOON, ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (315 W GORHAM)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents essayist Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of Interior States.

OCTOBER 13, 4:30 PM, ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (315 W GORHAM)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents poet Natalie Eilbert, author of Indictus.

OCTOBER 13, 7:00 PM, ARTS & LITERATURE LAB (2021 WINNEBAGO)— The Watershed Series presentA “Uses of Force,” a poetry reading featuring Chaya Bhuvaneswar, Christopher J. Greggs, & Valerie Wallace.

OCTOBER 16, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S COMMUNITY ROOM 302 (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents novelist Leif Enger, author of Virgil Wander and Peace Like a River.

OCTOBER 26, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMUNITY ROOMS 301 & 302 (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents Jabari Asim, author of the essay collection We Can’t Breathe.

OCTOBER 26, 7:30 PM, ORPHEUM THEATER (216 STATE ST)— Room of One’s Own presents Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird and Hallelujah Anyway, reading from her new work of creative nonfiction Almost Everything: Notes on Hope.

OCTOBER 29, 7:00 PM, H.C. WHITE RM 6191 (600 N PARK ST)— The Program in Creative Writing presents Uruguayan poet Silvia Guerra, reading from Un mar en madrugado, with Jesse Lee Kercheval, Rebecca Bedell, Christopher Greggs, Rebekah Hewitt, Wes Holtermann, and Mishka Ligot reading Uruguayan poetry in translation.

NOVEMBER 1, 7:00 PM, WORKING DRAFT BEER COMPANY (1129 E WILSON ST)— Monsters of Poetry presents poets Dora Malech and Austin Smith.

NOVEMBER 12, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S MADISON ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents creative nonfiction author Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, reading from her newest work, The Library Book.

DECEMBER 6, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S MADISON ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The Wisconsin Book Festival presents Eve L. Ewing, author of Ghosts in the Schoolyard, a sociological study of the closing of the nation’s third largest school district, in Chicago.

MARCH 25, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S COMMUNITY ROOM 302 (201 W MIFFLIN)— The UW Program in Creative Writing presents Rebecca Bedell, Christopher Greggs, Rebekah Hewitt, Wes Holtermann, Mishka Ligot, and Alexis Sears: graduating poetry MFAs.

APRIL 18, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S WISCONSIN ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The UW Program in Creative Writing presents poet Solmaz Sharif, author of Look.

APRIL 25, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S COMMUNITY ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The UW Program in Creative Writing presents 2018-19 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Poetry & Fiction Fellows Aria Aber, Chekwube O. Danladi, Natasha Oladokun, Emily Shetler, Lucy Tan, Mary Terrier, and Kate Wisel.

MAY 2, 7:00 PM, MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY’S COMMUNITY ROOM (201 W MIFFLIN)— The UW Program in Creative Writing presents the 2019 undergraduate and graduate creative writing awards ceremony, featuring a special guest TBD.