Learning should be a lived experience. Literature (reading it and writing it) uplifts and gives voice to our students.
The Ethel Walker School Visiting Writer Seminar is a semester-long course in which students have the rare and special opportunity to immerse themselves in a study of one writer’s works, something few students of English at the undergraduate and graduate levels experience. Throughout the semester, students read a critical mass of texts by that writer, developing a deep and abiding knowledge of that writer’s style, form(s), and ideas.
The course culminates with a visit by the author to Walker’s. Through master classes, writing workshops, and readings to the community, students are invited to ask the questions that only the author can answer. At the end of each semester, students in the Visiting Writer Seminar collaborate on a final project in which they conceptualize, layout, design, and publish a class anthology of works, inspired by the writings of the visiting writer.
The magic of this course is created in the collaborative and symbiotic exchange between the writer and the student. Learning and inspiration move from the writer to the student but also, we hope, from the student back to the writer.
Mahogany L. Browne is the Executive Director of JustMedia, a media literacy initiative designed to support the groundwork of criminal justice leaders and community members. This position is informed by her career as a writer, organizer, & educator. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of recent works: Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, & Black Girl Magic. Browne is the founder of the diverse lit initiative, Woke Baby Book Fair; and is excited about her latest poetry collection. I Remember Death By Its Proximity to What I Love is a book-length poem responding to the impact of mass incarceration on women and children). She is based in Brooklyn and is the first-ever Poet-in-Residence at the Lincoln Center.
Ada Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her book Bright Dead Things was nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her work has been supported most recently by a Guggenheim Fellowship. She grew up in Sonoma, California and now lives in Lexington, Kentucky where she writes, teaches remotely, and hosts the critically-acclaimed poetry podcast, The Slowdown. Her new book of poetry, The Hurting Kind, is out now from Milkweed Editions. She is the 24th Poet Laureate of The United States.