Living Writers

Jesmyn Ward speaks at Colgate, March 2022

This spring, Living Writers celebrated the 50th anniversary of women at Colgate with a visit from Jesmyn Ward,  two-time winner of the National Book Award. 

To learn more about our Fall 2022 series, check back later this spring and sign up for our emails.

Since 1980, a master class in how works of literature come to be. Since 2010, open to everyone. The only prerequisite is a passion for reading.

Join us this fall—in person or online—for conversations with 11 fascinating writers, some world-famous and others on the cusp of renown.

There are books on our list to please every palate: novels to sink into for a week or two, stories to fill a free half-hour, poems and essays that will draw you in then break your heart. We're even venturing into sci-fi and horror. A question that runs through every selection is a big one for our time: Who is my neighbor, and what do I owe that person?

To hear more about this year's books, and to learn about The Only Good Indians, the first horror book chosen for the series, you can listen to professors Jennifer Brice and Ryan Hall in this special edition of the Colgate 13 podcast.

Each book has its own page to explore with author bios, podcasts, recommended resources, and more. Click on each of the books below for more information and to register for weekly events.

Founded 40 years ago by Professor Frederick Busch, this signature program is now both a regular course (Engl. 360), offered every fall for 50 undergraduates, as well as a companion program for alumni, parents, and community members. It is led by faculty in the Department of English with generous support from the Olive B. O'Connor Fund as well as the President and the Provost/Dean of the Faculty.

September 9

Tell Me How It Ends Book CoverValeria Luiselli
Valeria Luiselli
Tell Me How It Ends

September 16

Wayward CoverDana Spiotta
Dana Spiotta

September 23

The Locals CoverJonathan Dee
Jonathan Dee
The Locals

September 30

Exhalation CoverTed Chiang
Ted Chiang

October 21

The Sellout CoverPaul Beatty
Paul Beatty
The Sellout

October 28

The Only Good Indians Book CoverStephen Graham Jones
Stephen Graham Jones
The Only Good Indians

November 4

In the Field Between Us Book CoverMolly Brown & Susannah Nevison
Molly Brown & Susannah Nevison
In the Field Between Us

November 11

Skerryvore CoverMichael Punter
Michael Punter

November 16

The Office of Historical Corrections Book CoverDanielle Evans
Danielle Evans
The Office of Historical Corrections

December 2

What Strange Paradise Book CoverOmar El Akkad
Omar El Akkad
What Strange Paradise

I appreciate that my college is creating this opportunity for me to engage intellectually with prominent writers, along with a Colgate professor and other students of all ages.

Goldie Blumenstyk ’79, senior writer, Chronicle of Higher Education

Select a book title to find

  • Invitations to Monday evening book discussions with faculty 
  • Invitations to Thursday afternoon author events
  • Podcast interviews with each author
  • Podcast conversations with Colgate faculty
  • Reviews, biographies, historical background and more



Colgate Bookstore

All Living Writers books can be purchased online or in person at the Colgate Bookstore. 

Join the conversation on Twitter @ColgateLW