Living Writers

A signature program of Colgate University since 1980, Living Writers is a master class in how works of literature come to be.

It’s free, and anyone can join: alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, friends of the University. The only prerequisite is a passion for reading. 

This fall’s lineup features nine stunning works by a range of writers from a range of regions, including Africa, the Caribbean, and the former Soviet Union. One writer on the list just published her first novel; another has won the Pulitzer Prize. Formally, the books run the gamut from poetry to essays to memoirs to stories to novels. Questions of home surface in many of them, as do questions of history—national as well as familial. Several speak directly to crises gripping our country right now, including the coronavirus pandemic and America’s history of racial injustice. 

Living Writers 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.

Each book has its own page to explore with author bios, podcasts, recommended resources, and more! For more information and to register for weekly events, click on each of the book titles in the upper left portion of this page. 

September 10

Year of Wonders Book CoverGeraldine Brooks
Geraldine Brooks
Year of Wonders

September 17

Black Is the Body Book CoverEmily Bernard
Emily Bernard
Black Is the Body

September 24

Lowest White Boy Book CoverGreg Bottoms
Greg Bottoms
Lowest White Boy

October 8

Calypso Book CoverDavid Sedaris
David Sedaris

October 22

Deaf Republic Book CoverIlya Kaminsky
Ilya Kaminsky
Deaf Republic

October 29

Transcendent Kingdom Book CoverYaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi
Transcendent Kingdom

November 5

These Ghosts Are Family Book CoverMaisy Card
Maisy Card
These Ghosts Are Family

November 12

Interior Chinatown Book CoverCharles Yu
Charles Yu
Interior Chinatown

November 19

Suddenly a Knock on the Door Book CoverEtgar Keret
Etgar Keret
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door

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 Wednesday evening book discussions with faculty & students
  • Invitations to Thursday afternoon author events
  • Podcast interviews with each author
  • Podcast conversations with Colgate faculty
  • Reviews, biographies, historical background and more
  • Access to archived author presentations

Join the Conversation

Add your thoughts on Twitter, #ColgateLivingWriters.



Colgate Bookstore

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

Join the conversation on Twitter @ColgateLW