On Wednesday, September 21, poet and 2016-2017 Hodder Fellow Jenny Johnson and writer Joy Williams will read from their work as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series of the Program in Creative Writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts. The reading, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center, is free and open to the public.

jenny johnson

Poet Jenny Johnson. Photo by Brooke Wyatt.

Jenny Johnson’s first collection of poems, In Full Velvet, is forthcoming from Sarabande Books in 2017. Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, New England Review, Troubling the Line: Trans & Genderqueer Poetry & Poetics, and elsewhere. She received a 2015 Whiting Award, and awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Johnson earned her M.F.A. in poetry from Warren Wilson College and currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Rainier Writing Workshop. As a Princeton Hodder Fellow selected through a highly competitive process, she will begin work on her second book of poems.

Johnson will be introduced by Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Princeton’s Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of the Humanities, and Director of the Program in Creative Writing.

Joy Williams

Writer Joy Williams. Photo by Anne Dalton.

Joy Williams has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. She is the author of four novels: State of Grace (1973), The Changeling (1978), Breaking and Entering (1988), and The Quick and the Dead (2000). Her story collections include Taking Care (1982), Escapes (1990), Honored Guest (2004), The Visiting Privilege (2015), and Ninety-Nine Stories of God (2016). In addition to her fiction, Williams is the author of a collection of nonfiction, Ill Nature (2001), and a travel guide, The Florida Keys (1986). Williams’s work is also frequently anthologized. Her honors include the Rhea Award for the Short Story and the Harold and Mildred Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Williams will be introduced by Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and a Professor in Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing.

The Lewis Center’s Program in Creative Writing annually presents the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, which provides an opportunity for students, as well as all in the greater Princeton region, to hear and meet the best contemporary writers. All readings are free and open to the public and take place on select Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center.

Other readings scheduled in the 2016-2017 series include:

  • NoViolet Bulawayo, 2016-2017 Princeton Hodder Fellow in fiction, and Valeria Luiselli on October 12
  • Stephen King and Eileen Myles on November 16 (this reading will be ticketed with advance ticket reservations encouraged; free tickets will be available later in the fall.)
  • Paul Beatty and Marilyn Chin on February 8
  • Douglas Kearney and Kirstin Valdez Quade on March 15
  • John Ashbery and Jim Jarmusch on April 19