Fiction writer and Phil Klay and five seniors in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University will read from their work on Friday, March 3 at Labyrinth Books. The reading is part of the C. K. Williams Reading Series, which showcases senior thesis students of the Program in Creative Writing alongside established writers as special guests. Featuring student writers Luke Pfleger, Edwin Rosales, Jennifer Shyue, Margaret Spencer, and Rachel Stone, the reading begins at 6:00 p.m. at Labyrinth Books, located at 122 Nassau Street. The event is free and open to the public.

phil klay

Writer Phil Klay. Photo by Hannah Dunphy

Klay is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Iraq’s Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged, he went to Hunter College and received an M.F.A. in creative writing. His story “Redeployment” was originally published in Granta and is included in Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Granta, Tin House, and elsewhere. In 2014, Klay’s short story collection, Redeployment, won the National Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize. He was also named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and was a 2015-2016 Hodder Fellow at Princeton. He is currently working on a novel about the U.S. involvement in Colombia and teaching fiction in Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing.

The five seniors, who are pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing in addition to their major areas of study, will read from their senior thesis projects. Each is currently working on a novel, a screenplay, translations, or a collection of poems or short stories as a part of a creative thesis for their certificate. Thesis students in the Program in Creative Writing work closely with a member of the faculty, which includes Jeffrey Eugenides, Jhumpa Lahiri, Paul Muldoon, Kirstin Valdez Quade, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith, Susan Wheeler, Edmund White, and a number of distinguished lecturers.

The series, hosted by the seniors in the program, is intended to present a public showcase for the work of the thesis students and provide the senior class the opportunity to read with and learn from established writers they admire. The series is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poet C. K. Williams, who served on Princeton’s creative writing faculty for twenty years.

The Program in Creative Writing also presents the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series on Wednesdays at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Upcoming guests include Douglas Kearney, Kirstin Valdez Quade, John Ashbery, and Jim Jarmusch.