February 21, 2019

Award-winning writer Hala Alyan reads with Five Seniors in Princeton’s Creative Writing Program March 8

Award-winning poet and novelist Hala Alyan and five seniors in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University will read from their work at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8 at Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street. The reading is part of the C. K. Williams Reading Series, named in honor of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poet who served on Princeton’s creative writing faculty for 20 years.

The series showcases senior thesis students of the Program in Creative Writing alongside established writers as special guests. Featuring student writers Mohamad Adnan, Kandace Rosser, Paul Schorin, Elias Stern, and Joanna Zhang, the event is free and open to the public.

hala alyan

Writer Hala Alyan. Photo by Bob Anderson

Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American writer and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Guernica and elsewhere. Her poetry collections have won the Arab American Book Award and the Crab Orchard Series. Her debut novel, Salt Houses, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017; it was longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Chautauqua Prize, and was recently awarded the Arab American Book Award in Fiction.

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 part of a creative thesis for the certificate. Thesis students in the Program in Creative Writing work closely with a member of the faculty, which includes Aleksandar Hemon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li, Paul Muldoon, Kirstin Valdez Quade, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith, Susan Wheeler, and a number of distinguished lecturers.

The final guest in the 2018-19 C.K. Williams Reading Series will be Danez Smith on April 5.

To learn more about this reading, the Program in Creative Writing, and the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures presented each year by the Lewis Center for the Arts, most of them free, visit

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