Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence

The Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence Program—a new feature of the MFA Creative Writing Program—is designed to bring a prestigious writer to campus for a public reading and a classroom visit, and to meet with students one-to-one.

Kevin Young

We are delighted to announce that the 2018 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence is Kevin Young. Young is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, newly named a National Historic Landmark. He is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 (Knopf, 2016), longlisted for the National Book Award; Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets; Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (Knopf, 2011), winner of an American Book Award; and Dear Darkness (Knopf, 2008). His collection Jelly Roll: a blues (Knopf, 2003) was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Young's next nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, will be out from Graywolf Press November 14, 2017, and is longlisted for the National Book Award. Young's nonfiction book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (Graywolf Press, 2012) won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award; it was also a New York Times Notable Book for 2012 and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He is the editor of eight other collections, most recently The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010 (BOA Editions, 2012) and The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink (Bloomsbury, 2012). Named University Distinguished Professor at Emory University, Young was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. 

Young will also be serving as Poetry Editor of the New Yorker starting in November 2017.

Kevin Young

Junot Díaz

The 2017 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence is world-renowned novelist and short-story writer, Junot Díaz. Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. | Photo: Nina Subin
Junot Díaz

George Saunders

The 2015/2016 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence was acclaimed fiction writer and essayist, George Saunders. Saunders is the author of four collections of short stories, a novella and a book of essays. His most recent collection is Tenth of December, winner of the 2014 Story Prize and the 2014 Folio Prize. The recipient of a 2006 MacArthur Foundation Genius grant, his work appears regularly in The New Yorker, GQ and Harpers Magazine, and has appeared in the O’Henry, Best American Short Story, Best Non-Required Reading and Best American Travel Writing anthologies. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine in 2013.


Samuel Delany

The 2014 Writer in Residence was critic and novelist Samuel R. Delany. Samuel Delany has won four Nebula Awards, two Hugo Awards, and the William Whitehead Memorial Award for lifetime achievement. He is an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and has been honored with the David R. Kessler Award from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies as well as the Lambda Literary Pioneer Award. His stories are available in Aye and Gomorrah and Other Stories and Atlantis: Three Tales. His novels include Nova, Dhalgren, Hogg, The Mad Man and the Stonewall Award-winning Dark Reflections. His nonfiction collections include Silent Interviews, Longer Views, Shorter Views and Times Square Red/Times Square Blue. His award-winning autobiography is The Motion of Light in Water. A judge for the 2010 National Book Awards, he was the subject of a 2007 documentary, The Polymath, and is the author of a popular creative writing textbook, About Writing. His most recent novel is Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. It and his interview in the Paris Review’s “Art of Fiction” series both appeared in the spring 2012. Delany lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Temple University.


Lydia Davis

The inaugural 2013 Jacobson Writer in Residence was Lydia Davis. A remarkable writer and true innovator known for her very short fiction, Davis is a MacArthur Fellow and the 2013 winner of the Man Booker International Prize. "Should we simply concur with the official title and dub them stories?" Booker panel chairman Christopher Ricks said in a statement announcing the prize. "Or perhaps miniatures? Anecdotes? Essays? Jokes? Parables? Fables? Texts? Aphorisms, or even apophthegms? Prayers, or perhaps wisdom literature? Or might we settle for observations?" 

Lydia Davis's work includes the novel, The End of the Story (1995), and seven story collections, including Break It Down (1986), Almost No Memory (1997), Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2002) and Varieties of Disturbance (2007). She has also translated a number of works of French philosophy and literature, most notably Swann's Way by Marcel Proust and Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary.