Living Writers Series brings variety of creators to SUNY Oswego


August 30, 2019

This fall’s Living Writers Series at SUNY Oswego will feature speakers who craft poetry, novels, graphic novels, short stories, songs, plays and screenplays -- and even exposed the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

All talks will take place from 3 to 4:20 p.m. in the Marano Campus Center auditorium, room 132, and are free and open to the public. The series starts Sept. 11 and wraps up Dec. 2. Writers discuss their work, inspiration, process and more, while also offering advice to students attending the “Living Writers Series” class.

“Oswego has a visiting author series that rivals any school,” said Laura Donnelly, an award-winning writer on Oswego’s English and creative writing faculty who teaches the course and coordinates the series. 

“This year's series is particularly unique in the way several of the visiting writers blur genres -- for example, a musician/poet, a graphic novelist who draws her own cartoons and an author that weaves personal photographs into a fictional autobiography," Donnelly said. “We also have an award-winning Oswego alumnus visiting the class. This year's series is collaborating with Latino/Hispanic Heritage month, the Oswego Reading Initiative, Artswego, Career Services and others."

Robert Mirabal -- a two-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, poet, screenwriter, farmer and more -- will start the series on Sept. 11. Living and creating at the foot of the sacred Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico, he is the author of “A Skeleton of a Bridge,” a book of poetry, prose and short stories, and most recently the memoir “Running Alone in Photographs.” That evening he will team up with the ETHEL string quartet to perform a collaborative work, “The River,” at 7:30 p.m. in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

Ebony Flowers, speaking Sept. 18, had her debut graphic novel “Hot Comb” published this summer. Born and raised in Maryland, Flowers is a 2017 Rona Jaffe Award recipient who lives in Denver. She holds a bachelor’s in biological anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

ORI author appearing

Named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts, Mona Hanna-Attisha will speak Sept. 25. The pediatrician, scientist and activist authored the bestselling book “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance and Hope in an American City,” which was this summer’s Oswego Reading Initiative selection for campuswide reading. She also will speak at 7 p.m. that evening in Sheldon Hall ballroom as the highlight of the college’s ORI programming for the year.

Norma Elia Cantú, speaking Oct. 7, is a scholar-activist, daughter of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and co-founder of the group of Latina/o poets CantoMundo. A 20th anniversary edition of her book “Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera” was published in 2015. Her novel “Cabañuelas” and poetry collection “Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life and Labor” both are being published in 2019. She is the Norine R. and T. Frank Murchison Professor in Humanities at Trinity University.

A SUNY Oswego alumnus returns to share his writings and advice when Jon Chopan speaks Oct. 28. A creative writing professor at Eckerd College, Chopan authored two collections of short stories, “Veterans Crisis Hotline,” which won the 2017 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, and “Pulled from the River.” Chopan, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Oswego, now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Nov. 4 presenter, Darcy Parker Bruce, received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's 2018 Judith Royer Award for Excellence in Theatre, with a play “East of the Sun” published through Applause/Hal Leonard’s Best American Short Plays. The playwright has most recently been commissioned by Chester Theater Company, and teaches playwriting and theater activism at several Connecticut colleges.

Traci Brimhall, the author of three poetry collections, most recently “Saudade,” will speak Nov. 18. Her next collection, a hybrid of essays and poems, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Slate, The New Republic and Best American Poetry 2013 and 2014. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and is an associate professor of creative writing at Kansas State University.

Juliet Aires Giglio and Keith Giglio, speaking Dec. 2, are a husband-wife screenwriting duo who have been writing together longer than they have been married -- and they have been married for 30 years. They have produced four books and 16 movie credits as screenwriters and producers, including most recently “A Very Nutty Christmas” on Lifetime TV and the soon-to-be-seen “Christmas Reservations.” Juliet teaches in the English and creative writing department at SUNY Oswego, while Keith teaches television, radio and film for Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.

Visiting writers are supported by Artswego and are made possible by the college’s Student Arts Fee, Oswego Reading Initiative and Office of Career Services, with additional support from SUNY Oswego’s Hart Hall, Office of International Education and Programs and Office of Alumni Relations.

Those attending an event who need assistance can contact the college’s Accessibility Resources Office at 315.312.3358 or

For more information on English and creative writing at SUNY Oswego, visit

Creative series -- SUNY Oswego’s Living Writers Series will begin its season with Robert Mirabal -- a two-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, poet and screenwriter -- speaking Sept. 11. All talks in the series are free and open to the public.