Lester Eugene Mayers -- recently announced as the Artist in Residence teaching in the English and Creative Writing Department as well as the Theatre Department this fall -- will bring his background and skills into creating an inclusive and innovative performance project.

“I don’t write from a distance," Mayers said. "I don’t write for perfection. I don’t write for the institution. I write through feelings for what was, is, soon to be and will forever remain.” 

A Brooklyn native, Mayers graduated from the Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz, and earned his master of fine arts at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Self-described as “gay-Black-feminine, and a feminist,” his work has appeared in a range of publications — from HuffPost to "Between Certain Death and a Possible Future: Queer Writing on Growing up with the AIDS Crisis," a collection of personal essays that made “most anticipated” lists appearing in The New York Times; Oprah Daily; The Millions; and The Rumpus.

Beyond reading and performing at numerous live and virtual venues, Mayers has also completed a sold-out poetry tour after releasing his first book, "100 Poems for 100 Voices," and since released two more books. He also crafted a highly anticipated visual archive, "Love Lessons with Lester," for SoMad.NYC.

At SUNY Owego, Mayers will devote himself to a year-long project focused on choreopoetry or devised theater. This project will heavily involve a diverse range of students.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are a commitment for some, passion for others, but the only way to be alive for me," Mayers said. "The meditation for the indistinguishable importance of this work is the work I do without forcing it. But a meditation I take seriously with discipline and life lessons.”

Students interested in taking a creative writing course with this powerful artist in the fall 2022 semester can register for CRW 207: "Playwriting: Introductory with Mayers"; CRW 307: "Playwriting: Intermediate," a hybrid course that Mayers will teach with introductory playwriting instructor Ken Nichols; or CRW 395, a special topics course with a focus on “Choreopoems: Blending Theater, Poetry, Song and Dance.” Those interested in studying theatre with Mayers can register for THT 470: "Seminar: Devised Theatre" or THT 130: "Fundamentals of Acting."

To learn more about the newest Artist in Residence, visit Mayers' website.