News Hartwick College Announces the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Visiting Writer Series

September 26, 2023

A collection of four talented and versatile writers will soon entertain the Hartwick College community with selected readings from their work.

The 2023-24 Visiting Writers Series kicks off Wednesday, October 11, with Shena McAuliffe, author of We Are a Teeming Wilderness: Stories, winner of the 2022 Press 53 Prize for Short Fiction, Glass, Light, Electricity: Essays, and The Good Echo: A Novel. McAuliffe grew up in Wisconsin and Colorado, earning her MFA in fiction writing at Washington University in St. Louis, and a PhD at the University of Utah. McAuliffe lives in Schenectady, New York, where she is an assistant professor of English at Union College. 

Professor Emeritus Robert Bensen wraps up the fall portion of the series on Wednesday, November 8, with a reading from his seventh book of poems, What Lightning Spoke: New & Selected Poems. Bensen directed the writing program at Hartwick College from 1978–2017, in which he taught composition, poetry and fiction writing, and literature of the Caribbean, Native American, and the English Renaissance. His poems and essays have appeared in journals such as AGNI, Callaloo, The Paris Review, The Caribbean Writer, Ploughshares, and Native Realities. Bensen’s writing has earned awards and fellowships from the National Education Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Harvard University. 

In the spring, Hartwick College will host Yume Kitasei on Monday, March 4. Kitasei is a Brooklyn-based Japanese and American writer of speculative fiction. Her stories have appeared in publications, including New England Review, Catapult, SmokeLong Quarterly, Baltimore Review, and Nashville ReviewThe Deep Sky is Kitasei’s first novel and her next book, The Stardust Grail, will come out in June 2024. 

The 2023-24 Visiting Writers Series concludes with Joshua Zelesnick on Thursday, April 11.  Zelesnick writes poetry and essays and spends time on the guitar or ukulele most evenings. Insert Coin, his first full-length collection of poems, was a finalist for the Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize and the Trio Award; it will be published in 2024. Bonfire Books published his chapbook, Cherub Poems, in 2019 and his poetry and essays can be found in CounterPunch, DIAGRAM, Jubilat, Matter, Texas Review, and Yes Poetry. Zelesnick has taught at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh and is now a librarian and creative writing teacher at a public school in Pittsburgh.

All the readings, presented by the Department of Literature Media and Writing and the Visiting Writers Series at Hartwick College, are free and open to the public. Readings begin at 7 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall.

For more information, please contact Associate Professor of English Bradley J. Fest at or (607) 431-4921.