The Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series, named after the founder of Wake Forest University Press, brings to campus established and emerging fiction writers, poets, and writers of literary nonfiction each year to give literary readings and talks on creative process, and to visit creative writing workshops in the Creative Writing Minor and other courses at Wake Forest. The literary readings are often followed by a book signing and reception. These events are sometimes coordinated in collaboration with other departments at Wake Forest, with other universities in the area, and with local and state agencies such as the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Visiting authors sponsored by the series include Carmen Giménez SmithJerome Rothenberg, Lia Purpura, Tracie Morris, Amanda Ngoho Reavey, Chris Abani, Gabriel Blackwell, Anne Waldman, Alejandro Zambra, Ben Lerner, Renee Gladman, Joanna Howard, Michael Leong, Brian Evenson, George Quasha, Bhanu Kapil, TaraShea Nesbit, and M. NourbeSe Philip. Visiting authors co-sponsored by the series include John Yau, Nathaniel Mackey, Rae Armantrout, Will Alexander, Ed Roberson, Andrew Joron, Madhur Anand, Ciaran Carson, Abigail Child, Jacqueline Osherow, and Kevin Berry. Additional readers over the years have included Maya Angelou, W.S. Merwin, Evie Shockley, Stuart Dybek, Natasha Trethewey, Heather McHugh, Harryette Mullen, Reginald McKnight, C.K. Williams, Julianna Baggott, Carl Phillips, Simon Armitage, Dan Chaon, Owen King, Kelly Braffet, Wilton Barnhardt, Martin Clark, Quinn Dalton, and Adam Zagajewski, among many others.

These readings are open to all Wake Forest students, faculty, and staff as well as to the general public and are popular events in the university’s calendar. Unless otherwise noted, admittance is free of charge. Please see maps and parking information regarding Wake Forest’s Reynolda Campus, where the readings are held.

For more information on the Writers Reading Series, contact the co-directors: Eric G. Wilson, Amy Catanzano, and Joanna Ruocco.