The Wordfest annual writers series features readings, lectures, and discussions by practicing writers of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction prose. In both the fall and spring semesters, professional writers present their own creative works and stimulate students’ writing. These artists often meet classes, hold workshops, and confer with interested student writers.

Among the poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and playwrights who have visited Valparaiso University to offer presentations of their works and meet with students, are a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Poet Laureates of the United States, and various authors who have been recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, or other distinguished honors for their writing.

Wordfest also sponsors an annual writing contest for undergraduates, recognizing outstanding works in poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction prose.

2016-2017 Wordfest Events

wordfest 2016-2017

Ronnie Malley’s ZIRYAB The Songbird Of Andalusia
Monday, April 10, 2017 at 8:00PM. Duesenberg Recital Hall, VU Center for the Arts. Take an enchanting musical journey back to 9th century Islamic ...
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2015-2016 Wordfest Events

Slow Pilgrim: Finding One’s Way With Words — Author Scott Cairns

6:30 p.m., Nov. 5, 2015
Chapel of the Resurrection

Librettist, memoirist, translator, and author of eight poetry collections, Scott Cairns is professor of English at the University of Missouri and ...
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Rick Barton And René Steinke: Environmental And Educational Justice

6:30 p.m., Sep. 23, 2015
Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts

Distinguished authors Rick Barton and René Steinke, both Valparaiso University alumni, will inaugurate the 2015-2016 Wordfest series on Sept. 23, ...
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Wordfest Authors

These distinguished authors are among those who have participated in Wordfest at Valparaiso University:

  • Lee K. Abbott
  • Agha Shahid Ali
  • David Baker
  • John Balaban
  • Fredrick Barton
  • Jill Pelaez Baumgaertner
  • Madison Smart Bell
  • Kimberly Blaeser
  • Nikos Boris
  • Kay Boyle
  • Bruce Burgun
  • Sharon Bryan
  • Edward Byrne
  • Scott Cairns
  • Philip Caputo
  • Amy Clampitt
  • Patricia Clark
  • Mark Conway
  • David Dabydeen
  • Benjamin DeMott
  • W.S. DiPiero
  • Stuart Dybek
  • Gene Fehler
  • Wayne Fields
  • Melissa Fraterrigo
  • Helen Frost
  • John Gardner
  • John Gehm
  • Reginald Gibbons
  • Gary Gildner
  • Nikki Giovanni
  • Vince Gotera
  • Emily Grosholz
  • Larry Heinemann
  • C.J. Hribal
  • Charles Johnson
  • Stacey Klemstein
  • Carolyn Knox
  • Susan Kraus
  • Lawrence Lichty
  • Laurence Lieberman
  • Thomas Lynch
  • Michael Martone
  • Heather McHugh
  • Paul Muldoon
  • Kathleen Mullen
  • Susan Neville
  • Kathleen Norris
  • Tim O'Brien
  • Carole Oles
  • Chuck Olin
  • Scott Olsen
  • Harry Mark Petrakis
  • Yuri Rasovsky
  • John Ruff
  • Scott Russell Sanders
  • Sherod Santos
  • Valerie Sayers
  • Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
  • Herb Scott
  • Alan Shapiro
  • Shawn Shiflett
  • Robert Siegel
  • Beth Simon
  • James Park Sloan
  • Dave Smith
  • Sandra Spanier
  • Sheryl St. Germain
  • Rene Steinke
  • James Still
  • Mark Strand
  • Rick Telander
  • Richard Tillinghast
  • Daniel Tobin
  • Catherine Tufariello
  • Derek Walcott
  • Bruce Weigl
  • James Welch
  • Paul West
  • Robley Wilson, Jr.
  • Larry Woiwoide
  • Gene Wolfe
  • Charles Wright