Wordfest

Tim O'Brien

Wordfest is not just a single event, but an annual series of 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, a former Poet Laureate 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.  Pictured, right: Tim O'Brien meets with students during as part of Wordfest.

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

Among the following poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and playwrights who have visited Valparaiso University to offer presentations of their work and meet with students are a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, a former Poet Laureate 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:

  • 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
  • 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