Visiting Writers Series set this summer

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program will host a Visiting Writers Series during the program’s Summer Residency.

These events are free and open to the public. The writers will be reading from their original work, and copies of their books will be available for sale.

The following is a schedule of the readings set on Wesleyan’s campus:

July 1 – Alex Taylor, 7 p.m., Upshur Reading Room in Annie Merner Pfieffer Library

Author of the story collection “The Name of the Nearest River,” Taylor lives in Rosine, Ky. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The Oxford American, American Short Fiction and elsewhere.

July 2 – Mary Ann Samyn, 3 p.m., Upshur Reading Room in Annie Merner Pfieffer Library

The author of five collections of poetry, most recently “My Life in Heaven,” Samyn is the winner of the 2012 FIELD Prize. She teaches in the MFA program at West Virginia University.

July 3 – Bob Mehr, 7 p.m., Upshur Reading Room in Annie Merner Pfieffer Library

Mehr is the music critic for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. A contributor to SPIN, MOJO magazine in the United Kingdom and German Rolling Stone, he’s also written liner notes for artists including Warren Zevon, Fred Neil and the Dixie Chicks. His biography of legendary rock band The Replacements will be published by Da Capo in 2013.

July 5 – Maggie Anderson, 7 p.m., Loar Auditorium

The author of four books of poetry, including “Windfall: New and Selected Poems,” “A Space Filled with Moving” and “Cold Comfort,” Anderson has been awarded two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. The founding director of the Wick Poetry Center and of the Wick Poetry Series of the Kent State University Press, Anderson is professor emerita of English at Kent State University.

July 6 – Jayne Anne Phillips, 7 p.m., Loar Auditorium

Born and raised in West Virginia, Phillips is the author of two widely anthologized story collections, “Black Tickets” and “Fast Lanes,” and five novels, “Machine Dreams,” “Shelter,” “Motherkind,” “Lark” and “Termite,” as well as “Quiet Dell,” forthcoming from Scribner in October. A National Book Award & National Book Critic Circle Award finalist, she is distinguished professor of English and director of the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark, the state university of New Jersey. The reading will be followed by a literary conversation with Jayne Anne Phillips and Maggie Anderson.

The final collection of poems by Irene McKinney, “Have You Had Enough Darkness Yet?” will be available for sale at the July 5 and 6 events. Proceeds from these book sales will go to the MFA scholarship fund.

Wesleyan’s low-residency MFA in creativae writing offers an apprenticeship model that enables students to earn a graduate degree without having to uproot their lives. Students are on campus for an intense residency period of nine to 10 days each summer and winter and complete their semester course work through correspondence with a mentor.

Launched by McKinney, who served as West Virginia’s poet laureate until her death in February 2012, the program continues to honor her vision: the dynamic core faculty is committed to fostering the creation of fine literature, particularly literature that explores place and identity. This program is the only one of its kind in the state.

For more information about the readings or about Wesleyan’s creative writing program, anyone interested can contact MFA Director Jessie van Eerden at or 304-473-8329.

This project is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.