Literary Arts Live

Literary Arts Live celebrates the diverse vitalities of contemporary literature.

Bates has a long tradition of welcoming poets and authors to read from their work. In 1932 William Butler Yeats read from his poetry in the Chapel. From the 50s through the 80s, Bates professor-poet John Tagliabue brought many distinguished writers to campus, including Allen Ginsberg and Gwendolyn Brooks. First established as Language Arts Live in 1991 by senior lecturer emeritus Robert Farnsworth, the series has now hosted readings, class visits, and residencies by over 100 authors, among them Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott, and Pulitzer Prize winners Richard Ford, Tyehimba Jess, Donald Justice, Yusef Komunyakaa, Paul Muldoon, Richard Russo, Tracy K. Smith, Elizabeth Strout, and Colson Whitehead. Recent Bates alums have also returned to read from their prize-winning books: Jessica Anthony, Christian Barter, Christina Chiu, Gabriel Fried, and Craig Teicher.

FALL 2021

Photo by Erica Cavanagh

Thursday, Sept. 9th, 6-7pm
A Zoom reading and conversation –

Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of Honeyfish (New Issues 2019) and Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press 2014), and her writing has been published in The Atlantic, Guernica, The Caribbean Writer, The Cimarron Review and elsewhere. Alleyne is the winner of the Split This Rock Poetry Prize, a Picador Guest Professorship in Literature at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and an Iowa Arts Council Fellowship. A Cave Canem graduate, Alleyne is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She is an Associate Professor of English at James Madison University in Virginia, where she also is the assistant director for the Furious Flower Poetry Center.

Photo by Nicole Belle

Wednesday, Oct. 6th, 7:30-8:30pm
A Zoom reading and conversation.
(Zoom link will be shared shortly.)

Corinna Vallianatos is the author of the novel The Beforeland (Acre Books 2020), a 2020 winner in the Forward Indie Awards for literary fiction. Her first collection of short stories, My Escapee (Univ. of Mass 2012), won the Grace Paley Prize in Fiction, and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Vallianatos’ stories have been published in Tin House, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, The Kenyon ReviewThe Idaho Review, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction writing at Claremont McKenna College in California, where she lives with her family.

Photo by Lucas Marquardt

Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, 7-8pm
A Zoom reading and conversation.
(Zoom link will be shared shortly.)
Ada Limón is the author of five poetry collections, including The Carrying (Milkweed 2018), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her fourth book, Bright Dead Things (Milkweed 2015), was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry, she serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.


Literary Arts Live events are made possible from the generous support of the English Department, the John Tagliabue Fund, and the Learning Associates Fund. All events are wheelchair accessible, open to the public, and free of charge. For questions about our series, please contact Deb Cutten at