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.

Upcoming Reading

Patricia Spears Jones 
December 7, 2023
6-7 PM in Muskie 201
Arkansas born and raised, and a resident of New York City for more than four decades, Patricia Spears Jones is a poet, educator, cultural activist, and anthologist. She is the author of five poetry collections, including The Beloved Community (Copper Canyon Press 2023) and A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press 2015), and five chapbooks. Her poems are widely anthologized, most notably in Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon MartinBAX: Best American Experimental Writing, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. Jones’s poems and essays have been published in the New Yorker, Bomb, Mosaic, the Rumpus, the Writers Chronicle and several other magazines and journals. Jones is the recipient of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize, and has taught creative writing at Hunter College, Barnard College, Adelphi University, and Hollins University as the 2020 Louis D. Rubin Writer in Residence. Jones is an emeritus fellow for Black Earth Institute and organizer of the American Poets Congress.

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