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Plan II Honors

Joynes Reading Room Literary Speaker Series

2019-2020 Speaker Series 

All talks take place in the Joynes Reading Room; all are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.  For more information, call 512-471-5787 or write

Spring 2020 Speaker Series

Evie Shockley
Monday, February 10, 2020 7:00 p.m.

photo credit Brett Hall Jones

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, poet Evie Shockley earned a BA at Northwestern University, a JD at the University of Michigan, and a PhD in English literature at Duke University. The author of several collections of poetry, including a half-red sea (2006), the new black (2011), and semiautomatic (2017). Shockley is also the author of the critical volume Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011).

Her most recent collection of poetry, semiautomatic (2017), was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, an LATimes Book Prize finalist, and a winner of the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in poetry.

Her poetry and essays have been featured in several anthologies, including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009), Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook (2010), A Broken Thing: Contemporary Poets on the Line (2011), and Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon (2013).

Sponsored by: New Writers Project & Plan II Honors Program

March 5, 7 p.m.
Sam Lebovic, "The Marketplace of Ideas: A Brief (and Unhappy) History of the Press Clause" 
Sam Lebovic is a history professor at George Mason University and author of the book Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America

March 25, 6 p.m. - CANCELLED
André Naffis-Sahely 
André Naffis-Sahely is the author of The Promised Land: Poems from Itinerant Life (Penguin, 2017). He is from Abu Dhabi, but was born in Venice to an Iranian father and an Italian mother. His writing has appeared in the Nation, Harper's, New Statesman, Times Literary Supplement, The Economist, Playboy, the Spectator, and World Literature Today, among others. He is a Visiting Teaching Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan's Writing School and is the poetry editor of Ambit magazine. His translations include over 20 titles of fiction, poetry and nonfiction, featuring works by Honoré de Balzac, Émile Zola, Joseph Kessel, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Rashid Boudjedra, Abdellatif Laâbi, and Alessandro Spina. Forthcoming projects include a poetry pamphlet, The Other Side of Nowhere (Rough Trade Books, 2019) and The Heart of a Stranger: An Anthology of Exile Literature (Pushkin Press, 2019).

April 9, 7 p.m. - CANCELLED
Tomás Morín 
Tomás Q. Morín is the author of Patient Zero and A Larger Country, winner of the APR/Honickman Prize. He translated Pablo Neruda’s The Heights of Macchu Picchu and with Mari L’Esperance, he coedited Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine.

For additional information about these upcoming events contact Matt Valentine, 

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