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What we do might be done in solitude and with great desperation, but it tends to produce exactly the opposite. It tends to produce community and in many people hope and joy.Junot Díaz, MFA 1995

The Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series

Each academic year, the Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series brings poets, fiction writers, essayists, and industry professionals to campus for readings and talks.

9/3 Ilya Kaminsky
9/24 Colson Whitehead
10/15 Siobhan Adcock, dawn lonsinger, George McCormick, and Cori A. Winrock
11/12 Marilyn Chin

The Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series features readings from both emerging and established writers. In recent years it has hosted Toni Morrison, Billy Collins, Margaret Atwood, Charles Simic, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Seamus Heaney, and Jonathan Franzen, among others. The Series has also brought back former Cornell students of note, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz and best-selling authors Melissa Bank, Lorrie Moore, Stewart O’Nan, and Téa Obreht. All events are free and open to the public.

To be added to the email list for announcements of upcoming readings, please send an email to

Fall 2015 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE and open to the public.

September 3rd Reading

Ilya Kaminsky
When: Thursday 4:30 pm
Location: Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
  • Ilya Kaminsky, Poet and Translator
  • KaminskyIlya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived in the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa, which won the Whiting Writer’s Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, and was named Best Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine. Poems from Kaminsky’s manuscript, Deaf Republic, were awarded Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize. In 2008 he was also awarded the Lannan Foundation's Literary Fellowship.

    Kaminsky has co-edited Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, an anthology of 20th century poetry in translation, and co-translated Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva with Jean Valentine. His books have been published in many countries, including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, and Spain; and in China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize.

September 24th Reading

Colson Whitehead
When: Thursday 4:30 pm
Location: Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
  • Colson Whitehead, Novelist
  • WhiteheadA Manhattan native, Colson Whitehead is the author of seven books, which have garnered many nominations and awards: The Intuitionist (finalist, PEN/Hemingway Award), John Henry Days (finalist, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award), The Colossus of New York (New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Apex Hides the Hurt (winner, PEN/Oakland Award), Sag Harbor (finalist, PEN/Faulkner Award), Zone One (New York Times bestseller), and the recently released The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death. His other awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Whiting Writers Award.

    Whitehead’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper’s, and Granta. His reflections on topics such as creativity, perseverance, the writer’s voice, social media, pop culture, and race led USA Today to say, “No novelist writing today is more engaging and entertaining when it comes to questions of race, class, and commercial culture than Colson Whitehead.”

October 15th Alumni Reading

Siobhan Adcock, dawn lonsinger, George McCormick, and Cori A. Winrock
When: Thursday 4:30 pm
Location: Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
  • Siobhan Adcock ’04, Fiction Writer
  • AdcockSiobhan Adcock is the author of The Barter, a ghost story about motherhood and marriage set in contemporary and historical Texas. Her fiction has appeared in Triquarterly, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere, and she has also written for Huffington Post, Epicurious, XOJane, Jetsetter, and other sites. She is currently the Digital Editorial Director for All You at Time Inc.

  • dawn lonsinger ’05, Poet and Essayist
  • lonsingerdawn lonsinger is the author of Whelm (2012 Idaho Prize winner) and recipient of the 2014 Greg Grummer Poetry Prize. Her poems and lyric essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Guernica, Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, Subtropics, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD from the University of Utah and is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Muhlenberg College.

  • George McCormick ’07, Fiction Writer
  • McCormickGeorge McCormick is the author of the short story collection Salton Sea and the novel Inland Empire. A recipient of a 2013 O. Henry Prize, his work has appeared most recently in EPOCH, Arcadia, and This Land. He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Lawton, Oklahoma, and teaches in the Department of English at Cameron University.

  • Cori A. Winrock ’08, Poet
  • WinrockCori A. Winrock is the author of This Coalition of Bones, finalist for the Walt Whitman Award. Her poems appear in the Best New Poets anthology, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, West Branch, and elsewhere. She was awarded the Summer Literary Seminars’ St. Petersburg Review Award. A former Visiting Professor at SUNY Geneseo, Winrock is currently a Vice Presidential Fellow in the Creative Writing PhD program at University of Utah.

November 12th Reading

Marilyn Chin
When: Thursday 4:30 pm
Location: Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
  • Marilyn Chin, Poet and Writer
  • ChinMarilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her books of poetry have become Asian American classics and are taught in classrooms internationally. Her latest, Hard Love Province, won the 2015 Anisfield Wolf Book Award; her other books include Rhapsody in Plain Yellow, Dwarf Bamboo, The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty, and a novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen.

    Chin’s awards include five Pushcart Prizes, two NEA awards, and the PEN/Josephine Miles Award. Fellowships and residencies include a Fulbright Fellowship, a United Artist Foundation Fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Lannan and Djerassi Foundations.

    Chin is featured in a variety of anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry and The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century Poetry. A Professor Emerita at San Diego State University, she currently serves as mentoring faculty in the MFA program at City University, Hong Kong.

» For more information about the Fall 2015 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series, contact or call (607) 255-7847.