A City Full of Literary Talent

The cornerstone of our community is our reading series. Held monthly in local bars, cafes, and other small businesses around the city, the series gives both emerging and established writers in a variety of genres the opportunity to read their work aloud and hear the work of their peers in a comfortable environment, without the formal structure of more traditional outlets. Each reading event features one celebrated writer from the region (including Pulitzer Prize winners and poet laureates) alongside up to nine local writers in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Featured readers read up to 15 minutes, while our regular readers read for five minutes each, giving the audience a taste of their writing style.

Featured Reader Gallery

(click each photo to learn more)

Glenn Blake

Glenn Blake

is the managing editor of The Hopkins Review and a senior lecturer in The Writing Seminars. He has received the PEN Southwest Award for Fiction and the John N. Wall Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He is the author of two short story collections, Drowned Moon and Return Fire.

Elizabeth Arnold

Elizabeth Arnold

is the author of four books of poems, The Reef, Civilization, Effacement, and Life. She has received an Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, residencies at Bellagio, MacDowell, and Yaddo, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Bunting Fellowship from Radcliffe College, and a Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship. Arnold’s poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Paris Review, Poetry, Slate, Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, Literary Imagination and The Nation. She is on the MFA faculty at Univ. of Maryland.

Maud Casey

Maud Casey

is the author of three novels, The Shape of Things to Come, Genealogy, The Man Who Walked Away; and a collection of stories, Drastic. She is the recipient of the Calvino Prize and a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship, and has received several international residency fellowships. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, Ohio, Bellevue Literary Journal, American Fiction, The New York Times, Salon, A Public Space, and others.

Rachel Louise Snyder

Rachel Louise Snyder

is a writer, professor and public radio commentator. An excerpt of her first book, Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade, aired on This American Life and won an Overseas Press Club Award. Snyder’s print work has also appeared in the the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Slate, Salon, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the New Republic, and others. Her work is prominent on public radio and she teaches in American University.

Eric Pankey

Eric Pankey

Eric Pankey was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1959, and educated in the public school system, completing his undergraduate work in 1981 at University of Missouri-Columbia and his Master of Fine Arts in 1983 at the University of Iowa. He is the author of ten collections of poems. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. He teaches at George Mason University.

Richard McCann

Richard McCann

is the author, most recently, of Mother of Sorrows, a collection of linked stories that Michael Cunningham has described as 'almost unbearably beautiful'. He is also the author of Ghost Letters (1994 Beatrice Hawley Award, 1994 Capricorn Poetry Award), a collection of poems. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Esquire, Ms., Tin House, ... and in numerous anthologies. He has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, Yaddo and others. He teaches at American U.

Vijay Seshadri

Vijay Seshadri

poet, essayist, and critic, was born in Bangalore, India and came to the United States at the age of five. Seshadri is the author of Wild Kingdom (1996); The Long Meadow (2003), which won the James Laughlin Award; and 3 Sections (2013), which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Seshadri has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NEA, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has worked as an editor at the New Yorker and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Howard Norman

Howard Norman

is widely regarded as one of America’s greatest living novelists. He is a three-time winner of NEA fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His 1987 novel, The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, Devotion, What Is Left The Daughter, and, most recently, Next Life Might Be Kinder. His books have been translated into 12 languages. He teaches at UMD.

Molly McCloskey

Molly McCloskey

is the author of two short story collections, Solomon’s Seal and The Beautiful Changes, and a novel, Protection. Her first work of non-fiction, Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother, appeared in 2011. She is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and the Dublin Review, and has taught writing at universities in Ireland and the US, serving as Writer-in-residence at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Helon Habila

Helon Habila

is the author of three novels, Waiting for an Angel, Measuring Time, and Oil on Water. He is the editor of the Granta Book of African Short Story, 2011. His stories, articles, reviews, and poems have appeared in various magazines and papers including Granta, AGNI, and the London Guardian. Habila is the recipient of several awards, fellowships and honors, including a 2015 Windham Campbell Prize.

Lisa Sewell

Lisa Sewell

Lisa Sewell is the author of Impossible Object, which won the 2014 Tenth Gate prize from The Word Works, as well as The Way Out (Alice James Books) Name Withheld (Four Way Books), and Long Corridor, which received the 2009 Keystone Chapbook award from Seven Kitchens Press. She has received grants and awards from NEA, Leeway, PAFA and others. Recent work appears in Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Salamander, Crab Orchard. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Villanova University.

Kyle Dargan

Kyle Dargan

is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently HONEST ENGINE. His debut, THE LISTENING, won the 2003 Cave Canem Prize, and his second, BOUQUET OF HUNGERS, was awarded the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in poetry. Mr. Dargan is the founding editor of Post No Ills and is the Director of the MFA program at American University.

James Arthur

James Arthur

His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a residency at the Amy Clampitt House, and a Discovery/The Nation Prize. James is an Assistant Professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He was chosen as a 2016 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing.

Art Taylor

Art Taylor

has won two Agatha Awards, a Macavity Award, and three consecutive Derringer Awards for his short fiction in addition to being twice named a finalist for the Anthony Award. Stories have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, in the Chesapeake Crime anthologies This Job Is Murder and Homicidal Holidays, and in other journals and anthologies. His debut book, On the Road With Del and Louise: A Novel in Stories, will be published in September by Henery Press. He teaches at George Mason Univ.

Joshua Weiner

Joshua Weiner

is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, he is a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow this year. His poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Review of Books, the New Republic, Slate, and more. He is a professor of English at the University of Maryland.

Barbara Klein Moss

Barbara Klein Moss

is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Her collection of stories, Little Edens, was published by W.W. Norton in 2004. Her fiction has appeared in numerous reviews, and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2001. Her stories have been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize collections. She has received several fellowships. Her new book is The Language of Paradise (2015). She lives in Annapolis, MD.

Emily Mitchell

Emily Mitchell

is the author of The Last Summer of the World (Norton, 2007) and Viral (Norton, 2015). Her short fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Ploughshares, the New England Review, TriQuarterly and Alaska Quarterly Review, among other magazines. She has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Ucross Foundation. She lives near Washington, DC and teaches writing at the University of Maryland.

Krista Schlyer

Krista Schlyer

is a conservation photographer and writer, based in the DC metro area. Since obtaining a master’s degree in journalism in 1997, Schlyer has been contributing stories and photography to magazines, books and websites, including BBC, National Parks, High Country News, and The Nature Conservancy. Over the past eight years, Schlyer’s work has focused on documenting the US-Mexico borderlands and the changes brought about by US border policy. She is the author of three books, including Almost Anywhere.

Carolyn Parkhurst

Carolyn Parkhurst

is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Dogs of Babel, Lost and Found and The Nobodies Album, as well as the children’s book Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly. She has also published fiction in the North American Review, the Minnesota Review, the Hawai'i Review, and the Crescent Review. Parkurst received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

Michael Collier

Michael Collier

was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1953. He studied with William Meredith as an undergraduate at Connecticut College, and earned his MFA at the University of Arizona. Poet laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, Collier is also the director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Maryland. Collier has received numerous awards for his poetry, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jennifer Wallace

Jennifer Wallace

teaches poetry, literary documentary, academic writing and ecopoetics at MICA. She is a poetry editor at The Cortland Review and a founding editor of Toadlily Press. She a is co-editor of the chapbook, Voices from Behind Bars: A Collection of Women's Writings from the Westchester County Correctional Facility and directed a short documentary, Inter : View, A Conversation About Nature and the City (2009). Her fourth book, The Want Fire, was published by Passager Books in 2015.

Faye Moskowitz

Faye Moskowitz

teaches creative writing and Jewish-American literature at George Washington University, where she served as chair of the English Department for eight years, and as director of Creative Writing. From 1975-1999 she also served as president of the Jenny McKean Moore Fund for Writers. For many years, Moskowitz was the fiction editor of Lilith magazine. She has been featured in dozens of anthologies, and her work can be found in The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere.

David Ebenbach

David Ebenbach

lives very happily with his family in Washington, DC. His poetry, fiction, and essays have been published in a wide variety of magazines, and in collections of fiction (Between Camelots, and Into the Wilderness), poetry (We Were the People Who Moved and Autogeography), and essays (The Artist’s Torah). He’s the Fiction Vice President at Washington Writers’ Publishing House and the blog editor at AGNI Magazine. He teaches at Georgetown University.

Nick Seifert

Nick Seifert

Over the last ten years, Nick has actively taught many age groups from kindergarten to higher education - all over the world. He has taught various subjects including literature, composition, and creative writing. Currently, Nick is a faculty member – lecturer – in the Department of English at Howard University in Washington DC. He regularly presents on creative writing panels, and his short stories have been published widely.

Courtney Brkic

Courtney Brkic

is the author of The First Rule of Swimming, Stillness: and Other Stories and The Stone Fields. Her work has also appeared in Zoetrope, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Harpers & Queen, the Utne Reader, TriQuarterly Review, The Alaska Review and National Geographic, among others. She is the recipient of a Fullbright scholarship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writer’s Award. Courtney teaches in the MFA program at George Mason.

Jen Fitzgerald

Jen Fitzgerald

poet, essayist, photographer who received her MFA in Poetry at Lesley University and her BA in Writing at The College of Staten Island (CUNY). She is a community activist and freelance writer with experience in both the creative and professional spectrum. She is the host of New Books in Poetry Podcast as part of the New Books Network, a member of New York Writers Workshop, and was a Bread Loaf 2014 Conference participant. She teaches writing and creative workshops...

Sheila Squillante

Sheila Squillante

is the author of the poetry collection, Beautiful Nerve (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), and three chapbooks of poetry: In This Dream of My Father (Seven Kitchens, 2014), Women Who Pawn Their Jewelry (Finishing Line, 2012) and A Woman Traces the Shoreline (Dancing Girl, 2011). She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Chatham University, where she edits The Fourth River, a journal of nature and place-based writing. From her dining room table, she edits the blog at Barrelhouse.

Nancy Pearson

Nancy Pearson

Nancy K. Pearson’s second book of poems, The Whole by Contemplation of a Single Bone, won the “Poets Out Loud” prize and was published by Fordham University Press, Spring, 2016. Her first book of poems, Two Minutes of Light, won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award and was a Massachusetts Book Awards “Must Read Book.” Pearson received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at The University of Houston and her MFA in Poetry at George Mason University.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. Dolen's fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere. In 2011, she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Dolen received a DC Commission on the Arts Grant for her second novel, Balm. She teaches at American University and lives in Washington DC

Jennifer Atkinson

Jennifer Atkinson

Jennifer Atkinson is the author of five collections of poetry -The Dogwood Tree, which won the University of Alabama Poetry Prize, The Drowned City, winner of the Samuel French Morse Prize, Drift Ice, Canticle of the Night Path, and The Thinking Eye. Her poetry and nonfiction can be seen in Poetry, Field, The Yale Review, The Missouri Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Shenandoah, The Iowa Review, Image, and elsewhere. Both her poetry and her nonfiction have been honored with Pushcart Prizes.

Sherrie Flick

Sherrie Flick

is the author of the novel Reconsidering Happiness, the flash fiction chapbook I Call This Flirting, and the short story collection Whiskey, Etc., which was a bronze prize winner for the Foreword INDIES best book of 2016. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Flash Fiction Forward, New Sudden Fiction, Ploughshares, and Booth. She teaches in Chatham University's MFA and Food Studies programs and serves as co-director of the Chautauqua Writers' Festival.

Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson

Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson

E. Ethelbert Miller

E. Ethelbert Miller

Sally Keith

Sally Keith

Sally Wen Mao

Sally Wen Mao

Alyce Miller

Alyce Miller

is the award-winning author of five books and more than 250 essays, stories, poems, and articles. Her first collection of stories, Nature of Longing, won the Flannery O’Connor Award; the second collection, Water, won the Mary McCarthy Prize; and her third collection, Sweet Love, won the Ellen Gilchrist Award. She also has a novel, Stopping for Green Lights, with Anchor Doubleday, and a recent book of nonfiction, titled SKUNK.

Gary Fincke

Gary Fincke

Gary Fincke's latest books are The Out-of-Sorts: New and Selected Stories (West Virginia University, 2017) and The Darkness Call, a collection of personal essays that won the 2017 Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose and was published by Pleiades Press in early 2018. Earlier collections of stories won the Flannery O'Connor Prize and the Elixir Press Press Fiction Prize.

J.M. Tyree

J.M. Tyree

J. M. Tyree is the coauthor, with Michael McGriff, of Our Secret Life in the Movies (A Strange Object), an NPR Best Books selection. His writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, Lapham's Quarterly, The Believer, Brick, and Best of McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He works as an editor at New England Review.

Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Great Britain and spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the author of the novels The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and a memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water. Aminatta’s books have been translated into eighteen languages. The recipient of several awards, prizes and honors, Aminatta is currently Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University.

Myra Sklarew

Myra Sklarew

Myra Sklarew is a biologist, essayist, and author of numerous collections of poetry. She is the former president of the Yaddo Artist Community and professor emerita in the Department of Literature, American University. She serves on the advisory boards of Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University and the Center for Israeli Studies at American University. She currently serves on “A Splendid Wake,” an archival project to document poets and poetry activities in the nation’s capital.

Peter Strekfus

Peter Strekfus

Peter Streckfus is the author of two poetry books: Errings, winner of Fordham University Press’s 2013 POL Editor’s Prize, and The Cuckoo, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2003. His poems appear in journals such as The Chicago Review, The New Republic, Seattle Review, and the Academy of American Poets’ poem-a-day. His awards include fellowships and grants from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, the Peter S. Reed Foundation, the University of Alabama, and others.

Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes

Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes

Fuentes is a writer and teacher. She is the author of The Sleeping World (Touchstone-Simon & Schuster, 2016). She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, Willapa Bay Artists in Residency, Yaddo, the Millay Colony, and the Blue Mountain Center and was a Bernard O’Keefe Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf. Her work has appeared or in One Story, Cosmonauts Avenue, Slice, Pank, The Collagist, NANO Fiction, Western Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She teaches Creative Writing at UMD.

David Yezzi

David Yezzi

David Yezzi’s most recent books of poetry are Birds of the Air and Black Sea (Carnegie Mellon). His verse play Schnauzer was recently published by Exot Books. A former director of the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York, he is chair of the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and editor of the The Hopkins Review.

Jennifer Fink

Jennifer Fink

Jennifer Natalya Fink won the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Innovative Fiction in 2017 for Bhopal Dance (which is now a finalist for the Lambda Award), and won the Dana Award for the Novel for The Mikvah Queen. She is the author of five other books. Fink is a professor at Georgetown University, where she helped found the Program in Disability Studies. She also founded The Gorilla Press, a nonprofit aimed at promoting literacy through bookmaking.

Eric Puchner 6.19

Eric Puchner 6.19

Eric Puchner is the author of the novel Model Home, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and two collections of stories, Music Through the Floor and Last Day on Earth, which won the 2018 Towson Award for Literature. His work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including GQ, Granta, Tin House, Zoetrope, and The Best American Short Stories 2012 and 2017. He has received a California Book Award and an NEA Fellowship. He teaches at the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars.

Stephanie Grant

Stephanie Grant

Stephanie Grant is the Director of the Creative Writing MFA at American University. She is the author of two novels, The Passion of Alice and Map of Ireland. Her work has received many grants and awards, including a Rona Jaffee Foundation Award, a Ludwig Vogelstein Award and an NEA fellowship. She is currently at work on Home Equity, a novel about contemporary marriage and debt.

Lindsay Bernal

Lindsay Bernal

Born and raised in Rochester, NY, Lindsay Bernal holds a B.A. in English and Spanish from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Maryland, where she coordinates the Creative Writing Program and the Writers Here & Now reading series. Her first collection of poems, What It Doesn't Have to Do With, selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series competition, was published by the University of Georgia Press.

Patricia Park

Patricia Park

Patricia Park is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at American University, Fulbright scholar in Creative Arts, Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, and author of the acclaimed debut novel, RE JANE (Penguin).

Timothy Denevi

Timothy Denevi

Timothy Denevi is the author of Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson's Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism and Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD. His essays on politics, sport, and religion have recently appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, Salon, The Normal School, and Literary Hub. He received his MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa, and he's been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. He teaches at George Mason.

Marita Golden

Marita Golden

Co-founder and President Emeritus of the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Foundation, Marita Golden is a veteran teacher of writing and an acclaimed award-winning author of seventeen works of fiction and nonfiction and anthologies . As a teacher of writing she has served as a member of the faculties of the MFA Graduate Creative Writing Programs at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University and in the MA Creative Writing Program at John Hopkins University.

Rion Scott

Rion Scott

Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You, a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award. His debut story collection, Insurrections, was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writing Conference, Kimbilio and the Colgate Writing Conference and a 2019 Maryland Individual Artist Award. He teaches at University of Maryland.

Louis Bayard

Louis Bayard

Bayard's acclaimed historical novels include Courting Mr. Lincoln, Roosevelt's Beast, The School of Night, The Black Tower, The Pale Blue Eye and Mr. Timothy, and the highly praised young-adult novel, Lucky Strikes. A NY Times Notable author, he has been nominated for both the Edgar and Dagger awards, and his story, “Banana Triangle Six,” was chosen for The Best American Mystery Stories 2018. An instructor at George Washington University, he is a board member for the PEN Faulkner Foundation.

Lauren Francis-Sharma

Lauren Francis-Sharma

Lauren Francis-Sharma is the author of Book of the Little Axe (May 2020) and ‘Til the Well Runs Dry, which debuted in 2014 and was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize, awarded the Honor Fiction Prize by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Lauren, a child of Trinidadian immigrants, has written about the Caribbean in both her novels. She is the She is also the Assistant Director of Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College and a MacDowell Fellow.

D. Watkins 8.2020

D. Watkins 8.2020

D. Watkins is Editor at Large for Salon. His work has been published in the New York Times, NY Times Magazine, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and others. He holds a M.Ed from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a college lecturer at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project, and has also been the recipient of numerous awards including the BMe Genius Grant, and the Ford’s Men of Courage.

Kyoko Mori 9.2020

Kyoko Mori 9.2020

Kyoko Mori’s critically acclaimed books include Shizuko’s Daughter, Yarn, Polite Lies, The Dream of Water, Stone Field True Arrow, and One Bird. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The American Scholar, the Harvard Review, the Kenyon Review, and the Best American Essays, among others. She has taught at Harvard University and Goucher College and is currently on the faculty of George Mason University and Lesley University’s Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing. She lives in DC.

Virtual Live Reading Events

Washington, DC

  • DC Reading Series on Facebook
  • The Inner Loop Tweets
  • Snap a pic of The Inner Loop

©2020 BY THE INNER LOOP, INC.

Privacy Notice

Eric Puchner 6.19

Eric Puchner is the author of the novel Model Home, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and two collections of stories, Music Through the Floor and Last Day on Earth, which won the 2018 Towson Award for Literature. His work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including GQ, Granta, Tin House, Zoetrope, and The Best American Short Stories 2012 and 2017. He has received a California Book Award and an NEA Fellowship. He teaches at the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars.

Go to link