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Presented By: Zell Visiting Writers Series

Be Useful: On Writing And Design

A Craft Lecture by Wendy S. Walters, Zell Visiting Writers Series

Wendy S. Walters Wendy S. Walters
Wendy S. Walters
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Zell Visiting Writers Series craft lectures are free and open to the public, and will be offered both virtually (via Zoom) and in person (in the Robert Hayden Conference Room-- Angell Hall #3222). Seats are offered on a first come, first served basis; please arrive early to secure a spot. Please contact with any questions or accommodation needs.

Wendy S. Walters is a Creative Capital Awardee in literary nonfiction and the author of a book of prose, Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal (Sarabande Books, 2015), named a best book of the year by Buzzfeed, Flavorwire, Literary Hub, The Root, Huffington Post, and others. She is also the author of two books of poems, Troy, Michigan (Futurepoem, 2014) and Longer I Wait, More You Love Me. Her work has been published in BOMB, The Yale Review, The Iowa Review, Lapham’s Quarterly, Full Bleed, and Harper’s, among many others. Her current projects address intersections between writing and design. climate change and its reverberations, class and racial disquietude in the industrial Midwest, and organic forms in the essay.

A recipient of fellowships from NYFA, the Ford Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institute, she has a broad history of engagements with writing in and about performative contexts. She was artist-in-residence at BRIClab in Brooklyn, where she worked on developing the book for the opera, Golden Motors with Derek Bermel. Their lyrical work has been performed widely, including at Carnegie Hall, Joe’s Pub, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst in Denmark, The Institute for Advanced Study, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. In a sustained collaboration with curator Elyse Nelson, Walters co-curated the exhibition, Fictions of Emancipation: Carpeaux Recast, at The Met, on view from March 10, 2022 to March 5, 2023. It is the first exhibition at The Met to examine Western sculpture in relation to the histories of transatlantic slavery, colonialism, and empire. Together they have edited a collection of essays as a companion to the show, titled Fictions of Emancipation: Reconsidering Carpeaux’s Why Born Enslaved! (The Met/Yale University Press).

Walters holds a MFA/PHD in Poetry and Literature from Cornell University, and is the former Associate Dean of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons, The New School. Currently she serves as Director of the Nonfiction Concentration and Associate Professor of Nonfiction in the Writing Program of the School of the Arts at Columbia University.

For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. A lactation room (Angell Hall #5209), reflection room (Haven Hall #1506), and gender-inclusive restroom (Angell Hall 5th floor) are available on site. ASL interpreters and CART services at in-person events are available upon request; please email at least two weeks prior to the event, whenever possible, to allow time to arrange services.

U-M employees with a U-M parking permit may use the Church Street Parking Structure (525 Church St., Ann Arbor) or the Thompson Parking Structure (500 Thompson St., Ann Arbor). There is limited metered street parking on State Street and South University Avenue. The Forest Avenue Public Parking Structure (650 South Forest Ave., Ann Arbor) is five blocks away, and the parking rate is $1.20 per hour. All of these options include parking spots for individuals with disabilities.

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