September 18, 2019

Princeton Program in Creative Writing Launches 80th Anniversary Celebration

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing kicks off a year-long celebration of its 80th anniversary Wednesday, September 25, with a reading by National Book Award-winning writer Maxine Hong Kingston, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, and Ojibwe novelist and non-fiction writer David Treuer, a Princeton alumnus, Class of 1992. The reading, which will be introduced by poet and faculty member Paul Muldoon, opens the 2019-20 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus. Free and open to the public, the reading will be followed by a book sale and signing with the writers.

Maxine Hong Kingston is the  author of, among others, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, and I Love a Broad Margin to My Life. In 1997 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Clinton, and the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2013. She is emerita senior lecturer for Creative Writing at the University of California, Berkeley.

Yusef Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Neon Vernacular, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize,  and Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth, forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2020. His honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. He teaches at New York University.

An Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota, David Treuer is a member of Princeton’s Class of 1992, where he studied with Toni Morrison, Paul Muldoon, and Joanna Scott. He published his first novel, Little, in 1995, and his second novel, The Hiawatha, in 1999. His newest book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America since 1890, was a New York Times bestseller. His essays and stories have appeared in Granta, Harper’s, Esquire, TriQuarterly, The Washington Post, and Lucky Peach.

The Program in Creative Writing traces its origins to 1939 and a grant from the Carnegie Foundation to help Princeton focus on the cultivation of writers and other artists. A committee of faculty from the Departments of Art, Music, French, and English defined the program’s mission, “to allow the talented undergraduates to work in the creative arts under professional supervision while pursuing a regular liberal arts course of study, as well as to offer all interested undergraduates an opportunity to develop their creative faculties in connection with the general program of humanistic education.”