Great Writers, Great Readings

Great Writers, Great Readings was launched by Hofstra University in recognition of the importance of writing and literature in a liberal arts education. 

Each Great Writers, Great Readings event brings a notable author to campus to meet with creative writing students for a short workshop and question/answer session. The author also conducts a reading and book signing that is open to the public. Sometimes the authors use this forum as an opportunity to introduce new unpublished works.

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Fall 2022-Spring 2023
19th Annual Great Writers, Great Readings Series

Events are free and open to the public. Call the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516-463-5669 for more information.


We are pleased to welcome the community, including family members, local schoolchildren, alumni and friends, to athletic and cultural events on campus. All events are free and open to the public. Please register in advance at Any guest who is unvaccinated should wear a mask, which will be available at the entrances to most buildings. Refer to for updated mask protocols.

Thursday, September 29, 4:20 p.m.

Ralph Savarese

Guthart Cultural Center Theater, 1st Floor Axinn Library

Ralph James Savarese is an essayist, poet, scholar and activist, whose most recent book is See It Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling of a No-Good English Professor (Duke University Press 2018). 2007's Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption (Other Press), won an Independent Publishers Gold Medal.

Savarese co-edited Papa PhD: Men in the Academy Write about Fatherhood (Rutgers University Press 2011); “Autism and the Concept of Neurodiversity,” a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly; and “The Lyrical Body,” a special issue of Seneca Review. His article “Nervous Wrecks and Ginger-nuts: Bartleby at a Standstill” won the Herman Melville Society’s Hennig Cohen Prize, and his essay “The Lobes of Autobiography: Poetry & Autism” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Savarese is the winner of a National Endowment for the Humanities summer fellowship and a Mellon-funded Humanities Writ Large fellowship, which enabled him to join the Neurohumanities Research Group at Duke University’s Institute for Brain Sciences for the 2012-2013 academic year. While at Duke he co-taught an undergraduate course titled “Flaubert’s Brain” and a course for fourth-year psychiatry residents titled “The Language of Trauma.” He delivered one of the four public lectures that anchor Duke’s “Brain Awareness Week”: “Poetic Potential in Autism: Neurodiversity’s Unexpected Boon.”  

Tuesday, October 18, 2022, 6:30 p.m.

Joanna Rakoff

Guthart Cultural Center Theater, 1st Floor Axinn Library

Joanna Rakoff is the author of the international bestselling memoir My Salinger Year and the novel A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction, the Elle Readers’ Prize, and a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller. Rakoff’s books have been translated into twenty languages and nominated for major prizes in The Netherlands and France. She has written frequently for The New York Times, Vogue, Marie Claire, O: The Oprah Magazine, and many other publications.

Wednesday, November 9, 6:30 p.m.

Rachel Hadas

Guthart Cultural Center Theater, 1st Floor Axinn Library

Rachel Hadas is a prolific poet, essayist, and translator.  Among the more recent of her many books are two volumes of poetry, Pandemic Almanac (2022), Love and Dread (2021), and a book of essays, Piece by Piece (2021). Her honors include the Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in poetry, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She is the Board of Governors Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. 

Wednesday, November 30, 6:30 p.m.

Michelle Hart: Celebrating Our Own

Guthart Cultural Center Theater, 1st Floor Axinn Library

Michelle Hart’s fiction has appeared in Joyland and Electric Literature, and she has written nonfiction for Catapult, NYLON, The Rumpus, and The New Yorker online. Previously, she was the assistant books editor at O, the Oprah Magazine and Oprah Daily. Hart received a dual degree in English and Philosophy from Hofstra University in 2011. During her senior year at Hofstra she was the recipient of the Eugene Schneider Prose Award for Fiction. She earned an MFA from Rutgers-Newark. We Do What We Do in the Dark (May 2022), her first novel, has received rave reviews from The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and TIME, among others.

“Celebrating Our Own” is a series featuring graduates of Hofstra’s creative writing programs.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English, in collaboration with the Hofstra Cultural Center.

Past Guest Authors