Visiting Writers Series

When you study creative writing at Mount Mercy, you learn not only from your fellow students and our faculty, but also from the many prestigious writers who visit campus and share their expertise and vision.

Every semester Mount Mercy University hosts at least one visiting writer. During each visit, there is a Q&A—your time to ask the writers questions—and an evening reading—the writers' time to share their most recent work with you. You'll also have the chance to chat with the visiting writers over dinner or while they are signing your book.

Past visiting writers include poet laureates, award-winning journalists, best-selling novelists, and Oprah-picks.

Visiting Writers: Spring 2020

 Carol Tyx

Carol Tyx
Tuesday, April 7 // 3:30 PM Q&A // Flaherty Community Room (204 Basile Hall)

Tuesday, April 7 // 7 PM Reading // Flaherty Community Room (204 Basile Hall) 

Mount Mercy Professor Emerita Carol Tyx is the author of three collections of poetry. Her most recent, Remaking Achilles: Slicing Into Angola’s History, was inspired by a protest in 1951, when over 30 inmates of Angola Prison in Louisiana slashed their own Achilles tendons in order to make public the brutal conditions at the prison. Based on research at Angola, Remaking Achilles won the inaugural Willow Run Poetry Book Award and will be published shortly before Tyx’s Mount Mercy visit. During her nearly twenty years as an English Professor at Mount Mercy, Tyx taught American literature and creative writing and, with a colleague and many students, facilitated Book Clubs at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Tyx’s poetry and writing have been featured in numerous journals and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


Mount Mercy University has proudly hosted poet laureates, best-selling novelists, and writers who have won the National Book Award, the Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize.

Fiction Writers
Sandra Benitez, Chris Bohjalian, Charles Baxter, Ethan Canin, Ana Castillo, Lan Samantha Chang, K. L. Cook, Stuart Dybek, Larry Heinemann, Khaled Hosseini, Bharati Mukherjee, Thisbe Nissen, ZZ Packer, Josef Skvorecky, Barry Unsworth, Mary Helen Stefaniak, Benjamin Percy, Samrat Upadhyay, Daniel Orozco, Karen Russell, Cristina Henriquez, Keith Lesmeister, Patricia Park

Creative Nonfiction Writers and Journalists
Amy Butcher, Anne-Marie Cusac, Joy Castro, Matt Freedman, Patricia Hampl, Alex Kotlowitz, John T. Price, Scott Russell Sanders, Patricia Foster, Tim Wise

Jorie Graham, Joy Harjo, Robert Haas, Ted Kooser, Li-Young Lee, Heather McHugh, Czeslaw Milosz, Naomi Shihab Nye, Susan Power, Gary Soto, William Stafford, Camille Dungy, Michael Sowder, Frank X Walker, Jennifer Perrine, Drew Dellinger, James McKean, Aaron A. Abeyta

"Visiting writers let you see and know the process of a professional." —Casey Birkecht '13 

"The joy of the Visiting Writers Program is about connecting to a kindred soul. Aspiring writers are able to discuss their own fears and doubts with someone who has experienced the journey." —Kim Flugga-Ciha ’11

"The Visiting Author Event was a wonderful opportunity to connect with an author whose book we had read in class."   Katie Goetz ’23