Recent Authors

The Peter Trias Residency at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is designed to give distinguished poets and fiction writers time to write. Academic expectations allow for sustained interaction with our best students while providing the freedom necessary to produce new work. Residents are active, working artists whose presence contributes to intellectual environment of the Colleges and the town of Geneva. The residency offers a generous salary.


John D’Agata ’95

John D’Agata ’95 returns to Hobart and William Smith Colleges as the 2017-18 Trias Writer-in Residence. D’Agata, professor of English and director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, is the author of The Lifespan of a Fact (with Jim Fingal) and About a Mountain, which was named by the New York Times as one of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books Ever Written. His first collection of lyric essays, Halls of Fame, was published by Graywolf Press and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. As this year’s Trias resident, D’Agata will teach a nonfiction workshop and mentor students who have shown distinction in writing at the Colleges. He will teach one class in the fall and work with a number of select students the following spring. Additionally, he will curate a speaker series, inviting his contemporaries to give readings of their work throughout the 2017-18 year.

D’Agata ’95 will read on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Hirshson Ballroom.

Trias Reading Series 2017-2018

Wayne Koestenbaum

Wayne Koestenbaum

April 12, 7 p.m. in Hirshson Ballroom

Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Camp Marmalade and The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, author of eight books of poetry and nine books of criticism and creative nonfiction. He’s also been known to play the piano. He has been described as “an impossible love-child from a late-night, drunken three-way between Joan Didion, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.”

Danez Smith

Danez Smith

March 27, 4:30 p.m. in Blackwell
March 29, 7 p.m. in Hirshson Ballroom

Danez Smith, a renowned and riveting performance poet and self-described Black, queer and poz writer, was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award, and is the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Smith received fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Smith’s work has been featured in such diverse places as Best American Poetry, Buzzfeed, the New York Times, PBS Newshour, Poetry Magazine, and on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Smith is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is co-host of VS, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.

Laurie Scheck

Laurie Scheck

March 5, 7 p.m. in Blackwell

Laurie Sheck is the author of five books of poems, most recently Captivity. After years identifying as a poet, Laurie Sheck has fashioned a space outside genre. Her recent work is conjoined not by characters, but by process: writing through other writers, philosophers, and scientists, as well as from a fascination with Mary Shelley’s or Dostoyevsky’s novels and their stranger than fictional lives. She’s currently at work on the third book of the trilogy that began with A Monster’s Notes and continues in Island of the Mad, newly in paperback.

Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos

Nov. 16, 7 p.m. in Hirshson Ballroom

Melissa Febos is the author of Whip Smart (St Martin's Press 2010), a memoir of her work as a professional dominatrix while she was studying at The New School. Her second book, the essay collection Abandon Me, was published by Bloomsbury Publishing on February 28, 2017. Febos has contributed to publications such as The New York Times, Salon, Bomb, Hunger Mountain, Prairie Schooner, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, Post Road, Dissent, The Southeast Review, Redivider, The Rambler, The Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Lauren Alleyne

Lauren Alleyne

Nov. 1, 7 p.m. in The Blackwell Room

Lauren Alleyne is the author of Difficult Fruit (Peepal Tree Press, 2014). She has taught here at the Colleges and has been Poet-in-Residence at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. Currently, she is associate professor in English, and the assistant director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University in Virginia.

Thalia Field

Thalia Field

Oct. 12, 7 p.m. in Hirshson Ballroom

Thalia Field is known for innovative fiction and interdisciplinary collaborations. She teaches experimental fiction and performance at Brown University. Her most recent book, Experimental Animals (A Reality Fiction), published by Solid Objects (NY) is a collage-based and genre-blending novel that explores the origins of both experimental literature and modern experimental bio-medicine. Based on the marriage of Claude and Fanny Bernard, the novel also features women activists who have been overlooked in science history. She has also published three books of experimental writing and prose poetry with New Directions Publishing, most recently Bird Lovers, Backyard in 2010. She has published a lyric essay, A Prank of Georges, with Essay Press, with co-author Abigail Lang.


For more information, contact:

Davis Weiss, Trias Director and Professor of English

For Students


The Trias Residency for Writers is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing. This valuable fund was established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias '70.


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