The Visiting Writers Program at Farmingdale State College was founded in Fall 1979 by Dr. Charles Fishman. The first year, four writers appeared at Farmingdale State. Since then, the series has developed into a major regional program. The Program also sponsors two endowed student writing awards, the Deland Award and the Raynor Wallace Award, and an international poetry award, the Paumanok Poetry Award. In addition, the Visiting Writers Program assists in the production of important public events on campus.
Since its foundation in 1979, the Farmingdale State College Visiting Writers Program has featured more than 150 American and international authors, including up-and-coming writers such as Gloria Naylor and Li-Young Lee, who were largely unknown at the time of their appearance at Farmingdale State.
The Visiting Writers Program highlights the importance of literature to education and culture and works to develop its resources and strengthen its service in behalf of this idea. The audience for the program includes: faculty, students, and professional staff from the college and many individuals from the surrounding Long Island and Metropolitan community.
All events are open to the public. There is no admission charge.
Past Guest Speakers:
Chinua Achebe, Ann Beattie, Lucille Clifton, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Andre Dubus, Richard Eberhart, Carolyn Forché, Tess Gallagher, Allen Ginsberg, Joe Haldeman, Susan Isaacs, Galway Kinnell, Carolyn Kizer, Li-Young Lee, Denise Levertov, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Joyce Carol Oates, Sharon Olds, Marie Ponsot, Mary Oliver, Ishmael Reed, Ed Sanders, Louis Simpson, Edwin Torres, Quincy Troupe and Susan Wheeler.