Department of English Department of English College of Arts and Sciences
University of Memphis Photo
River City Writers Series

The River City Writers Series (RCWS) is one of the longest running reading series in the RCWS logonation, serving the University of Memphis and Mid-South community since 1977.  The series welcomes prominent authors to campus to participate in a public reading, an interview hosted by our MFA program and often, an intensive workshop for select MFA students. Past speakers have included Gwendolyn Brooks, John Updike, Seamus Heaney and many others.

The series not only serves the local literary community, but also is a key component in our Creative Writing program.  MFA graduate, Jenny Lederer notes, "I've been fortunate enough to interview one of my personal favorite authors. It's really a great opportunity to interface in a very intimate setting with these writers who you normally wouldn't have access to." 

Cary Holladay, Creative Writing professor, explains that students have the opportunity to have a chance to not only have a conversation with acclaimed authors but also learn the business side of a writer's craft as they help organize and publicize the series, useful skills as students look to become literary professionals.  "It's always been really inspiring and helpful to be exposed to a lot of working artists," says Lederer. "It's very inspirational to see people actually making their dreams into a career and learn from them and the value of their experience."

The RCWS is sponsored by Student Event Allocation, the English Department, the Creative Writing Club, Sigma Tau Delta, The Hohenburg Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and South Arts. All events are free and open to the public. 

South Arts NEA

If you are interested in donating to the RCWS or would like more information, please contact RCWS Director, Sonja Livingston, at

2014-2015 River City Writers Series Events



RCWS Speakers on Department of English YouTube Channel

Past RCWS Speakers

Creative Writing Program

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Last Updated: 10/27/14