2017 Writers' Festival Guest Authors

Three distinguished authors will be on campus April 4-7, 2017, for Agnes Scott College’s 45th Annual Writers’ Festival, the oldest continuous literary event in Georgia. The 2017 visiting authors are poet Claudia Rankine, novelist Mat Johnson, and Agnes Scott alumna writer, poet Kayla Miller ’11.

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. For Citizen, Rankine won the Forward Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (Citizen was also nominated in the criticism category, making it the first book in the award’s history to be a double nominee), the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the NAACP Image Award. A finalist for the National Book Award, Citizen also holds the distinction of being the only poetry book to be a New York Times bestseller in the nonfiction category. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. She lives in New York City and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry.

photo of writer Mat JohnsonMAT JOHNSON
Born to an Irish-American father and an African American mother and raised in the Philadelphia area, Mat Johnson writes primarily about the lives of African Americans, using fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels as mediums. He is the author of the novels Loving Day (2015), PYM (2011), Hunting in Harlem (2003), and Drop (2000); the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot; and the graphic novels Incognegro (2008), Dark Rain (2010), and Right State (2012).
Mat Johnson will teach the one-week, one credit Writers’ Festival course.


photo of writer Kayla Miller
Kayla Miller earned her BA in English Literature-Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College in 2011 and her MFA in Fiction from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2016. She is the author of the chapbook See & Be Seen & Be Scene, winner of Five [Quarterly] ’s chapbook competition, and a recipient of the Talbot International Award to write in Spain. Her work has appeared in the journals The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg ReviewTahoma Literary Review, and HOLD: a journal, among others.