Skip to main content
Skip to main content

UMD English Launches New Stanley Plumly Lecture Series in Creative Writing

November 08, 2023 English | College of Arts and Humanities

Stanley Plumly Inset

The series honors the late Distinguished University Professor and state Poet Laureate.

By UMD English Staff

The Department of English is launching the Stanley Plumly Lecture Series in Creative Writing, a biennial event that will bring distinguished writers to the University of Maryland community to deliver lectures devoted to creative writing, read from their own work and spend time with students and faculty.

The inaugural speaker is 2018 MacArthur Fellow John Keene, who is Distinguished Professor and department chair at Rutgers University–Newark. Keene is the author, co-author and translator of several books, including the 2022 National Book Award-winning collection “Punks,” and “Counternarratives,” published by New Directions in 2015 and Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2016. 

The new series, co-sponsored by the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, is named for the late Distinguished University Professor and state Poet Laureate Stanley Plumly, who founded the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at UMD in the late 1980s and served as its director for most of his teaching career at the university. In addition to his many collections of award-winning poetry, Plumly was also a noted scholar of the English poet John Keats, the Keats circle and Romanticism, including the painters J.M.W. Turner and John Constable.

“When writers visit Maryland they bring with them their passion, skill, imagination and devotion to the art of writing; and they further instill those values in our campus culture,” said English Professor Joshua Weiner, who spearheaded the organization of the new Stanley Plumly Lecture Series.

The endowed lecture series is made possible by the gift of an anonymous longtime patron of the English department’s Writers Here & Now reading series, “the oldest and one of the largest reading series in the DMV region that is free and open to the public,” Weiner said.

Keene will read from his work on Nov. 14 and deliver a lecture on Nov. 15.