Category: News

Announcing a New Dynamic Space at the Michener Center!

photo by Kieran Reeves

We can’t stop staring at our beautiful new building!

photos by Kieran Reeves

The Dobie House garage has been transformed into a gorgeous, spacious, and ADA-accessible room.

We recently threw a party to celebrate what would have been Mr. Michener’s 117th birthday, and we were thrilled by how many students, staff, and faculty found time to stop by.

We hope to host many more events here in the future, and we’re already looking forward to when we can celebrate the completion of the next phase of this project—the restoration and revitalization of Bertha Dobie’s famous garden! Stay tuned!

Event: Ross Gay Reading & Book Signing, February 29th, 6pm

We’re thrilled to welcome award-winning poet Ross Gay, who will read and sign his latest work, The Book of (More) Delights,  at the Harry Ransom Center on Thursday, February 29th at 6pm. Books will be available for purchase, and a reception will follow.

Please click here to reserve a seat.


About Ross Gay

Ross Gay is interested in joy.

Ross Gay wants to understand joy.

Ross Gay is curious about joy.

Ross Gay studies joy.

Something like that.


Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against WhichBringing the Shovel DownBe Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. In addition to his poetry, Ross has released three collections of essays—The Book of Delights was released in 2019 and was a New York Times bestseller; Inciting Joy was released in 2022, and his newest collection, The Book of (More) Delights was released in September of 2023.

Michener Fellow Gavin Yuan Gao Wins Australia’s Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry

Michener Center Fellow Gavin Yuan Gao’s collection of poetry, At the Altar of Touch has won the Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry, one of Australia’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards “celebrating outstanding literary talent in Australia and the valuable contribution Australian writing makes to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life.”

At the Altar of Touch, the judges wrote, “is an intensely lyrical, intimate and expansive collection of poems. Here, in their debut collection, Gavin Yuan Gao deploys striking imagery and layered metaphor to find a path through suffering towards connection and belonging.

The poems range from heartbreaking elegies to the poet’s mother, tenderly erotic queer love poems, unsettling accounts of bullying and endurance, and ecstatic odes to desire and the natural world. Throughout, the language is associative, yet controlled and immersive, sweeping the reader up in the sensations and meanings held in the body.”

Gavin Yuan Gao is a genderqueer poet and translator. Their debut poetry collection, At the Altar of Touch, won the 2020 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and was published by the University of Queensland Press in February 2022. They are currently a second-year candidate in Poetry in the Michener Center for Writers.



Michener Fellow Lara Palmqvist Receives Humanitas Screenwriting Award

Michener Center Fellow Lara Palmqvist has been awarded the 2023 Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award from Humanitas for her feature screenplay, The Garden. The award is one of the annual Humanitas Prizes honoring film and television, which “seek[s] to recognize work that explores the human condition in a nuanced and meaningful way.”

In addition to nine Humanitas Prizes awarded to leading industry professionals such as Craig Mazin, Tyler Perry, and Guillermo del Toro, who all received awards in 2023, Humanitas reserves two prizes annually for student writers in the genres of comedy and drama. The prize includes a monetary award as well as career resources and mentorship opportunities.

Photo by Shannon Cottrell.

“Our judges praised the strong character work, visuals, and thematic writing on display in The Garden, and view [Lara] as a screenwriter to watch in the coming years,” wrote Daniel Plagens, Humanitas Prizes Program Manager.

“We look forward to seeing how her writing craft and her writing career will grow and develop over time; it will surely include a future writing for the screen.”

Photo by Timothy Norris.



The Humanitas Prizes were celebrated on November 2, 2023, at the historic Avalon Theater in Hollywood. All photos courtesy of Humanitas.


MCW Alum Lauren Green Selected for Forbes 30 Under 30

Author Lauren Green (MCW ’21) has been selected for the Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30” Media Cohort for 2024.

From Forbes Magazine: “Lauren Green is a poet and author whose chapbook, “A GREAT DARK HOUSE,” was published by the Poetry Society of America in 2023. Green’s fiction work has appeared in 20 different journals including “American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, and Threepenny Review,” and 17 of her poems have been published in outlets like the Poetry Society of America. She is a 2022 Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award recipient and her debut novel, “The World After Alice” will be published by Viking and Penguin Random House in 2024.” – Forbes Magazine

Green’s debut novel, The World After Alice, will be out in Summer 2024.


Event: Reading with Megha Majumdar on March 7, 6pm

Author Megha Majumdar will read from her novel, A Burning (Knopf, 2020), which was nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, and the American Library Association’s Andrew Carnegie Medal.

A 2022 Whiting Award winner, she was born and raised in Kolkata, India, and holds degrees in anthropology from Harvard and Johns Hopkins. She is the former editor in chief of Catapult books, and lives in New York.

Event: Reading with Victoria Chang on February 16th, 6pm

Poet, writer, and editor Victoria Chang celebrates her most recent book of poetry, The Trees Witness Everything, published by Copper Canyon Press and Corsair Books in the U.K. in 2022, with this reading and a book signing at the Ransom Center. The book was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by The New Yorker and The Guardian. In the book, Chang reinvigorates language by way of concentration, using constraint to illuminate and free the wild interior. Largely composed in various Japanese syllabic forms called “wakas,” each poem is shaped by pattern and count.

This highly original work innovates inside the lineage of great poets including W.S. Merwin, whose poem titles are repurposed as frames and mirrors for the text, stitching past and present in complex dialogue. Chang depicts the smooth, melancholic isolation of the mind while reaching outward to name—with reverence, economy, and whimsy—the ache of wanting, the hawk and its shadow, our human urge to hide the minute beneath the light.

The Trees Witness Everything will be available to purchase and a book signing will follow the reading.

Seating is limited, please RSVP. This program is in-person only and will not be available online.

Event: Reading with Joy Harjo on November 10th, 7pm

Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate in 2019—first Native American to hold the position and only the second person to serve three terms in the role.

Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. She is also the author of two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior, which invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. Her many writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poets & Writers, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and is artist-in-residence for the Bob Dylan Center. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally; her most recent album is I Pray For My Enemies.

For event information click here.

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