Each year, the English Department invites contemporary, professional writers from all genres to visit the campus and share their work and experience as part of the Hayes Writers Series. Public events are held throughout the academic year.
In 1991 the College received funds from the estate of Patrick Hayes to create an endowment supporting a festival for writers. In recent years the festival has evolved into a series, with several events held during the academic year.
Writers sponsored in part by the Patrick Hayes Endowment include:
Alexander McCall Smith, Frances Washburn, Bob Hicok, Joanne Gabbin, Terese Svoboda, Hilary Holladay, Roz Brackenbury, Kirsten Holmstedt
Blake Bailey, Scott Donaldson, Carol Sklenika, Rodes Fishburne, Michael Radford, E. Ethelbert Miller, Tara Betts, Tom De Haven, Hermine Pinson, David L. Robbins, Clay McLeod Chapman, and Meagan Saunders
Tom De Haven, Henry Hart, Tom Heacox, Emily Pease, Ava Coibion, Lee Alexander
Junot Díaz, David L. Robbins
Rosalind Brackenbury, Christopher Bram, Oni Buchanan, Scott Donaldson, M. L. Liebler, Madge McKeithen, Maurice Riordan, Charles Simic, Giovanni Singleton
Ian Caldwell, Adam Haslett, Brian Henry, Josephine Humphreys, Edward P. Jones, Jenna Krajeski, Michael Mott, Gregory Orr, James Tate
A. S. Byatt, Gordon Ball, Henri Cole, Li-Young Lee, Rebecca Lilly, Laura Sims, Brian Waniewski
Michael Ondaatje, Billy Collins
John Edgar Wideman, Seamus Heaney
Writers previously brought to campus by the Patrick Hayes Endowment include novelists Allan Gurganus, Richard Bausch, Madison Smartt Bell, Paul Russell,Tom Disch; poets Allen Ginsberg, Diane Ackerman, Mark Strand, Amiri Baraka, Charles Wright, Agha Shahid Ali, Toi Derricotte, Dana Gioia, Elizabeth Spires; playwrights Ntozake Shange and Cassandra Medley; biographers Scott Donaldson, Judith Thurman, Brad Gooch, Esther Lanigan; and faculty writers Joanne Braxton, Henry Hart, Hermine Pinson, and Nancy Schoenberger.