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Lecturers & Readers

Hopwood Lectures

Each April a prominent author delivers the Hopwood Lecture at the Graduate and Undergraduate Hopwood Awards Ceremony

Former Hopwood Awards Program Director and Robert Frost Distinguished University Professor Nicholas Delbanco delivered the lecture at the Graduate and Undergraduate Hopwood Awards Ceremony on April 20, 2017.   The lecture will be published in a future issue of Michigan Quarterly Review. He has published 29 books of fiction and nonfiction.  His most recent books are The Art of Youth: Crane, Carrington, Gershwin and the Nature of First ActsThe Years; and Dear Wizard: The Letters of Nicholas Delbanco and Jon Manchip White. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowships. Formerly the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program), he directed the Hopwood Awards Program for almost 30 years.

The Hopwood Lecturers List


2017, Nicholas Delbanco  

2016, Susan Choi — Stirring the Pond  

2015, Eavan Boland The Light By Which We May See

2014, Paul Theroux How to Be a Writer (Lecture not published)

2013, Gary Snyder Remaining Unprepared

2012, Francine ProseComplimentary Toilet Paper: Some Thoughts on Character and Language (PDF)

2011, Elizabeth Alexander — New Ideas About Black Experimental Poetry (PDF)

2010, John Patrick Shanley — Discomfort (PDF)

2009, Ellen Bryant Voigt — Double Talk and Double Visions (PDF)

2008, Charles Johnson — On Literary Culture and Civilization: Autopsy for a Creative Writing Workshop (PDF)

2007, Susan Stamberg — Writing to be Heard (PDF)

2006, Charles Baxter — Losers (PDF)

2005, Susan Orlean — Roads Taken (and Not) (PDF)

2004, Mary Gordon — Flannery's Kiss (PDF)

2003, Richard Howard — The Fatality of Reading (PDF)

2002, Edmund White — Writing Gay (PDF)

2001, Andrea Barrett — Four Voyages (PDF)

2000, Donald Hall — Starting and Keeping On (PDF)

1999, Lawrence Kasdan — POV (PDF)

1998,John Barth — Further Questions? (PDF)

1997, Philip Levine — Two Journeys (PDF)

1996, Louise Glück — The Fear of Happiness (PDF)

1995, Diane Johnson — The Writer as a Character (PDF)

1994, Geoffrey Wolff — Writers and Their Characters (PDF)

1993, Roger Rosenblatt — Nine Anti-Rules of Journalism (PDF)

1992, Richard Ford — What We Write About, and Why, and Who Cares (PDF)

1991, Robert Hass — Prisons and Families: Some Thoughts on Contemporary Poetry (PDF)

1990, William Kennedy — Writers and Their Songs (PDF)

1989, Francine du Plessix — Gray Women and Russian Literature (PDF)

1988, Donald Justice — The Prose Sublime (PDF)

1987, Joyce Carol Oates — Beginnings (PDF)

1986, Carolyn Kizer — Poetry of Social Concern Since World War II (PDF)

1985, E. L. Doctorow — The Beliefs of Writers (PDF)

1984, Norman Mailer — The Hazards and Sources of Writing (PDF)

1983, Maxine Hong Kingston — Imagined Life (PDF)

1982, Stephen Spender — The Obsession of Writers with the Act of Writing (PDF)

1981, Arthur Miller — The American Writer: The American Theatre (PDF)

1980, Al Alvarez — The Myth of the Artist (PDF)

1979, Joan Didion — Making Up Stories (PDF)

1978, Tom Wolfe — Literary Technique in the Last Quarter of the Twentieth Century (PDF)

1977, Walker Percy — The State of the Novel: Dying Art or New Science (PDF)

1976, John Simon — The Word on Film (PDF)

1975, Pauline Kael — On Movies (PDF)

1974, W. D. Snodgrass — Moonshine and Sunny Beams: A Rumination on A Midsummer Night's Dream (PDF)

1973, Robert W. Corrigan — The Changing of the Avant-Garde (PDF)

1972, Caroline Gordon — The Shape of the River (PDF)

1971, Theodore Solotaroff — The Practical Critic: A Personal View (PDF)

1970, Nadine Gordimer — Modern African Writing (PDF)

1969, Peter De Vries — Exploring Inner Space (PDF)

1968, Denise Levertov — Origins of a Poem (PDF)

1967, Robert Brustein — No More Masterpieces (PDF)

1966, Peter Taylor — That Cloistered Jazz (PDF)

1965, Donald Davie — Sincerity and Poetry (PDF)

1964, Alfred Kazin — Autobiography as Narrative (PDF)

1963, Arthur Miller — On Recognition (PDF)

1962, Mark Schorer — The Burdens of Biography (PDF)

1961, Saul Bellow — Where Do We Go From Here? The Future of Fiction (PDF)

1960, Theodore Roethke — The Poetry of Louise Bogan (PDF)

1959, Howard Nemerov — The Swaying Form: A Problem in Poetry (PDF)

1958, John Ciardi — The Silences of the Poem (PDF)

1957, Malcolm Cowley — The Beginning Writer in the University (PDF)

1956, Philip Rahv — Literary Criticism and the Imagination of Alternatives (PDF)

1955, Archibald MacLeish — Why Can't They Say What They Mean? (PDF)

1954, John Gassner — Modern Playwriting at the Crossroads (PDF)

1953, Stephen Spender — The Young Writer, Present, Past, and Future (PDF)

1952, Horace Gregory — Dramatic Art in Poetry (PDF)

1951, Mark Van Doren — The Possible Importance of Poetry (PDF)

1950, Norman Cousins — In Defense of a Writing Career (PDF)

1949, F. O. Matthiessen — Responsibilities of the Critic (PDF)

1948, J. Donald Adams — The Writer's Responsibility (PDF)

1947, Robert Penn Warren — The Themes of Robert Frost (PDF)

1946, Harlan Hatcher — Towards American Cultural Maturity (PDF)

1945, Struthers Burt — The Unreality of Realism (PDF)

1944, Louise Bogan — Popular and Unpopular Poetry (PDF)

1943, Mary Colum — Modern Mode in Literature (PDF)

1942, John Crowe — Ransom The Primitive Language of Poetry (PDF)

1941, Edward Weeks — On Counting Your Chickens Before They Hatch (PDF)

1940, Henry Seidel Canby — The American Tradition in Contemporary Literature (PDF)

1939, Carl Van Doren — The First American Man of Letters (PDF)

1938, Walter Prichard Eaton — American Drama Versus Literature (PDF)

1937, Christopher Morley — A Successor to Mark Twain (PDF)

1935, Henry Hazlitt — Literature Versus Opinion (PDF)

1934, Zona Gale — Writing as Design (PDF)

1933, Max Eastman — Literature in the Age of Science (PDF)

1932, Robert Morss Lovett — Literature and Animal Faith (PDF)



Hopwood Readers

Each January, a prominent poet or fiction writer reads at the Hopwood Underclassmen Awards Ceremony. A complete list of readers follows is in the list below. 

The 2017 Hopwood Underclassmen Awards Ceremony was held on January 27, 2017. Tracy K. Smith gave a reading following the announcement of the awards. She is the author of three collections of poetry, The Body's QuestionDuende, and Life on Mars (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2012), and a memoir, Ordinary Light (a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Nonfiction). She teaches creative writing at Princeton University.

The Hopwood Readers List

Year Author Title
2015 Chang-rae Lee Fiction Reading
2014 Kimiko Hahn Poetry Reading
2013 David Grann Nonfiction Reading
2012 C. D. Wright Poetry Reading
2011 Denis Johnson Fiction Reading
2010 James Wood Nonfiction reading
2009 Tobias Wolff Fiction Reading
2008 George Saunders Fiction Reading
2007 Linda Pastan Poetry Reading
2006 Alice Fulton Poetry Reading
2005 Carolyn Forché Poetry Reading
2004 Nancy Willard Poetry Reading
2003 Rick Moody Fiction Reading
2002 Heather McHugh Poetry Reading
2001 C.K. Williams Poetry Reading
2000 Sue Miller Fiction Reading
1999 Yusef Komunyakaa Poetry Reading
1998 Grace Paley Fiction Reading
1997 Elmore Leonard Fiction Reading
1996 Max Apple Nonfiction Reading
1995 Barry Lopez Nonfiction Reading
1994 John Ashbery Poetry Reading
1993 Jamaica Kincaid Fiction Reading
1992 Charles Simic Poetry Reading
1991 Bharati Mukherjee Fiction Reading
1990 Maxine Kumin Poetry Reading
1989 Derek Walcott Poetry Reading
1988 George Garrett Fiction Reading
1987 Richard Wilbur Poetry Reading
1986 Bernard Malamud Fiction Reading
1985 Donald Hall Poetry Reading
1984 William Gaddis Lecture
1983 James Merrill Poetry Reading
1982 Stanley Kunitz Poetry Reading
1981 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Reading
1980 Lewis Lapham Lecture
1979 Kenneth Rexroth Poetry Reading
1978 Marge Piercy Poetry Reading
1977 Eudora Welty Fiction Reading, Freshman Essay Awards
1977 Maxine Kumin Poetry Reading
1976 Robert Coles Nonfiction Reading, Freshman Essay Awards
1976 John Hawkes Fiction Reading
1975 Joseph Heller Fiction Reading
1975 John Gardner Fiction Reading, Freshman Composition Awards
1974 Anthony Hecht Poetry Reading
1974 George Garrett Lecture, Freshman Composition Awards
1973 Richard Wilbur Poetry Reading
1973 E. L. Doctorow Fiction Reading, Freshman Composition Awards
1972 Adrienne Rich Poetry Reading
1971 W. D. Snodgrass Poetry Reading
1970 Louis Simpson Poetry Reading