Lawrence Sanders Writer in Residence

Each year, the Sanders Writer-in-Residence spends one week with our MFA students in a free, noncredit workshop that meets each day for two hours. This is an amazing opportunity for our students as they are exposed to nationally known authors (in addition to our own devoted and well established Creative Writing Faculty) - visiting writers who inspire and motivate our students to write outside their comfort zones.

Students spend one on one time with the authors, learning from people they would never would have otherwise had the chance to meet. Getting to know these authors makes AWP an even more fun and exciting event, as students stay on the lookout for their new mentors.

The Sanders Writer-in-Residence Program is made possible through an endowment gift by the Lawrence A. Sanders Foundation in memory of Sanders, a best-selling South Florida novelist. This endowment provides funding to bring a visiting distinguished writer to FAU each year to lecture and teach within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. This endowment advances Sanders' legacy of creative writing at FAU.

2022 Lawrence Sanders Writer-in-Residence Author

Toni Jensen, Sanders Writer 2022
Toni Jensen, 2022

Toni Jensen, 2022. From the author's about page: "Toni Jensen’s Carry is a memoir-in-essays about gun violence, land and Indigenous women’s lives (Ballantine, September 8, 2020). An NEA Creative Writing Fellowship recipient in 2020, Jensen's essays have appeared in Orion, Catapult and Ecotone. She is also the author of the short story collection From the Hilltop. She teaches at the University of Arkansas and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Métis."


Past Lawrence Sanders Writer-in-Residence Authors

Nicole Dennis-Benn, Sanders Writer 2021
Nicole Dennis Benn, 2021

Nicole Dennis-Benn, 2021. From the author's about page: "Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of Here Comes the Sun (Norton/Liveright, July 2016), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a 2017 Lambda Literary Award winner. Her bestselling sophomore novel, Patsy (Norton/Liveright, June 2019), is a 2020 Lambda Literary Award winner, a New York Times Editors' Choice, a Financial Times Critics Choice, a Stonewall Book Awards Honor Book, and a Today Show Read With Jenna Book Club selection. Patsy has been named Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, TIME, NPR, PEOPLE Magazine, Washington Post, Apple Books, Oprah Magazine, The Guardian, Goodhousekeeping, BuzzFeed, ELLE, among others. 'Patsy fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness,' raves Time Magazine; and NPR names Dennis-Benn 'an indispensable novelist.'"

Danez Smith, Sanders Writer 2019
Danez Smith, 2019

Danez Smith, 2019. From the author's bio page: "Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of “Homie” (Graywolf Press, 2020), "Don’t Call Us Dead" (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and "[insert] boy" (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez has been featured as part of Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list and is the winner of a Pushcart Prize. They are a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness."

Paul Lisicky, Sanders Writer 2018
Paul Lisicky, 2019

Paul Lisicky, 2018. From the author's about page: "Paul Lisicky is the author of six books including Later: My Life at the Edge of the World (one of NPR's Best Books of 2020), as well as The Narrow Door (a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Finalist for the Randy Shilts Award), Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, The Cut, Fence, The New York Times, Ploughshares, Tin House, and in many other magazines and anthologies. He has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he has served on the Writing Committee since 2000. He has taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere. He is currently is the director of the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden, where he is an associate professor and editor of StoryQuarterly. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is at work on a memoir The Inner Anton of Me."

Justin Torres, Sanders Writer 2017
Justin Torres, 2017

Justin Torres, 2017. Justin Torres' first novel We the Animals, a national best seller, has been translated into fifteen languages and is currently being adapted into a feature film. He has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012's 5 Under 35. He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endownment for the Arts, a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. 

He lives in Los Angeles, where he is Assistant Professor of English at UCLA.

In 2016, he will be Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig.

Tom Sleigh, Sanders Writer 2016
Tom Sleigh, 2016

Tom Sleigh, 2016. Tom Sleigh's many books include Station Zed; Army Cats, winner of the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (AAAL); and Space Walk, winner of the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award. Far Side of the Earth won an Academy Award from the AAAL, The Dreamhouse was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award, and The Chain was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Prize. His work appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, as well as The Best of the Best American Poetry, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Pushcart Anthology. He's received the PSA's Shelley Prize, and awards from the American Academy in Berlin, Civitella Ranieri, the Lila Wallace Fund, the Guggenheim, two NEAs, among others. He teaches at Hunter College and works as a journalist in the Middle East and Africa.

He gave an Off the Page Reading on Thursday, January 28th 2016.

Jo Ann Beard, Sanders Writer 2015
Jo Ann Beard, 2015

Jo Ann Beard, 2015. Jo Ann Beard is the author of a collection of autobiographical essays, The Boys of My Youth, and the novel In Zanesville. Her work has appeared in "The New Yorker," "Tin House," "Best American Essays," and other magazines and anthologies. She received a Whiting Foundation Award and nonfiction fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Tayari Jones, Sanders Writer 2014
Tayari Jones, 2014

Tayari Jones, 2014. A recipient of a Lifetime Acheivement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation,Tayari Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, The University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She has taught at Prairie View A&M University, East Tennessee State University, The University of Illinois and George Washington University. In addition, she has led workshops in Portugal, Ghana, Uganda, and Brazil. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the M.F.A. program at Rutgers-Newark University, where she was awarded with a Board of Trustees Award for Scholarly Excellence, the Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, a Leader in Faculty Diversity Award. Her work has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts and The United States Artists Foundation and the arts councils of Arizona and Illinois. She spent the 2011-12 academic year at Harvard University as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching her forthcoming novel, Dear History.

Nick Flynn, Sanders Writer 2013
Nick Flynn, 2013

Nick Flynn, 2013. Nick Flynn has worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, and as a case-worker with homeless adults. His most recent book is The Reenactments.

Eula Biss, Sanders Writer 2012
Eula Biss, 2012

Eula Biss, 2012. Eula Biss holds a B.A. in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her second book, Notes from No Man's Land, received the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Her work has also been recognized by a Pushcart Prize, a Jaffe Writers' Award, and a 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library. She teaches writing at Northwestern University and is working on a new book about myth and metaphor in medicine with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and an NEA Literature Fellowship. Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Best Creative Nonfiction and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction as well as in The Believer, Gulf Coast, Columbia, Ninth Letter, the North American Review, the Bellingham Review, the Seneca Review, and Harper's.

Michael Martone, Sanders Writer 2011
Michael Martone, 2011

Michael Martone, 2011. Martone is the author of five books of short fiction including Seeing Eye published in September of 1995 by Zoland Books as well as Pensées: The Thoughts of Dan Quayle (Broad Ripple Press, 1994), Fort Wayne Is Seventh on Hitler's List (Indiana University Press, 1990), Safety Patrol (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988), and Alive and Dead in Indiana (Alfred A. Knopf, 1984). He has edited two collections of essays about the Midwest—A Place of Sense: Essays in Search of the Midwest and Townships: Pieces of the Midwest (University of Iowa Press, 1988 and 1992). He edits Story County Books, and his newest book, The Flatness and Other Landscapes (University of Georgia Press, 2000), a collection of his own essays about the Midwest, won the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction in 1998.

Forrest Gander, Sanders Writer 2010
Forrest Gander, 2010

Forrest Gander, 2010. The author of numerous books of poetry, including Redstart: An Ecological Poetics and  Science & Steepleflower , Gander also writes novels ( As a Friend ), essays ( A Faithful Existence ) and translates. His most recent translations are  Fungus Skull Eye Wing: Selected Poems of Alfonso D'Aquino  and  Watchword (which won the Villaurrutia Prize) by Pura López Colomé; Spectacle & Pigsty  by Kiwao Nomura (winner of Best Translated Book Award); and  Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho (Finalist, PEN Translation Prize). His most recent anthologies are  Pinholes in the Night: Essential Poems from Latin American (selected by Raúl Zurita) and  Panic Cure: Poems from Spain for the 21st Century.

Dinty Moore, Sanders Writer 2009
Dinty Moore, 2009

Dinty Moore, 2009. Dinty W. Moore is author of numerous books, including The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, and the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize. He recently edited The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers.