About The Contemporary Writers Series

The Contemporary Writers Series celebrates its 22nd year at Aquinas College with its 2018-2019 season. To date, 80 writers of all literary genres have brought their talents and inspiration to more than 17,000 students and community members. In honor of the anniversary, four popular and acclaimed writers from prior years have been asked to do a repeat performance this season. 

This annual series of literary readings was inaugurated in 1997 by Dr. Tony Foster (‘73) and Linda Nemec Foster (‘72). The idea for the series started in 1995 when Linda, a published and well-known poet, realized how much she would have benefited from writers visiting campus when she was a student.

"When I was a student at Aquinas, even though I was not an English major, I loved literature. One thing I missed was having a visiting writers series like my friends at larger universities had," Linda reminisced. Noting how valuable it is for budding writers to experience live readings, the Fosters considered the possibility of funding a series at Aquinas themselves. Over time, their on-going generosity has been amplified by donations from friends of the series, and it is now supported by a permanent endowment. The Fosters' goal has been to make the CWS financially independent so that it is always free and open to the public. "We felt that the whole city of Grand Rapids, being the second largest city in the state, should have this literary resource available. In addition to the Aquinas community, we want this series to benefit the community at large," Linda explained. "We are really pleased to be able to do this."

In addition to their public readings in the evenings, writers also meet with students for more intimate and informal discussions during the day. Students arrive at these unique sessions filled with questions generated by prior study of the writer’s works in their classes.

The Aquinas College Contemporary Writers Series is coordinated by a steering committee consisting of Aquinas faculty, staff and administration.


Lifetime Friends of the Contemporary Writers Series

Anonymous
Kate Dernocoeur '06
Dr. Anthony Foster '73
Linda Nemec Foster '72
Pam Luebke
Vicki McMillan '98
Deborah Meijer's Rimbaud Fund at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Hank and Liesel Meijer   
Diane Vallilee '08
Wege Foundation
Kate Pew Wolters '78

Contact Us
If you have any questions about the Series, please contact the CWS Director at cws@aquinas.edu.
 
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