Distinguished writers and scholars visit the campus frequently. Annual events include the MacKnight Black reading by a distinguished poet (who also judges the H. MacKnight Black competition) and the Closs Writer-in-Residence program. The Lewis Haupt Conarroe ’29 endowment supports distinguished scholars who lecture and meet with classes.
The Closs residency has been held by Sherman Alexie, Peter Carey, Ping Chong, Maxine Clair, Marie Howe, Sam Lipsyte, George Saunders, James Tate, and S. L. Wisenberg.
Recent MacKnight Black poets have been Gillian Conoley, Mark Doty, Lynn Emanuel, Brian Henry, Major Jackson, Lawrence Joseph, Yusef Komunyakaa, William Matthews, Campbell McGrath, Heather McHugh, Paul Muldoon, Alicia Ostriker, Molly Peacock, Tomaž Šalamun, and Gerald Stern.
Other writerswho have visited Lafayette in recent years include Julia Alvarez, Anthony Caleshu ’92, Andrei Codrescu, Tony Kushner, Ross Gay ’96, Danny Hoch, Toni Morrison, Yolanda Palacio ’98, Jay Parini ’70, Marge Piercy, Zafer Senoçak, Wole Soyinka, Art Spiegelman, and John Updike.Recent lecturers include Barbara M. Benedict, Andrew Carpenter, Alan Downie, Jean Howard, Frank Lentricchia, Mary Louise Pratt, and Peter Shillingsburg.