Otterbein Welcomes Nationally Renowned Writers for a Public Talk

Posted Nov 05, 2021

Literary activist Saeed Jones and bestselling author Maggie Smith will come together on the Otterbein University stage to share their collective experiences and perspectives on literature, social justice, and more. 

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An Evening with Saeed Jones and Maggie Smith will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, in Riley Auditorium at Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St. This event is free and open to the public. Both authors will sign books after the reading. For additional information, contact Tammy Birk at

Saeed Jones is author of the memoir How We Fight For Our Lives and the poetry collection, Prelude to Bruise. Their work has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times, and GQ, among others. Jones has also appeared as a contributor on public radio programs, including NPR’s Fresh Air, Pop Culture Happy HourIt’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, and All Things Considered. Often described as a fierce literary activist, the New Yorker contends that his latest memoir recognizes that “to be black, gay, and American is to fight for one’s life.”  


Maggie Smith is the author of Good BonesThe Well Speaks of Its Own PoisonLamp of the Body, and the national bestseller, Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. Smith’s poems and essays are widely anthologized, appearing in Best American Poetrythe New York TimesThe New Yorker, The Paris ReviewPloughsharesthe Washington Postthe Guardian, and elsewhere. Her viral poem, “Good Bones,” was named the poem of 2016, and Ellen Bass says that her latest collection, Goldenrod, “brims with a fervent love for this gorgeous and wounded world.”   

The event is co-sponsored by the Otterbein Department of English; Humanities Advisory Committee; Integrative Studies Program; Office of Social Justice and Activism; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.