Off the Page: Conversations with Writers

Off the Page: Conversations with Writers is a literary series that brings esteemed and emerging writers to campus for readings and dynamic conversations about literature, culture, and the pressing issues of our time.

This Queens College series is produced by the Department of English, the Provost’s Office, and the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.

Upcoming Events

N. K. Jemisin, The World We Make

N. K. Jemisin: Reading & in Conversation

March 27, 2024

N.K. JEMISIN is the first author to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards for her Broken Earth trilogy. Her work has won the Nebula and Locus Awards, and she is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. Her Great Cities duology was a New York Times bestseller. She’s been an instructor for Clarion and Clarion West writing workshops and was formerly the science fiction and fantasy book reviewer at the New York Times. Event details here.

Past Events

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Ava Chin in conversation with Frank H. Wu

February 21, 2024

A reading by Ava Chin, author of Mott Street: A Chinese American Family’s Story of Exclusion and Homecoming, in conversation with Frank H. Wu, president of Queens College.

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Gabriela Cabezón Cámara in conversation with Mariana Zinni

October 13, 2023

A reading by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, author of Las Aventuras de China Iron, and her translators, Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre, in conversation with Professor Mariana Zinni of the Hispanic Languages and Literatures Department and MFA student Leo Grossman. Their English-language translation, The Adventures of China Iron, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

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Eugene Lim in conversation with Kaz Uy

Oct 3, 2023

A reading by Eugene Lim, author of Search History (2021), in conversation with Kaz Uy. Learn more here.

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A Conversation with Bushra Rehman

April 27, 2023

Bushra Rehman’s dark comedy Corona was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of its favorite books about NYC. She is co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism and author of the collection of poetry Marianna’s Beauty Salon, described by Joseph O. Legaspi as “a love poem for Muslim girls, Queens, and immigrants making sense of their foreign home–and surviving.” Her new novel Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion is a modern classic about what it means to be Muslim and queer in a Pakistani-American community was chosen as a Best Book and Editor’s Choice by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and more.

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Manuel Muñoz in Conversation with William Orchard and Vanessa Pérez-Rosario

November 15, 2022

“Her immediate concern was money.” So begins the first story in Manuel Muñoz’s dazzling new collection The Consequences. In it, Delfina has moved from Texas to California’s Central Valley with her husband and small son, and her isolation and desperation force her to take a risk that ends in profound betrayal.

These exquisite stories are mostly set in the 1980s in the small towns that surround Fresno. With an unflinching hand, Muñoz depicts the Mexican and Mexican American farmworkers who put food on our tables but are regularly and ruthlessly rounded up by the migra, as well as the quotidian struggles and immense challenges faced by their families. The messy and sometimes violent realities navigated by his characters—straight and gay, immigrant and American-born, young and old—are tempered by moments of surprising, tender care: Two young women meet on a bus to Los Angeles to retrieve husbands who must find their way back from the border after being deported; a gay couple plans a housewarming party that reveals buried class tensions; a teenage mother slips out to a carnival where she encounters the father of her child; the foreman of a crew of fruit pickers finds a dead body and is subsequently—perhaps literally—haunted.

In The Consequences, obligation can shape, support, and sometimes derail us. It’s a magnificent new book from a gifted writer at the height of his powers.

Manuel Muñoz is the author of two previous collections and a novel. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, three O. Henry Awards, and has appeared in Best American Short Stories. A native of Dinuba, California, he lives in Tucson, Arizona.

This event is co-sponsored with the Queens College Latin American and Latino Studies program.

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Daphne Palasi Andreades in conversation with Caroline Kyungah Hong

October 18, 2022

Daphne Palasi Andreades was born and raised in Queens, New York. Her debut novel Brown Girls (Random House) was selected as a New York Times Editor’s Choice book, an Indies Next Pick, and featured on ‘Most Anticipated’ lists in major outlets such as The Guardian, Chicago Review of Books, Electric Lit, and more. Brown Girls is now available in the UK and Commonwealth and is forthcoming in France and Germany. Daphne is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize, as well as scholarships to the BreadLoaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and more. A graduate of Baruch College, CUNY and Columbia University’s MFA Fiction program, Daphne is now at work on several projects, including her second novel.

Caroline Kyungah Hong is an Associate Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY. She has published articles on Asian American fiction, comics, and pop culture and is currently finishing a book on Asian American comedy. She is also the Project Director for the newly funded Queens College AANAPISI Project (QCAP).

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Crystal Hana Kim in conversation with Dana Calvet

September 20, 2022

Crystal Hana Kim is the author of If You Leave Me, which was a Booklist Editor’s Choice title and named a best book of 2018 by over a dozen publications. A recipient of the 2022 National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award and a 2017 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize winner, her work has been published in Elle Magazine, The Paris Review, Guernica, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor at Apogee Journal. Crystal lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.

Dana Calvet is a lecturer in the Linguistics and Communication Disorders department at Queens College and a current EDD student in Educational Leadership at Hunter College. Prior to that, she proudly graduated from the QC MFA program in poetry, and her thesis focused on her experiences as a Korean adoptee who reunited with her biological family.

This event is co-sponsored with the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College.

Novelist Dolores Reyes and literary translator Julia Sanches in conversation

March 1, 2022

Debut novelist Dolores Reyes joins us from Argentina to discuss her work Cometierra (2019) translated into English by Julia Sanches as Eartheater (2020). Writer and translator join us for a conversation with Mariana Zinni, associate professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures and Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, professor of English, both at Queens College.

Maria Hinojosa in conversation

October 12, 2021
Award winning journalist and founder of Futuro Media Group, Maria Hinojosa joins us for a reading and conversation about her newest memoir Once I Was You (2020) with Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, professor of English at Queens College.

Nicole Dennis-Benn and Rajiv Mohabir in conversation

September 28, 2021

Two-time Lambda Literary Award-Winning novelist, Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun (2016), and Patsy (2019) and Rajiv Mohabir, author of three collections of poetry:  Cutlish (2021), The Cowherd’s Son (2017), and The Taxidermist’s Cut (2016) and the memoir Antiman (2021) join us for a conversation with Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, professor of English at Queens College.

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Julia Alvarez in conversation

April 20, 2021

Distinguished writer Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of the Butterflies (1994), ¡Yo! (1998), In the Name of Salomé (2001), Saving the World (2007), as well as collections of poems, works of non-fiction, and numerous books for young readers, joins us for a conversation about her newest novel Afterlife (2020) with Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, professor of English at Queens College.

Claudia Rankine in conversation

March 17, 2021

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004) ; two plays including The White Card (2019), and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue (2009); as well as numerous video collaborations. She joins us for a reading and a conversation about her newest publication, Just Us: An American Conversation (2020), with Maaza Mengiste, assistant professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College.

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Cherríe Moraga in conversation

December 8, 2020

Internationally recognized poet, essayist and playwright Cherríe Moraga, co-editor of the groundbreaking feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981), joins us for a conversation about her newest memoir Native Country of the Heart (2019) with Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, professor of English at Queens College.

Maaza Mengiste and Kimiko Hahn in conversation

November 10, 2020

We inaugurate this new series with two Queens College faculty and two alumnae of our MFA program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation. Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King (2019) and Beneath the Lion’s Gaze (2010), joins us for a conversation with distinguished professor Kimiko Hahn, author of ten collections of poems including Foreign Bodies (W. W. Norton, 2020); Brain Fever (WWN, 2014), and Toxic Flora (WWN, 2010), both collections prompted by science; and The Narrow Road to the Interior (WWN, 2006).

This conversation is moderated by Mary Catherine Ford and Julia Tolo, two alumnae of our MFA program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation.

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