Author and Professor Phil Klay to Lead Inspired Writers Series Event, May 6

Author and Professor Phil Klay to Lead Inspired Writers Series Event, May 6

author photos: (l-r) Phil Klay, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and Ryan Leigh Dostie

The College of Arts and Sciences' MFA in Creative Writing Program will present “Broken and Invaluable Institutions,” a free virtual event on Thursday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The third panel discussion event of several in the Inspired Writers Series will take place in a virtual format on May 6. Moderated by MFA writing professor and author Phil Klay, the event will feature writers and veterans Kirstin Valdez Quade and Ryan Leigh Dostie. The free event will air on and no registration is necessary.

As a series of political, economic, and natural crises have exposed the weaknesses of American institutions, a number of writers have explored the complex ways those institutions shape our lives, for good and ill. Few do so in a more viscerally powerfully way than guest writers Quade and Dostie.

Klay will lead the discussion about The Five Wounds, Quade’s highly anticipated debut novel, which explores the way a local religious association and a nonprofit program for teen mothers influences the lives of one family in New Mexico, exposing them to opportunity, pain, abuse of power, and fellowship. Also a focus of the talk will be Formation, Dostie’s memoir of her time in the military, which charts her deployment, her growth as a soldier and a person, as well as the military’s horrific mishandling of her rape at the hands of a fellow service member. 

A companion speaker series to the MFA program, Inspired Writers Series events are designed to not only provide encouragement and inspiration for writers, but also to inform, entertain, and enlighten any participant interested in lively discussions with top authors. All events are free and open to the public.

A veteran himself, Klay served in Iraq’s Anbar Province as a public affairs officer before receiving his MFA from Hunter College of The City University of New York.

Released this past October by Penguin Press, Missionaries is the debut novel from Klay, whose short story collection Redeployment won the 2014 National Book Award. Missionaries was chosen by former President Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of 2020, and was also named one of “The 10 Best Books of 2020” by The Wall Street Journal.

Klay is also at the helm of the Fairfield MFA veterans’ community, leading workshops and supporting veteran writers.

For more information, please visit

Inspired Writers Series: “Broken and Invaluable Institutions”

Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Learn more about Phil Klay and MFA Veterans Community

Tags:  Top Stories,  College of Arts & Sciences


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