Author and Professor Phil Klay to Lead Inspired Writers Series Virtual Event, March 2

Author and Professor Phil Klay to Lead Inspired Writers Series Virtual Event, March 2

Author and Professor Phil Klay

Award-Winning Author and Professor Phil Klay

The College of Arts and Sciences' MFA in Creative Writing Program will present "War By Other Means" on March 2 at 8 p.m.

The first panel discussion event of several in the Inspired Writers Series will take place in virtual format on March 2. Moderated by MFA writing professor and author Phil Klay, the event will feature three military veteran/fiction writers discussing their recent novels, each of which moves beyond the narrow scope of combat to tackle broader subjects of politics, protest, and identity. The free event will air on and no registration is necessary.

In author Matt Gallagher's Empire City, veterans in an alternate version of America find themselves caught up in political violence and electoral intrigue. Elliot Ackerman's Red Dress in Black and White, meanwhile, takes readers to the 2013 Ghezi Park protests in Istanbul, and Dewaine Farria's Revolutions of All Colors narrative spans the Black Panthers in 1970s New Orleans, the work of modern-day contractors in Somalia, and expatriate life in Kiev, Ukraine.

“Each of these authors brings a very different, but broad set of experiences to the discussion of politics and violence and the messy business of being a human being,” said Klay, who has been a full-time faculty member and creative writing mentor at Fairfield since 2018, teaching both fiction and nonfiction. “If you’re looking for someone to make sense of the crazy state of the world, these three novelists are a better place to start than anywhere else.”

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 with lively discussions from top authors. All events are free and open to the public.

Klay highlights that, “each event will be different. Sometimes, we’ll focus on an individual author. And in others, we’ll bring a variety of writers together to provide a rich set of perspectives around a single theme.”

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.

“The Fairfield MFA is a unique and extremely supportive community of writers,” Klay continued. “Especially during the pandemic, I’ve been deeply impressed with how students and faculty have come together and kept community alive.”

For information about the Inspired Writers Series, please visit

Inspired Writers Series: "War By Other Means"

Date: March 2, 2021
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Virtual,

Tags:  Top Stories,  College of Arts & Sciences


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