Inspired Writers Series Begins Feb. 16

Inspired Writers Series Begins Feb. 16

The College of Arts and Sciences' MFA in Creative Writing Program will present acclaimed writers in conversation with Fairfield professor and author Phil Klay.

Media Contact: Robby Piazzaroli,, 203-254-4000 x2597

Helmed by Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author and instructor in Fairfield's MFA in Creative Writing program, the Inspired Writers Series will host three events this semester on Feb. 16, March 8, and April 20.

“I love hosting the Inspired Writers Series,” said Klay, who teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses at Fairfield, “because it allows me to have searching conversations with the most exciting new writers. The guests we have had and the topics we have covered are truly extraordinary, and it's a privilege to do it.”

Thursday, Feb. 16 | 7:30 p.m.
In a free, virtual program, widely acclaimed and best-selling author Margaret Wilkerson Sexton will discuss her new book exploring a family in 1950s San Francisco with hopes of success in the music business. Registration is required.

Wednesday, March 8 | 7:30 p.m.
As part of the Open VISIONS Forum, highly regarded writer Garth Greenwell will be in conversation with Klay, live and in-person at the Dolan School of Business Event Hall. Tickets are $20, $5 for Fairfield University students, and $10 for Quick members.

Thursday, April 20 | 12 p.m.
In a free, virtual program, Vauhini Vara, award-winning technology reporter and novelist, will speak with Klay about her career and writing. Registration is required.

“Garth Greenwell is, quite simply, one of the finest stylists of prose working today,” Klay remarked. "Vauhini Vara is just an exceptional writer of scene and character, creating images that echo in the mind and reshape how the reader sees the world. And Margaret Wilkerson Sexton is both a beautiful prose writer and exceptional at navigating the complexities of history, of communities, of industries, and families.”

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.

A veteran himself, Klay leads the Fairfield MFA veterans’ community, holding workshops and supporting veteran writers. Most recently, Klay compiled a new collection of his nonfiction writing called Uncertain Ground: Citizenship in an Age of Endless, Invisible War, published by Penguin Press. The pieces in Uncertain Ground, collected from publications that span the last ten years, explore the chasm between the military and the civilian in American life, and the moral blind spot it has created.

The New York Times called Klay’s compilation “engrossing and important” and Publisher’s Weekly deemed it an “incisive collection . . . Enriched by the author’s military experiences and sharp turns of phrase.” The Library Journal offered that Klay’s book is “an important and eye-opening essay collection that should be a must-read.”

For information about the Inspired Writers Series, please visit

Posted On: February 1, 2023

Volume: 54 Number: 64

Fairfield University is the modern Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.