The University of Tampa's low-residency creative writing MFA program isn't just a boon to writers. It's also a great resource to Tampa Bay area book lovers, thanks to its Lectores series.
Twice a year, Lectores (named for the people whose job was to read aloud books and newspapers to the workers in Tampa's cigar factories) presents the MFA program's faculty and other notable writers at a week's worth of readings that are free and open to the public.
Past literary lights in the series have included Roxane Gay, Rick Moody and George Saunders.
This year, Lectores kicks off Thursday night with a reading by poet Terrance Hayes, who won the National Book Award in 2010 for his collection Lighthead. Hayes' latest book is How to Be Drawn, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle award for poetry.
The Friday night readers are award-winning former Tampa Bay Times writers Kelley Benham French and Thomas French. Their upcoming book is Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon, which they co-wrote about their daughter, who was born extremely prematurely.
All Lectores events begin at 7:30 p.m. in Falk Theatre, 428 W Kennedy Blvd.
Thursday: Poet Terrance Hayes (How to Be Drawn)
Friday: Journalists Kelley Benham French and Thomas French (Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon)
Saturday: Novelist Annie Liontas (Let Me Explain You)
June 20: Novelist Jeffery Renard Allen (Song of the Shank)
June 21: Short story writer Kevin Moffett (Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events) and poet and novelist Alan Michael Parker (Love Song With Motor Vehicles)
June 22: Poet Erica Dawson (The Small Blades Hurt) and fiction writer and essayist Josip Novakovich (Shopping for a Better Country)
June 23: Poet John Davis (Middle Class American Proverb), poet Sandra Beasley (Count the Waves) and novelist Brock Clarke (The Happiest People in the World)