Past Talks & More | Artist Talks | Public Programs

Kathy Fagan, Shelley Wong, and David Baker

Q&A and book signing follows


Collage of headshots of the three authors speaking in this talk

Learn from three esteemed authors with close Ohio ties—Kathy Fagan, Shelley Wong, and David Baker—as they read from and discuss their new poetry collections.

Fagan, an Ohio State professor and cofounder of the Department of English’s MFA program, recently published her sixth poetry collection, Bad Hobby, which focuses on memory, class, and might-have-beens. Wong is an award-winning poet who received her MFA from Ohio State and taught creative writing at the university. Her debut book, As She Appears, foregrounds queer women of color in their being and becoming. And Central Ohio–based author Baker’s eleventh poetry collection, Whale Fall, explores time, whether measured in a hummingbird’s wingbeats or periods of geological change, and place, whether an Ohio backyard or a melting glacier’s slopes.

The authors will share observations, commonalities, and intersections of their work and participate in a Q&A after the talk. Can’t make it in person? The event also streams on this page, and online viewers can still ask questions through the Wex hotline at (614) 813-3416.

A book signing with the authors follows the conversation in the Wexner Center Store, where the books are available for sale.

David Baker from the chest up in front of a vine-covered trellis. He wears glasses and a black shirt. He has light skin and short gray hair.

David Baker, photo: Katherine Baker.

Close-up shot of Kathy Fagan, who has medium-length blonde hair and light skin. She wears a green sweater and blue glasses.

Kathy Fagan, image courtesy of the author.

Close-up shot of Shelley Wong, who has wavy black hair and light skin, in front of a blurred background of greenery and light.

Shelley Wong, photo: Margarita Corporan.

More about the speakers

Kathy Fagan chevron-down chevron-up

Kathy Fagan’s fifth poetry collection, Sycamore (Milkweed, 2017), was a finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award, and her new book with Milkweed, Bad Hobby, is now available. Her work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Poetry, Nation, Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry, among others. Fagan is a recipient of grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and National Endowment for the Arts, and she is a cofounder of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Ohio State, where she teaches poetry and coedits the Wheeler Poetry Prize series for the Journal and The Ohio State University Press. Read more on Fagan’s website.

Shelley Wong chevron-down chevron-up

Author of As She Appears (YesYes Books, 2022) and winner of the 2019 Pamet River Prize, Shelley Wong's poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, and New England Review. She is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships and awards from Kundiman, MacDowell, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. Wong holds an MFA from Ohio State and lives in San Francisco. Read more on Wong’s website.

David Baker chevron-down chevron-up

David Baker’s new book of poems, Whale Fall (W. W. Norton, 2022) was released this summer, adding to his repertoire of 18 other books of poetry and prose about poetry that he has authored or edited. His many honors include fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Poetry Society of America, National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Society of Midland Authors, and Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Foundation. A resident of Granville, Ohio, Baker continues to teach literature and creative writing at Denison University and has served as poetry editor of the Kenyon Review for more than 25 years. Read more on Baker’s website.

Cosponsored by Ohio State’s Department of English

American Electric Power Foundation
Big Lots Foundation

The Ohio State University Office of Outreach & Engagement
Ohio Arts Council
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation

Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
State Farm

Mike and Paige Crane

Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Arts Council
L Brands Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane
Axium Packaging
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
Larry and Donna James
Lisa Barton
Johanna DeStefano
Jones Day
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Talks & More

Kathy Fagan, Shelley Wong, and David Baker