Megan Sexton, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Christine Poreba to Speak During Semester’s Major Author Reading Series

The trio of writers will read their works, then participate in a one-on-one discussion.

The Major Author Reading Series (M.A.R.S.) returns to Manhattan College this semester, continuing a series began by the College’s English department in 2010. Designed to engage and expose students to contemporary literature, M.A.R.S. has brought several notable writers to campus for readings, book signings and discussions.

Megan Sexton

On Thursday, Sept. 15, poet Megan Sexton begins the series. Sexton’s first collection of poems, Swift Hour, received the Adrienne Bond award for poetry and was published by Mercer University Press. Her chapbook, Insects & Mystics, was awarded the Redbone Press Prize. She is co-editor of Five Points: A Journal of Literature & Art and teaches in the English department at Georgia State University. Her poetry and nonfiction have been widely published in anthologies and journals, including Poetry, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, The Southern Review, The Literary Review, and Poetry Daily.

Nicole Dennis-Benn

On Thursday, Oct. 6, the College welcomes back Nicole Dennis-Benn, a former adjunct instructor who just released her debut novel, Here Comes the Sun, to widespread acclaim. The novel is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, which has received a starred Kirkus Review. Pulitzer Prize finalist, Laila Lalami, as well as Booklist have deemed it a “fantastic debut” and Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James says “[Here Comes the Sun] is a story waiting to be told”. Dennis-Benn has also been nominated for the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, ELLE Magazine, Electric Literature, Lenny Letter, Catapult, Kweli Journal and others. Nicole Dennis-Benn has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Christine Poreba

On Thursday, Nov. 10, poet Christine Poreba visits campus. A native New Yorker, Poreba writes and teaches English as a second language to adults in Tallahassee, Florida. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Sun, Subtropics, Atlanta Review, Potomac Review, Alimentum, The Southern Review, and Versedaily. She has been awarded prizes from The Atlantic and the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation. Her first book, Rough Knowledge, was selected by Peter Everwine as the winner of the 2014 Philip Levine Prize and was published by Anhinga Press.

All of the events are free, open to the public, and will be held in Hayden Hall, room 100, starting at 6:30 p.m. M.A.R.S. is co-sponsored by the College’s English department and the School of Liberal Arts.

For more information about M.A.R.S., please contact Dominika Wrozynski, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, at (718) 862-7921 or or Adam Koehler, Ph.D., associate professor of English, at (718) 862-7546 or

By Pete McHugh