The Reid Family Writers
of Color Reading Series

Since 2008, The Reid Family Writers of Color Reading Series has brought a procession of some of the most celebrated writers of color to Fordham.  Events have included readings, master classes and panel discussions.  The English Department at Fordham is deeply grateful to the Reid Family for their generosity.

Student Testimonials and Media
The Reid Family Prize
List of previous Reid Writers

2017 Reid Writer: Robin Coste Lewis

Robin Coste Lewis is a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at the University of Southern California. In 2015 she published her stunning poetry debut,Voyage of the Sable Venus. This first collection is one of surpassing imagination, maturity, and aesthetic dazzle. It was widely praised by critics and honored with the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry—the first poetry debut to do so since 1974.

Voyage of the Sable Venus is a meditation on the black female figure through time. In the center of the collection is the title poem, “Voyage of the Sable Venus,” an amazing narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art. The collection presents a new understanding of biography and self and is a thrilling testament to the complexity of race—a full embrace of its pleasure and horror, in equal parts.

Lewis is a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her MFA in poetry from NYU, and an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University. A finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, she has published her work in various journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts ReviewCallalooThe Harvard Gay & Lesbian ReviewTransition: Women in Literary ArtsVIDAPhantom Limb, and Lambda Literary Review, among others. She has taught at Wheaton College, Hunter College, Hampshire College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. Lewis was born in Compton, California; her family is from New Orleans.


Reviews for voyage of the sable venus:

Rebirth of Venus, The New Yorker

Best Poetry Books of 2015, The New York Times

"I am an artist through my marrow," The Guardian

April 25, 2017

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm



VIP Reception (Invitation Only)

Craft Class (Invitation Only)

Talk/Reading with winner of Reid Family Prize, official launch of CURA Magazine Spring issue. Q & A and book-signing to follow. (Open to the Public)



The Reid events are made possible through the generosity of Kenneth and Frances K. Reid and the sponsorship of the Fordham English and African & African American Studies departments, the Graduate Student Association and the Creative Writing Program.