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Hendrix-Murphy Announces Public Events for 2024-25

Free events to showcase visiting writers, poet, playwright, director

(top row from left to right: Candrice Jones, Carmen Maria Machado, Alberto Rojo)
(bottom row from left to right: Caroline Randall Williams, Katherine Tanner Silverman, Marcelo Hernández Castillo) 

CONWAY, Ark. (June 18, 2024) — The Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language has announced Distinguished Visitors for the 2024-2025 academic year. This year's line-up includes poets, playwrights, fiction writers, science writers, memoirists, and more.

See below for event details along with bios for each visitor. For a complete list of past Distinguished Visitors, visit our Visiting Writer Series.

All events are free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required.

Murphy Visiting Playwright  
Candrice Jones 

Wednesday, October 2, 2024 
Reves Recital Hall 7:30 p.m. 

Murphy Visiting Writer 
Carmen Maria Machado  

Wednesday, October 23, 2024 
Reves Recital Hall 7:30 p.m. 

Murphy Visiting Writer 
Alberto Rojo  

Thursday, November 14, 2024 
Reves Recital Hall * 7:30 p.m. 

Murphy Visiting Writer 
Caroline Randall Williams
Wednesday, February 19, 2025 
Reves Recital Hall * 7:30 p.m. 

Murphy Visiting Theatre Director  
Katherine Tanner Silverman  

Director's Discussion
Wednesday, February 26, 2025 
Murphy House Seminar Room 4:10 p.m. 

Murphy Visiting Poet  
Marcelo Hernández Castillo 

Wednesday, April 9, 2025 
Reves Recital Hall 7:30 p.m. 

Playwright Candrice Jones’ mission is to write love letters to the complicated Black women of the American South—their livelihoods, desires, and struggles, expressed in the form of plays. She has received commissions from Actors Theatre of Louisville, TheatreSquared (Fayetteville, AR), and San Francisco Playhouse. Her play Flex was produced in Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City festival in 2023. In 2021, A Medusa Thread was awarded a Preview Production at University of California Santa Barbara’s LAUNCH PAD. Jones has received the Many Voices Fellowship and the Jerome Fellowship from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis in addition to a MacDowell Fellowship. She has been awarded the Lanford Wilson Award, the Kesselring Prize, and the Steinberg Playwright Award. Jones currently lives and works in New York.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the bestselling memoir In the Dream House, the graphic novel The Low, Low Woods, and the award-winning short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, which The New York Times called one of “15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.”

Alberto Rojo works at the intersection of language and physics, which he argues are not opposed but complimentary ways of understanding the world. As a passionate science communicator, he has written more than one hundred popular science articles and hosted two award-winning science TV shows in Argentina. Rojo, a professor of physics at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, has published extensively in his field on such research interests as geological formation and theoretical condensed matter physics, including a paper co-authored with Nobel physicist Anthony Leggett and a book with mathematician Anthony Bloch. In 2023 Rojo received an honorary degree from the University of Buenos Aires and was recognized by the Argentine Congress for his work.

Caroline Randall Williams is a multi-genre writer, educator, and performance artist. Her debut poetry collection Lucy Negro, Redux was adapted into a ballet by Nashville Ballet, and her co-authored cookbook Soul Food Love won the NAACP Image Award. Williams was named by Southern Living as one of the “50 People Changing the South” and ranked by The Root as one of the 100 most influential African Americans of 2020. Currently she is a writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Katherine Tanner Silverman has embraced a renaissance theatre career, holding positions as producer, director, actor, education manager, marketing manager, stage manager, and instructor. She has worked with International Voices Project, Collab24 Devised Theatre Festival, Acansa Arts Festival, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Beverly Arts Center, and Chicago Dramatists. Silverman, who received an MFA in Devised Performance from Columbia College Chicago, is co-founder of the devised theatre company Mentalhaus in Chicago.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the author of Children of the Land: A MemoirCenzontle, which was the winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize; and Dulce, winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Castillo is a founding member of the Undocupoets, which eliminated citizenship requirements from all major poetry book prizes in the U.S and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award. He was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. He currently teaches creative writing at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and the Ashland University low-residency MFA program, as well as poetry workshops for incarcerated youth in Northern California as the Yuba and Sutter County Poet Laureate.