LINCROFT, NJ (Oct. 2, 2017) – Award-winning poets, an acclaimed novelist and a National Book Award finalist will headline this year’s Visiting Writers Series, which kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.

The free lecture series will begin with an Oct. 11 presentation by award-winning novelist Mitchell S. Jackson. Jackson, whose debut novel “The Residue Years” earned international praise and received the Whiting Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence, is also a prolific public speaker and advocate for criminal justice reform.

The series will continue on Nov. 8 with a presentation by award-winning poets Emari DiGiorgio and Lauren Schmidt.

DiGiorgio, author of the poetry collections “Girl Torpedo” and “The Things a Body Might Become,” has received the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, the Ellen La Forge Poetry Prize and a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation poet, a faculty member at Stockton University and host of “A World Above,” a monthly reading series in Atlantic City.

Schmidt is the author of three poetry collections, including “Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing,” “The Voodoo Doll Parade” and “Psalms of The Dining Room,” a sequence of poems inspired by her volunteer experience in an Oregon soup kitchen. Her awards include The Janet B. McCabe Prize for Poetry, the Bellevue Literary Review Vilcek Prize for Poetry and the So to Speak Poetry Prize.

The series will conclude with a Dec. 5 presentation by acclaimed performance poet and National Book Award finalist Patricia Smith.

Author of six esteemed collections including “Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah,” “Teahouse of the Almighty” and “Life According to Motown,” Smith has received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her 2008 poetry collection “Blood Dazzler” was recognized as finalist for the National Book Award.

All talks begin at 7 p.m. in Brookdale’s Warner Student Life Center, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft. Parking is in lots 6 and 7. All programs are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. A suggested donation of $3 can be made to support the Brookdale Creative Writing Club.

For more information call Suzanne Parker at 732-224-2650 or visit