UMF spotlights award-winning author Emerson Whitney in Visiting Writer Series, Oct. 19

FARMINGTON, ME  (October 4, 2023)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s celebrated Visiting Writers Series is excited to present memoirist and poet Emerson Whitney as the popular program’s second reader of the 2023/24 season. Whitney will read from his work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 19, 2023, in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing with the author.

Emerson Whitney

Whitney’s second memoir “Daddy Boy” (McSweeney’s 2023) follows Whitney as he, post break-up and living in a tent in his own backyard, packs into a van of strangers and drives up and down the country hunting storms as he wrestles with what it means to be and adult and to redefine gender roles and perceived maps of aging.

In Whitney’s own words, the book asks, “What does it mean to capture something, and hold it, and save it, as a way to understand it and digest it.”

Michele Sharp of Foreword Reviews calls Daddy Boy “…a powerful, vulnerable memoir about deep self-discovery.” Cameron Finch of the Rumpus writes, “On this road trip, there are gas pumps and chips for frequent refueling, but the adventure of Daddy Boy is ultimately a cloud-wandering—a refusal to stay in one place, a moving in all directions towards a glimmering unknowable self.”

Whitney’s book, “Heaven” (McSweeney’s, 2022), was named a ‘best book’ by the AV Club, PAPER, Literary Hub, Refinery29, Chicago Review of Books and the Seattle Times, among others and they were named a 2020 Now List awardee in literature by Them magazine.

His work has appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere.

Whitney earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts and his PhD. from European Graduate School with the Dana and David Dornsife Teaching Postdoctoral fellowship in gender studies at the University of Southern California. They teach in the BFA creative writing program at Goddard College. 

Daddy Boyis available for pre-purchase at the UMF University Bookstore and Devany, Doak, and Garret Booksellers.

The Visiting Writer Series is sponsored by the UMF Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.

Media Contact: Amy Neswald, UMF professor of creative writing, at 207-778-8024, or

More Information on the UMF Creative Writing Program

As the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the state of Maine and one of only three in all of New England, the UMF program invites students to work with faculty, who are practicing writers, in workshop-style classes to discover and develop their writing strengths in the genres of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Small classes, an emphasis on individual conferencing, and the development of a writing portfolio allow students to see themselves as artists and refine their writing under the guidance of accomplished and published faculty mentors.

Students can pursue internships to gain real-world writing and publishing experience by working on campus with The Sandy River Review, a student-run literary magazine; Ripple Zine, a feminist magazine; or The Farmington Flyer, a university newspaper.

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Photo Caption: Emerson Whitney
Photo Credit: Submitted Photo

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