The John Oliver Killens Reading Series, which began in the 2010–2011 academic year, presents discussions, readings, and book signings for established authors, poets, and literary scholars, as well as newly discovered writers. It is a component of the John Oliver Killens Chair and is a testament to the legacy of the late John Oliver Killens to offer Black writers opportunities and a platform to present their work to the college community and the general public. A major goal of the John Oliver Killens Series is to provide writers of fiction and nonfiction, as well as poets and scholars with opportunities to discuss and read from their recently published works. Authors who have been featured in the JOK Reading Series include Jacqueline Woodson, Kalisha Buckhanon, N.K. Jemison, Sonia Sanchez, John H. Bracey Jr., James Smethurst, Randall Robinson, Retha Powers, Tiphanie Yanique, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Herb Boyd, Peniel Joseph, Adrian Matjeka, Dorothea Smartt, Jeffrey T. Sammons, and M. K. Asante. The John Oliver Killens Reading Series literary programs take place on the campus at Medgar Evers College unless otherwise noted.

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