The William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage series opens September 25 with Jane Mayer and Frank Rich, pictured here. Presented by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation and Case Western Reserve University, funds from the Series help support the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the nation’s top-rated library for the past nine years. Frank Rich photograph by Lacey Terrell / Jane Mayer photograph by Stephen Voss


Case Western Reserve University’s Maltz Performing Arts Center will once again welcome some of the world’s top authors for the 2019-2020 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage program, with the first event set for this month.

Presented by the Cuyahoga Public Library Foundation and Case Western Reserve University, funds raised by the series help to support the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the nation’s top-rated library system for the past nine years.

The Writers Series kicks off Sept. 25 with a pair of New York City favorites – Jane Mayer and Frank Rich. Mayer is the chief Washington correspondent for the New Yorker and author of the best-seller “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.” Rich is a writer at large for “New York Magazine” and a creative consultant for HBO. His is the executive producer for HBO’s long-running Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series “Veep.”

The series continues Oct. 16 with Rachel Kushner and Piper Kerman. Kushner is the best-selling author of “The Flamethrowers, Telex from Cuba and The Mars Room” and is a two-time finalist for the National Book Award. Kerman’s experiences in prison while serving time for a drug trafficking charge inspired her book “Orange is the New Black,” adapted as the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series.

Novelist, poet, memoirist and film writer Michael Ondaatje will speak Nov. 12 at the Maltz Performing Arts Center. His acclaimed novel “The English Patient” was made into an Academy Award-winning film and his latest novel is “Warlight.”

The Center Stage series continues next year when Andrew Sean Greer pays a visit on March 19. Greer earned the Pulitzer Prize for his sixth novel “Less,” which also made Book of the Year lists for the “New York Times,” “San Francisco Chronicle” and “The Paris Review.”

On April 23, 2020, Luis Alberto Urrea and Julia Alvarez share the stage. Urrea’s book “The Devil’s Highway” won the Lannon Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Alvarez is regarded as one of the most critically and commercially successful Latina writers of her generation. Her book “In the Time of Butterflies” was nominated for a National Bok Critics Circle Award.

The Maltz Center will take on a distinctly Florida flavor for the final event of the program on May 7, 2020 when Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry make an appearance. Hiaasen has written over 20 Florida-based novels as well as novels for young readers, including “Hoot,” which won a Newbery Honor. Barry is a Pulitzer Prize and Cronkite Award columnist for the “Miami Herald” whose work has appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. His latest book is “Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog.”

Ticket packages for the series are available at Benefactor Plus, Benefactor and Subscriber levels along with individual event tickets. For more information, call 216.368.6062 or visit