University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

Hays Lecture Features Lawrence Wright

Author Who Chronicled History of Al-Qaeda to Speak at UCR

Writers Week will feature Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright delivering annual Hays Lecture on Feb. 11.

(January 26, 2010)

Lawrence WrightEnlarge

Lawrence Wright

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Lawrence Wright, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning history of Al-Qaeda, will present the 42nd Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in University Theatre.

The Hays Lecture comes at the midpoint of the 32nd annual Writers Week, which this year includes the program’s first science fiction colloquium. Writers Week begins on Tuesday, Feb. 9, and continues through Saturday, Feb. 13.

Wright’s “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” (Knopf, 2006) won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction and other honors, among them the PEN USA Award for Research Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival Award for History and Lionel Gelber Prize, which is presented by The Lionel Gelber Foundation in partnership with the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto and Foreign Policy magazine. He also wrote the screenplay for “The Siege,” which starred Denzel Washington.

A reception and book-signing will follow on the theater patio. Reservations are requested by Feb. 4 and may be made by calling (951) 827-3144 or e-mailing Complimentary parking will be available in Lot 6.

“We are pleased that the Hays Press-Enterprise lecture is an integral part of UCR’s Writers Week Conference this year. The lecture series has long been a distinguished forum to address issues in journalism and the media,” said Maria De Varenne, editor and vice president/news of The Press-Enterprise. “We are looking forward to hearing Lawrence Wright’'s remarks, and continuing the Hays family tradition.”

The Press-Enterprise Lecture Series was launched in 1966 by Howard H (Tim) Hays, then editor of The Press-Enterprise, in cooperation with UCR. Upon the sale of the newspaper in 1997 to Belo Corp., his son, Tom Hays, endowed the lecture and the Hays name was added to the title in honor of Tim Hays. Belo Corp. and A.H. Belo Corp. have also contributed to the furtherance of the Lecture Series.

Previous lecturers have included columnists James Reston and George F. Will, NBC board vice chairman Richard Salant, CNN President Tom Johnson, and Karen House, retired publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

The Writers Week keynote speaker is Janet Fitch, a Los Angeles native best known for her novel, “White Oleander,” which was an Oprah Book Club selection, has been translated into 24 languages, and was made into a major motion picture in 2000. Her second novel, “Paint It Black,” was published in 2007. She is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in University Lecture Hall 1000.


Tuesday, Feb. 9 – Science fiction colloquium

Tomas Rivera Library, Special Collections
Noon: Greg Benford, professor of physics at UC Irvine and author of “Timescape” and numerous other works of science fiction
12:30 p.m.: Larry Niven, author of science fiction short stories and novels, including “Ringworld”
1 p.m.: Sheila Finch, author of numerous short stories and science fiction novels, including “Infinity’s Web”

Wednesday, Feb. 10 – Poetry
CHASS Interdisciplinary Building 1128
10:30 a.m.: Tim Geiger, poet and author of “Blue Light Factory”
Noon: Michelle Boisseau, professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of the poetry collection “A Sunday in God-Years”
2 p.m.: Jon Veinberg, author of the poetry collection “An Owl’s Landscape”
4 p.m.: Dixie Salazar, a poet, novelist and short-story writer whose most recent collection of poetry is “Blood Mysteries”
7:30 p.m.: Janet Fitch, University Lecture Hall 1000

Thursday, Feb. 11 – Nonfiction
CHASS Interdisciplinary 1128
Noon: Vicki Forman, author of “This Lovely Life”
2 p.m.: Rebecca O’Connor, a 2008 Pushcart nominee and author of “Falcon’s Return,” a Holt Medallion finalist for best first novel
4 p.m.: Laila Lalami, UCR assistant professor of creative writing and author of “Secret Son”
7:30 p.m.: Lawrence Wright, Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture, University Theatre

Friday, Feb. 12 – Fiction
CHASS Interdisciplinary 1128
Noon: Distinguished Alumnus Reading – Victoria Patterson, author of “Drift,” a collection of interlinked short stories, and a finalist for the Story Prize
2 p.m.: Dolen Perkins-Valdez, whose fiction and essays have appeared in StoryQuarterly, Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories 2009, The Kenyon Review, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, North Carolina Literary Review, and Richard Wright Newsletter
4 p.m.: Heidi Durrow, author of “The Girl Who Fell from the Sky.”

Saturday, Feb. 13 – Inlandia Institute
Riverside Public Library, 3581 Mission Inn Ave.
2 p.m.: Discussion of “No Place for a Puritan: Literature of California’s Deserts” (Heyday Books, 2009) with authors Tod Goldberg, author of “Burn Notice” and “Fake Liar Cheat,” and Deanne Stillman, author of “Twentynine Palms: a True Story of Murder, Marines and the Mojave” and “Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West”

Writers Week activities are free and open to the public. With the exception of the Hays Lecture, parking on campus costs $6 per day.

For more information, contact Writers Week director Michael Jayme at or (951) 827-4291, or go online to 2010/index.html and

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links