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Our Mission

The Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa promotes writing and filmmaking and cultivates a thriving, diverse literary and film arts community.

Our Vision

The Center enriches Oklahoma through literary and film arts.

Our Goals

  • Education: Provide opportunities for writers and filmmakers to advance their craft and develop professionally

  • Collaboration: Support and partner with organizations in the arts and humanities to maximize scale and impact of programs

  • Community Engagement: In a spirit of reciprocity, engage local, national, and global individuals and communities to enhance the quality of life in Oklahoma

Our History

The Center for Poets and Writers was founded in 1994 by novelist Teresa Miller and has hosted over a hundred of the country’s leading authors, including Maya Angelou, Neil Gaiman, Pat Conroy, Anne Lamott, Billy Collins, Alice Walker, Isabel Allende, Amy Tan, Edward Albee, Dave Barry, Frank McCourt, Anna Quindlen, Rita Dove, and Khaled Hosseini.
Additionally, the Center has a long history of promoting Oklahoma authors, organizing literary festivals, sponsoring writing workshops, and developing book registries to get free books to children and other underserved audiences.
The Center has also cultivated strong ties and with other organizations and along Tulsa Town Hall, the Tulsa Library, and the Tulsa World developed the Tulsa Reads program, engaging hundreds of readers and dozens of community partners. 
Miller retired from the Center in 2015, and Dr. Lindsey Claire Smith now serves as Center Director.



Lindsey Smith

Lindsey Claire Smith, Ph.D., Director

Dr. Lindsey Claire Smith is a Professor of English, teaching in both Tulsa and Stillwater.


Smith has an extensive record of publication in Native American and Oklahoma film and literature; her most recent book is Urban Homelands: Writing the Native City from Oklahoma (U of NE P, 2023). She is editor of American Indian Quarterly, a leading journal in interdisciplinary American Indian Studies. Read more about Dr. Smith’s scholarship on her faculty page.


As Director for the Center for Poets and Writers, Smith has expanded mentoring opportunities through an array of community writing and film workshops and hosts the popular open mic series “Live Lit Night.” She coordinates the annual Writers on Greenwood series at OSU-Tulsa, guests of which have included A. Van Jordan, Elizabeth Acevedo, Tyehimba Jess, Colson Whitehead, and Jamelle Bouie. She leads Native American Literature Book Club in partnership with Whitty Books. She is co-founder and team lead for Tulsa LitFest and serves on the organizing committee of the Indian Territory Film Festival.

Teresa Miller

Teresa Miller, Director Emerita

Author Teresa Miller founded the Center for Poets and Writers in 1994 and served as its executive director until she retired from the university in 2015 to focus on her writing.  


In addition to her work with the Center, Miller taught creative writing and regional literature at OSU-Tulsa, was the executive producer/host for the television interview program Writing Out Loud, an editor for the OU Press and a curator for the Oklahoma History Center.


She is the author of the novels Remnants of Glory and Family Correspondence and the memoir Means of Transit.  Miller and her memoir have been featured on The Diane Rehm Show.


A member of the Tulsa Library Hall of Fame, Miller is the recipient of the Saidie Lifetime Achievement Award from Tulsa Women in Communications, the Pinnacle Award from the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from NSU.


Zach Litwack HeadshotZach Litwack, Filmmaker in Residence

Zach Litwack is an award-winning filmmaker based out of Tulsa. He has worked in the film industry and taught filmmaking in Tulsa and Chicago, IL since 2001. His fiction and documentary films have screened at numerous festivals, including The Cannes Film Festival and the Kansas City International Film Festival.


He has recently begun work as a Filmmaker in Residence at Oklahoma State University, where he teaches film courses and helps develop curriculum for the film education program. He is in post-production on the short dark comedy, "I’m Taking You Home" and the feature, "Drowned Land". He is in development on the features, "Lost and Found" and "Quiet Storm."


Learn more about our Film Initiatives


Advisory Board


Angela Browning

Dacia Cunningham

Deborah Hunter

Tvli Jacob

Karl Jones

Hannibal Johnson

Quraysh Ali Lansana

Zach Litwack

Alicia McClendon

Amy Rains

Lynn Wallace




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