E. J. Dionne was the inaugural speaker at the Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture Series. Dionne praised McCarthy as a "poetic Isaiah whose plain literacy puts many other politicians to shame" and that rare politician "willing to stand alone in the hope that, once in a while, something good might happen." 

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic held a free public reading while conducting a residency on November 14-17 at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University.