Marni Ludwig and Eric Lundgren March 6

Celebrated young writers return to campus

I wish you were dead

or near. My paper slippers

glide down the shining hall

where my friends on the walls hang

their names. The shift clock blinks.

I don’t think I’ll get better. Outside

itinerant clouds nod and the lilies

twist in their beds.

— From “Clinic” by Marni Ludwig

I used to drive downtown every night, looking for my wife. The rush hour traffic was across the median and I traveled the westbound lane of I-99 without delay or impediment, sure I was going the wrong way. The city assembled itself, scattered lights in the old skyscrapers meandering the night sky like notes on a staff. What could I have hoped to find there? People didn’t just disappear, I thought at the time.

— From “The Facades” by Eric Lundgren

Eric Lundgren’s debut novel, “The Facades,” has been praised by The New Yorker as “hardboiled existentialism.”

Marni Ludwig’s debut collection of poetry, “Pinwheel,” was chosen by Jean Valentine for the 2012 New Issues Poetry Prize.

Lundgren and Ludwig — both recent alumni of The Writing Program in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis — will return to campus for a free public reading.

Presented by The Writing Program’s spring Reading Series, the event will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall. A reception and book signing immediately will follow.

For more information, call 314-935-7428.

Eric Lundgren

Lundgren was born in Cleveland and grew up in Minneapolis, where he turned to reading as a survival method during the winters. He studied at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon and received his master’s in fine arts from WUSTL’s Writing Program, where he was awarded a third-year fellowship.

Lundgren’s work has appeared in Tin House, Quarterly West and The Quarterly Conversation. He works at a 100-year-old public library in St. Louis, where he lives with his wife, Eleanor, and their two cats.

Marni Ludwig

In addition to “Pinwheel,” Ludwig is the author of “Little Box of Cotton and Lightning,” chosen by Susan Howe for a 2011 Poetry Society of America Chapbook fellowship. She holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University and WUSTL.

Ludwig’s work has appeared — or is forthcoming — in Boston Review, Boulevard, Field, Gulf Coast, High Chair, Jerry, Poetry Northwest, Western Humanities Review and other journals. She is from Brooklyn, N.Y.