Ohio Wesleyan’s Carpenter Lecture Series was established in 1967 with a generous endowment from the late O. William Carpenter in honor of his wife, Katherine Kearney Carpenter. The lectureship brings one or more distinguished authors to campus each year and features readings and lectures available without charge to the Ohio Wesleyan community and to the public at large.

Previous Carpenter Lecturers include National Book Award winner and MacArthur "Genius Grant" Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times bestselling essayist Leslie Jamison, Poet Laureate of the U.K. Carol Ann Duffy, National Book Award winners William Stafford, Tim O'Brien, Amy Tan and Joyce Carol Oates, 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize winner poet-playwright Derek Walcott, former U.S. Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov, and such other poets as Denise Levertov, Maxine Kumin, Wendell Berry, and X. J. Kennedy. Other writers in the series have included essayist Richard Selzer, William Zinsser, Sven Birkerts, and novelist Carlos Fuentes, Russell Banks, Tobias Wolff, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Recent Carpenter Lecturers:
Ilya Kaminsky, 2021-2022
Ben Lerner, 2019-2020