Each year the Kristina Stahl Writer-in-Residence brings a nationally recognized writer to Colby to visit classes, lecture on craft, give a reading, and meet with creative writing students. Past writers-in-residence include Tony Hoagland, Margot Livesey, Maurice Manning, Steve Orlen, Bill Roorbach, Dani Shapiro, Jo Ann Beard, and Edward Hirsch. The 2017-2018 Kristina Stahl Writer-in-Residence was Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum.

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. His work appears in many publications, including Poetry, Tin House, The New York Times Magazine, The Best American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University. He lives with his partner and their pug dog, Mr. Rupert Giles.