The Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series schedules readings every quarter and features nationally known writers reading their own work. We have hosted two winners of the MacArthur Genius Award, as well as the WA State Poet Laureate, and recipients of NEA Fellowships and other major prizes. Each spring, students enrolled in ENG 468: Contemporary Writers Colloquium (an upper level multi-genre writing workshop), meet with three visiting writers from the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series. We also sponsor talks by professional editors and publishers, readings by faculty and students, including open mics, and an annual reading for students who have their work published in CWU's literary magazine, Manastash. Past readers in the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series include Lucia Perillo, Anthony Doerr, Major Jackson, Kim Barnes, Linda Bierds, David Guterson, David Wojahn, Prageeta Sharma and Sam Green.
Alice Derry is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent being Tremolo, published by Red Hen Press in 2012. Her collection Strangers to Their Courage was a finalist for the Washington Book Award in 2002. After thirty-seven years teaching writing and literature, she recently retired from Peninsula College where for more than a quarter century, she co-directed the Foothills Writers Series.
W. Scott Olsen is the author of several books, including At Speed: Traveling the Long Road between Two Points (Univ of Nebraska Press, 2006) and Hard Air: Adventures from the Edge of Flying (Bison Books, 2008) , a blog called “A Week in Fire,” and is the editor of many anthologies. He is a professor of English at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and the editor in chief of the literary journal Ascent.
Co-sponsored by the Museum of Culture and Environment
Karen Finneyfrock is a slam poet, novelist, and teaching artist in Seattle, WA. Her second book of poems, Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, was released on Write Bloody press in 2010. Her young adult novel, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, was released from Viking Children's Books in February, 2013. She is a former writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House in Seattle and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools.
Wednesday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.
Museum of Culture and Environment, Dean Hall
Kathleen Flenniken is the 2012-2014 Washington State Poet Laureate. Her first book, Famous (University of Nebraska, 2006), won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association and a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry, The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, American Life in Poetry, and many other journals and anthologies. Her second collection, Plume, selected by Linda Bierds for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series, was published in Spring 2012 by University of Washington Press.
Flenniken’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Artist Trust, a Pushcart Prize, and grants from Artist Trust and the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop and was awarded an Emerging Writer’s Fellowship by The Writer’s Center in Bethesda in 2010. She teaches poetry through Seattle’s Writers in the Schools program, Jack Straw, and other arts agencies. Flenniken is a co-editor and president of Floating Bridge Press, a non-profit press dedicated to publishing Washington State poets, and president of the board at Jack Straw.
Co-sponsored by the Museum of Culture and Environment
Tuesday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.
David James Duncan is a father, a renowned fly fisher, a practitioner of what he calls “direct, small-scale compassion-activism,” and the author of the novels The River Why and The Brothers K, the story collection River Teeth, and the nonfiction collections My Story as Told by Water and God Laughs & Plays. He is also co-author of two fast-response activist books, The Heart of the Monster (2011, co-written with Rick Bass) and Citizen’s Dissent (2003, co-written with Wendell Berry).
David’s work has won three Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, three Pushcart Prizes, a Lannan Fellowship, the Western States Book Award for nonfiction, a National Book Award nomination, an honorary doctorate from University of Portland, the American Library Association’s 2003 Award for the Preservation of Intellectual Freedom (with co-author Wendell Berry), and inclusion in more than forty national anthologies including Best American Essays, Best American Sports Writing, Best American Catholic Writing, and Best American Spiritual Writing (six times).
David’s essay, stories, memoirs and interviews have appeared in scores of magazines and quarterlies. He has spoken all over the U.S. on rivers and wilderness, imaginative and spiritual freedom, the tragicomedy of the writing life, the nonreligious literature of faith, the workable charm of the contemplative life, and the dire importance of the Interior West’s fast-vanishing wild salmon. David is a contributing editor to Orion Magazine and an appointee to the Trust for Public Land’s Wallace Stegner Circle. His book, River Teeth, helped inspire an award-winning journal of literary nonfiction, also called River Teeth. He scripted and narrated a documentary on bamboo flyrods titled “Trout Grass.”
Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Karen Spears Zacharias writes about real people and the issues that really matter to them.
Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Newsweek, National Public Radio, Relevant Magazine, Christianity Today, and CNN.
Karen teaches journalism at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wa., and blogs at Patheos.com. A vocal advocate for veterans and military families, Karen’s father was killed-in-action,Vietnam, 1966.
While serving as the writer-in-residence at the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts, Fairhope, Al., Karen wrote A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder (MacAdam/Cage, April, 2012). It is the true crime tale of the murder of Karly Sheehan of Corvallis, Oregon.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Tom Wayman was born in 1945 in Hawkesbury, Ontario, a pulp mill town on the Ottawa River. When he was 7 his family moved to Prince Rupert, a fishing and pulp mill town on the B.C. coast just south of the Alaska Panhandle. Wayman’s father was a pulp mill chemist. In 1959, the family moved to Vancouver, B.C., where Wayman finished high school, and attended the University of B.C. He graduated in 1966 with a B.A. in Honors English. During his undergraduate years Wayman worked as a journalist on the Vancouver Sun, and on the UBC student newspaper The Ubyssey (of which he was editor-in-chief in 1965-66).
In 1966 Wayman went to southern California for graduate work, receiving an M.F.A. in English and writing from the University of California at Irvine. He subsequently worked at a range of manual and academic jobs in Colorado, Ontario, Michigan, and Alberta, as well as British Columbia. He has been writer-in-residence at the University of Windsor, University of Alberta, Simon Fraser University, University of Winnipeg and most recently (1996) University of Toronto. His latest teaching stints were for Okanagan University College in Vernon and Kelowna, B.C. (1990-91, and 1992-95) and the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, B.C. (1991-92, and 1995-present) .
Wayman has published thirteen collections of his poems, most recently Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-93 (1993) and The Astonishing Weight of the Dead (1994). A collection of his essays was published in 1983, and another, A Country Not Considered: Canada, Culture, Work, appeared in 1993. A play of his, The Parts Yard, was produced in the 1984 DuMaurier Festival of Plays in Vancouver.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Jason Brown is the author of the short-story collections Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work (Open City Books, 2007) and Driving the Heart (W .W .Norton & Co. , 1999). He received an MFA from Cornell and was a Wallace Stegner and a Truman Capote Fellow at Stanford University. Brown has won numerous fiction prizes and his work has appeared in publications such as The Best American Short Stories, Harper's, Open City, TriQuarterly, The Atlantic, and The Georgia Review.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Jesse Lee Kercheval was born in Fontainbleau, France, and was raised in Florida. In 1983, she received a B.A. in History from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, where she studied writing with Janet Burroway, David Kirby, and Jerome Stern among others.
In 1986, she received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was a teaching-writing fellow. After teaching a year as an assistant professor at DePauw University, in 1987, she joined the writing faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is currently the Sally Mead Hands Professor of English . She was director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing from 1994 to 2010 and was also the founding director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Wisconsin.Kercheval is the author of twelve books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Her novella Brazil (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010) won the Ruthanne Wiley Memorial Novella Contest. Her poetry collection Cinema Muto (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009) was selected by David Wojahn for a Crab Orchard Open Selection Award. Her story collection The Alice Stories (University of Nebraska Press, 2007) won the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize. Her first story collection The Dogeater (University of Missouri Press, 1987) won the Associated Writing Programs Award in Short Fiction. Space (Alonquin Books, 1998), her memoir about growing up near Cape Kennedy during the moon race, won the Alex Award from the American Library Association. Her novel The Museum of Happiness, set in Paris in 1929, has been reissued with a new afterword by the author by the University of Wisconsin Press as part of the Library of American Fiction. Her popular writing text Building Fiction has also been reissued in trade paperback by the UW Press. Her other poetry collections are Dog Angel (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004) and World as Dictionary (Carnegie-Mellon University Press, 1999). She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks, Chartreuse (Hollyridge Press, 2005) and Film History as Train Wreck (Center for Book Arts, 2006) which won the 2006 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize. Her novel, My Life as a Silent Movie, is forthcoming from Indiana University Press in their Break Away Books series. Her individual stories and poems appear regularly in magazines in the U.S, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
She has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Research and Study Center at Harvard, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Corporation of Yaddo, and James A. Michener and the Copernicus Society. She spent 2010-2011 on sabbatical in Montevideo, Uruguay.Her current projects include a collection of poems, Extranjera, in Spanish about Uruguay.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Elizabeth Austen is the author of the poetry collection Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011) and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Goes Alone (Floating Bridge Press, 2010) and Where Currents Meet, part of the 2010 Toadlily Press quartet, Sightline. Her poems have appeared in journals including Willow Springs, Bellingham Review, the Los Angeles Review, the Seattle Review, DMQ Review, and anthologies including Poets Against the War, Weathered Pages and the Telling.
Through her early thirties, she worked as an actor, vocal coach and director with companies including Book-It Repertory Theatre, On the Boards and the Seattle Shakespeare Festival, as well as companies in Michigan, Montana, New Jersey and London, England. She trained as a classical actor and vocal coach at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and studied history, literature and philosophy at University College, London.
She earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University-Los Angeles in 2001, and has taught in the “Inquiry Through Writing” program at Richard Hugo House, a literary arts center in Seattle. She has been a visiting artist for the Anacortes, La Conner, Mount Vernon, Seattle and Sedro Woolley, Washington school districts, and for the Austin, Texas ArtSpark Festival. She has led workshops for Burning Word, Field’s End, Highline Community College, Poets in the Park, Puget Sound Writers Program and the Washington Center for the Book.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 7:30 pm
♦ Music Building Recital Hall
Harold Taw's debut novel, Adventures of the Karaoke King (AmazonEncore 2011), is a karaoke grail quest about people who keep falling just short of their dreams. A participant in the 2009 Artist Trust EDGE Program for Writers and the 2011 Jack Straw Writers Program, Harold received an Artist Trust GAP award to research his second novel Saturday's Child, garnered accolades for his screenplay Dog Park, and had his work featured on NPR and in a New York Times bestselling anthology. Harold graduated from Yale Law School and as a Fulbright Scholar studied prostitution and the AIDS epidemic in rural Thailand.
A reviewer for The Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark, New Jersey praised Harold's novel as an "imaginative and engrossing tale," in which "the targets of his poison pen are consumerism, the tawdry accoutrements of tourist stops in the Southwest, corporate destruction of unique establishments in a quest to MacDonald's-ize commercial success, self-help gurus and the insanity of the justice system that demonizes immigrants."
An Amazon.com customer criticized Harold's novel as "[d]isturbing" and "the bleakest, grimmest book I've read in a very long time" because it left her "in the grip of an overwhelming sense that perhaps this is indeed all there is to life in America...."
Harold thinks both reviewers got it just about right. He is featured in a radio piece on karaoke produced for the NPR affiliate KPLU.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 7:30 pm
♦ SURC Ballroom
Lorraine Healy, an award-winning Argentinean poet of Irish ancestry, was the first poet to receive a green card solely on the merits of her work. Her book of poems The Habit of Buenos Aires won the Patricia Bibby First Book Award and was published by Tebot Bach Press in 2010. She has won several other national awards including the Hackney Prize and has been published extensively both in the U.S. and her native Argentina. Healy graduated from the M.F.A in Poetry program at New England College, New Hampshire, as well as from the post-MFA Program at Antioch University Los Angeles. As a fine arts photographer, she has had several collective shows at the Bayview Front Room on Whidbey Island and participated in the Island Arts Council Open Studio Tour.
Tuesday, November 8, 2012, 7:30 pm
♦ Cultural Museum, Dean Hall
Philip Garrison is the author of many books, including Augury and Waiting for the Earth to Turn Over(University of Utah Press), The Permit that Never Expires: Migrant Tales from the Ozark Hills and the Mexican Highlands (University of Arizona Press), and Because I Don't Have Wings: Stories of Mexican Immigrant Life(University of Arizona Press). He also founded APOYO, a volunteer group that offers advocacy, interpretation services, and a food and clothing bank that now serves some 400 people a month from Central Washington's Mexican communities. He is a recipient of the Associated Writing Programs Creative Nonfiction Award and a Governor's Writer's Award from Washington State. He is a professor emeritus at Central Washington University.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
♦ SURC Ballroom
Lisa Norris's story collection, Women Who Sleep With Animals (Stephen F. Austin State University Press 2010), won the Stephen F. Austin University Press Prize for fiction and was a finalist for the Spokane prize. Her first book, Toy Guns: Stories, won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize in 1999 and was published by Helicon Nine Press. Her stories, poems and creative nonfiction have been published in a number of literary journals-most recently Shenandoah, South Dakota Review, and Ascent--as well as an anthology called Kiss Tomorrow Hello (Doubleday 2006). She received her MFA in Creative Writing from American University, her MA from Idaho State University, and her BS in Fisheries & Wildlife from Virginia Tech. She is an associate professor at Central Washington University.
Monday, April 9, 2012, 7:30 pm
♦ SURC Theater
Brian Doyle is the author of Mink River (Oregon State University Press 2010). Some of his other works include The Grail: A Year Ambling and Shambling through an Oregon Vineyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir Wine in the Whole Wild World (Oregon State University Press), The Wet Engine (Paraclete Press) and five collections of essays. Doyle's work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, American Scholar, Orion and in the Best American Essays anthologies of 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2005. He is editor of Portlandmagazine, the publication of the University of Portland, in Oregon.
♦ SURC Theater
Ted Kooser served as the U. S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006, and his book Delights & Shadows won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for poetry Over a dozen volumes of his poetry were published between 1969 and 2007. Also an essayist, he is a Presidential Professor of English at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His writing is known for its clarity, precision and accessibility. He worked for many years in the life insurance business, retiring in 1999 as a vice president. He and his wife, Kathleen Rutledge, the retired editor of The Lincoln Journal Star, live on an acreage near the village of Garland, Nebraska. He has a son, Jeff, and a granddaughter, Margaret.
Monday, May 14, 2012, 7:30 pm
♦ SURC Theater
Daniel Orozco, the author of Orientation: And Other Stories published in May, 2011 by Faber & Faber , also has published work in Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and in Harper's Magazine, Zoetrope, McSweeney's, Story Quarterly, and others. He was a Scowcroft and L'Heureux Fiction Fellow and a Jones Lecturer in Fiction in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University. He has been awarded residencies from the MacDowell Colony and the Lannan Foundation, and is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, and from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is an assistant professor at the University of Idaho.
Monday, October 4, 2010, 7:30 pm ♦ Mary Grupe Center
Joseph Powell grew up on a small farm in Ellensburg. He received his BA in English Literature from the University of Washington, an MA from Central Washington University, and a MFA from the University of Arizona. His first book of poems, Counting the Change, was selected by Ted Weiss to be published in the Quarterly Review of Literature; his second, Winter Insomnia, was published by Lex Runciman's Arrowood Books; his third, Getting Here, was also chosen by Weiss for the Quarterly Review of Literature. He has also co-written a book with Mark Halperin on meter in poetry: Accent On Meter: A Handbook for the Readers of Poetry, published by NCTE. He published a book of stories in 2007 titled Fish Grooming & Other Stories from March Street Press which was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. His latest book of poems, Hard Earth, was published in 2010 by March Street Press. In his spare time, he enjoys flyfishing, gardening, gathering mushrooms and berries, playing ping-pong and tennis. Joe teaches writing at Central Washington University.
Monday, October 18, 2010, 7:30 pm ♦ Music Building Recital Hall
Jess Walter is the author of five novels, including The Zero, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and Citizen Vince, winner of the 2005 Edgar Allen Poe Award for best novel. He has been a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the PEN USA Literary Prize in both fiction and nonfiction. His books have been New York Times, Washington Post and NPR best books of the year and are translated into twenty-two languages. He lives with his family in Spokane.
Monday, November 1, 2010, 7:30 pm ♦ Mary Grupe Center
William Pack grew up in poverty in rural Montana, became emancipated from his parents at age 15, slept on floors and worked odd jobs until landing a job as a stock broker for Merrill Lynch. He used hard work, business prowess, and an uncanny intuition for timing market swings to quickly rise to prominence. At 36 he became the youngest EVP/divisional director at Citigroup Smith Barney. Pack also served as an arbitrator and an appellate arbitrator while serving an appointment on the District Conduct Committee of the NASD, a secruities regulation enforcement partner of the SEC, where he studied and resolved securitites schemes. His first book, The Bottom of the Sky , is published by Riverbend Publishing of Helena, Montana. It was an award-winning finalist, Best Book 2009 Awards, in the category of Literature and Fiction: General (USA Book News). When not in Montana, Pack lives in Northern California.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 7:30 pm ♦ SURC Theatre
Tod Marshall grew up in Kansas. His first collection of poetry was Dare Say (University of Georgia Press, 2002). He has also published a collection of his interviews with contemporary poets, Range of the Possible (Eastern Washington University Press, 2002) and an attendant anthology of work by the interviewed poets, Range of Voices (EWU Press, 2005). His latest book is The Tangled Line (Canarium Press, 2009). He lives in Spokane, Washington, and teaches at Gonzaga University.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 7:30 pm ♦ SURC Theatre
Buddy Levy is the author of the forthcoming River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana's Historic Descent of the Amazon (Bantam Dell, 2011) and Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs (Bantam Dell, 2008), which was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, 2009. His previous books include American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett (Putnam, 2005, Berkeley Books, 2006); and Echoes On Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge (Pruett, 1998). As a freelance journalist he has covered adventure sports and lifestyle/travel subjects around the world, including several Eco-Challenges and other adventure expeditions in Argentina, Borneo, Chile, Ecuador, Europe, Greenland, Peru, Morocco, and the Philippines. His magazine articles and essays have appeared in Backpacker, Big Sky Journal, Couloir, Discover, High Desert Journal, Poets & Writers, River Teeth, Ski, Trail Runner, Utne Reader, TV Guide, and VIA. He is associate professor of English at Washington State University, and lives in northern Idaho with his wife and two children.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 7:30 pm ♦ SURC Theatre
Marjorie Sandor is the author of The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction, Arcade Publishing (May 2011), Portrait of My Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime, Sarabande Books (2003), and The Night Gardener, The Lyons Press (1999) as well as A Night of Music, Ecco Press (1989). She won an award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation for fiction in 1999, the Oregon Book Award for Literay Nonfiction in 2000 and the National Jewish Book Award in Fiction in 2004. She earned her MFA from the University of Iowa in 1984 and her BA from the University of California at Davis in 1979. Marjorie is a professor at Oregon State University where she teaches creative writing and literature.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 7:30 pm ♦ SURC Ballroom, Section A
Susan Rich is the author of three collections of poetry, The Cartographer's Tongue / Poems of the World, Cures Include Travel, and The Alchemist's Kitchen. She has received awards from PEN USA, The Times Literary Supplement, and Peace Corps Writers. Her fellowships include an Artists Trust Fellowship from Washington State and a Fulbright Fellowship in South Africa. She lives in Seattle.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 7:30 pm ♦ SURC Ballroom, Section A
Poet Allen Braden is author of A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood (University of Georgia Press 2009) and a fine letterpress accordion book, Detail of the Four Chambers to the Horse's Heart. He received an NEA fellowship for creative writing and was awarded a residency at the Poetry Center and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Braden's recent work appears in Orion Magazine, Subtropics, Poetry International, Water-Stone Review and three textbooks. He lives in Tacoma and teaches poetry and creative writing at Tacoma Community College
Joe Powell's collection of poems, Preamble to the Afterlife, has been published by March Street PresStudent News
Jeff Suwak's short story "The Lighthouse" has been published in The Foundling Review. His fantFaculty News
Katharine Whitcomb received the 2013 College of Arts and Humanities Outstanding Faculty Teaching Awa