|Department of English|
L&L Bldg, 407
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7558
Phone: (509) 963-1745
Fax: (509) 963-1561
Growing up in a Navy family, Lisa Norris lived in four states and the Philippines. Under the influence of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" and carrying Walden under her arm during the 70's, she earned a forestry degree from Virginia Tech and worked as a fire dispatcher, trail ranger and biological technician. She later moved to Idaho and--preferring teaching and writing to trail maintenance or the sacrificing of animals--earned an M.A. in English from Idaho State University. She taught English and creative writing in Idaho and Oregon for ten years, then moved to Washington, D.C., where she completed her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University. Except for a year as an assistant professor at Minnesota State University in Mankato, she taught at Virginia Tech for fifteen years, spending summer weeks in the Pacific Northwest, where she met annually with the Free Range Writers, featured in Poets and Writers May/June 2005 ("From the Garden to the Forest"). In 2007, she joyfully returned to the scenic Pacific Northwest to teach writing and literature at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.
Her book Toy Guns 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 Fourth Genre, Ascent, Notre Dame Review, an anthology called Kiss Tomorrow Hello ( Doubleday 2006) and others.
She enjoys learning about her students and doing nearly any activity that gets her into wild places.
Shannon Wilson (M.A. English 2007, B.A. English 2005) is now an Assistant Professor at Pierce CollegAlumni News
Stephanie Keahey (formerly Nielson), who completed our Writing Specialization in 2013, has publishedFaculty News
Joe Powell's collection of poems, Preamble to the Afterlife, has been published by March Street Pres