Lion Rock Visiting Writers 2021-2022

The Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series schedules readings every quarter and features nationally known writers reading their own work. We have hosted  winners of the MacArthur Genius Award, WA State Poets Laureate, and recipients of Catamundo, Whiting, Guggenheim, Lannan, and NEA Fellowships, and other major prizes.

Each spring, students enrolled in ENG 568 and ENG 468: Contemporary Writers Colloquium (graduate and upper-level multi-genre writing workshops, respectively), 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 Natalie Diaz, Eduardo Corral, Elissa Washuta, Lucia Perillo, Anthony Doerr, Jos Charles, Major Jackson, Kim Barnes, Linda Bierds, David Guterson, David Wojahn, Prageeta Sharma, and many others.

The Series wishes to thank our many generous sponsors, including the College of Arts and Humanities, CWU Libraries, Museum of Culture and Environment, The Wildcat Shop, Karen Gookin, Len Thayer Grants, Humanities Washington, S&A, President's Office/Diversity and Inclusivity, the WGSS Program, The Douglas Honors College, and many partnerships across departments, schools, and the Kittitas Community, including those with Kittitas County Regional Library Board, One Book One County Program, Ellensburg Public Library, and Gallery One.

Annie DeWitt (she/her) and Leslie Shipman (she/her)

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
12:00 p.m. From Writer to Professional Author: A Presentation and Q&A on The Business Side of Publishing

Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series presents agents Annie DeWitt and Leslie Shipman, from the Shipman Agency, which represents authors such as Eula Biss, Alexander Chee, and Kazim Ali, writing about activism, critical race theory, the body, environment, and more, from manuscript to book to speaking arrangements. Drawing from their extensive industry expertise, DeWitt and Shipman will discuss the "business" side of literary publishing, such as how a writer finds a literary agent, contracts a speaking agent, and engages as a professional author. They will also take audience questions. This event is virtual, free, and open to the public. Pre-registration required. 

Learn more about the Shipman Agency here

Portrait of Annie Dewitt in black and white sitting in a chair with her arm draped behind itAnnie Dewitt is a passionate writer, editor and literary liaison. She brings to the Shipman Agency ten years of experience teaching at some of the country's leading creative writing programs including: Columbia University School of the Arts, Barnard, Bard, Bennington, Skidmore and The New School where she was nominated for a Distinguished Teaching Award. She went on to found and direct Roxbury Writers Residency at her home in the Catskills.

Annie was a Co-Founding Editor of Gigantic, a literary journal of short prose and art carried throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her debut novel WHITE NIGHTS IN SPLIT TOWN CITY was named one of 2016’s “Most Anticipated” debuts by The Millions, was shortlisted by The New York Times Book Review as a debut novel of note and received accolades from BookForum, Interview Magazine, Publishers WeeklyVogue, amongst many others. It now appears in several languages.

Her debut story collection in progress – CLOSEST WITHOUT GOING OVER – was shortlisted for the Mary McCarthy Prize. Stories in the collection have been translated into Latvian and Swedish and have appeared widely in the U.S. in GrantaGuernica, Esquire, BOMB, Electric Literature, NOON, The Iowa Review, The American Reader, ZYZZYVA, amongst others.  Annie holds an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia School of the Arts and was the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship. Annie is looking to acquire literary fiction and nonfiction of extraordinary authenticity, urgency and voice.

Portrait of Leslie Shipman wearing black glasses and a black outfit sitting on a wooden stoolLeslie Shipman has spent 25 years promoting writers, and creating and managing literary events in New York City, from the National Book Awards Finalist Reading at the New School to Eat, Drink, and Be Literary at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

She spent over a decade at the National Book Foundation, (which presents the National Book Award), where she was instrumental in creating events and programs such as 5 Under 35, a prize for promising young novelists, the National Book Awards After Party, Eat, Drink, and Be Literary at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Innovations in Reading, a prize that promotes community organizations working at the grassroots level to encourage reading across constituencies, and BookUp, an afterschool program for middle school age students, as well as assembling awards juries. She consulted at PEN America, a leading advocate for free expression, and worked on the PEN Literary Awards, and the PEN World Voices Festival.

A poet with an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, her work can be found in the Kenyon Review, BOMB, Tinderbox, Mid-American Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and elsewhere. She lives in Ridgewood, Queens with her husband, musician Paul Pimsler, and their dog Junie.

Fall Student Reading (Virtual)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
6:00 p.m. "Gather & Feast"

Why do we celebrate? Accepting student poetry and prose submissions inspired by family, ritual, and land.

Fall Student Reading Poster

Prose Reading with writer Miah Jeffra (they/him)

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022  6:00 p.m. PST
Featuring a reading by LRVWS Intern Gianna Starble

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022  12:00 p.m. PST Craft talk 

The Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series is proud to present a prose reading and participatory craft talk with writer and CWU professor Miah Jeffra.

Portrait of Miah Jeffra in a black and white photo with his hands in movement in front of his chestMiah Jeffra is an author of four books of prose, most recently The Violence Almanac and the forthcoming novel American Gospel. Work can be seen in StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, The North American Review, Barrelhouse, DIAGRAM, jubilat, and others. Miah is co-founder of Whiting Award-winning queer and trans literary collaborative, Foglifter Press, and teaches writing and decolonial studies at Santa Clara University and Central Washington University. 

You can learn more about Jeffra on their website

Portrait of Gianna Starble wearing a gold sweater and statement earrings, smiling at the cameraGianna Marie Starble (she/her) is currently finishing her degree in Professional and Creative Writing at Central Washington University and interning for the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series. In 2020 she won second place for best creative non-fiction piece in the Write On The River competition. She currently resides in Cashmere, Washington.

Kristen Millares Young (she/her)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022  12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Telling Your Story: A Personal Essay Workshop
Featuring a reading by LRVWS Intern Karla Yaritza Maravilla

Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series presents journalist, essayist, and teacher Kristen Millares Young for an hour-long interactive and generative workshop on the personal essay. Young will guide participants to write their own stories through a one-page reading that promotes group discussion and timed writing exercises that focus on the community narratives. This event is virtual, free, and open to the public. Pre-registration is required.

Portrait of Kristen Millares-Young wearing a green long-sleeve top and looking off to the side with a smile.Kristen Millares Young (she/her) is a prize-winning journalist, essayist, and teacher. Named a Paris Review staff pick, her novel Subduction was a finalist for Foreword Indies Book of the Year and two International Latino Book Awards. The editor of Seismic and a former Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, Young was the New York Times researcher for "Snow Fall," which won a Pulitzer Prize. Young lives in Seattle.

Learn more about Kristen Millares Young here.

*Biography included by our sponsor Humanities Washington 

A close up photo of Karla Maravilla wearing a black top.



Karla Yaritza Maravilla (she/her) is a Chicana poet and scholar whose work focuses on hybrid identities and spirituality within the Latine/Latinx community. Her work is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest and has appeared locally in CWU's student literary journal Manastash and at the Collapse Contemporary Art Gallery in Wenatchee. She will be presenting a conference paper titled "Mestizaje through Epidemic: Curanderismo as Spiritual Healing in Alejandro Morales' The Rag Doll Plagues" at the 43rd annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico this February 2022. She is a Senior in the B.A. Professional and Creative Writing Program minoring in Latino and Latin American Studies, a McNair Fellow, and an intern for the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series at Central Washington University.

Sponsored by Humanities Washington, CWU El Centro Latin and Latino American Studies, CWU Douglas Honors College, CWU Libraries, and Kittitas County Regional Library Board.

Kristen Millares Young (ella)

Martes, 15 de febrero de 2022, 12:00 p.m. (mediodía) a 1:30 p.m. Cuenta Tu Historia: Un Taller de Ensayo Personal
Con una lectura de la pasante de LRVWS Karla Yaritza Maravilla

La Serie de Escritores Visitantes de Lion Rock presenta a la periodista, ensayista y profesora Kristen Millares Young en un taller interactivo y generativo de una hora sobre el ensayo personal. Young guiará a los participantes a escribir sus propias historias a través de una lectura de una página que promueve la discusión en grupo y ejercicios de escritura cronometrados que se enfocan en narrativas comunitarias. Este evento es virtual, gratuito y abierto al público. Se requiere preinscripción.

Portrait of Kristen Millares-Young wearing a green long-sleeve top and looking off to the side with a smile.

Kristen Millares Young (ella) es una ensayista, profesora y periodista premiada. Nombrada elegida por el personal de Paris Review, su novela Subduction fue finalista del Libro del Año de Foreword Indies y dos Premios Internacionales del Libro Latino. La editora de Seismic y una ex-escritora en residencia de Hugo House, Young fue el investigador del New York Times por "Snow Fall," que ganó un premio Pulitzer. Young vive en Seattle.

Conozca más sobre Kristen Millares Young aquí

*Biografío incluida por nuestra patrocinadora Humanities Washington.

A close up photo of Karla Maravilla wearing a black top.

Karla Yaritza Maravilla (ella) es una poeta y académica chicana cuyo trabajo se centra en las identidades híbridas y la espiritualidad dentro de la comunidad Latine/Latinx. Su trabajo se publicará en Poetry Northwest y ha aparecido localmente en la revista literaria de estudiantes de CWU Manastash, y en la Collapse Contemporary Art Gallery en Wenatchee. Ella presentará un documento de conferencia titulado "Mestizaje a través de la Epidemia: El Curanderismo como Curación Espiritual en Alejandro Morales' The Rag Doll Plagues" en la 43a Conferencia anual de Southwest Popular/American Culture Association en Albuquerque, Nuevo México, este febrero de 2022. Ella es una estudiante de último año en la B.A. Programa de Escritura Creativa y Profesional con especialización en estudios Latinos y Latinoamericanos, becario de McNair y pasante de La Serie de Escritores Visitantes de Lion Rock en Central Washington University. 

Sponsored by Humanities Washington, CWU El Centro Latin and Latino American Studies, CWU Douglas Honors College, CWU Libraries, and Kittitas County Regional Library Board.

Winter Student Reading (Virtual)

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022  6:00 p.m.

Winter Student Reading Poster

Two Events with Phinder Dulai (he/him)

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022  12:00 p.m. "Poetry in the Archives:" Presentation by Phinder Dulai on source materials for his docupoetic collection for dream / arteries

Thursday, April 21st, 2022 — 6:00 p.m. Phinder Dulai, Reading from dream / arteries; introduced and with a reading by Julianna (Jay) Kropla

Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series presents Phinder Dulai, Writer and Archives Scholar, for two events introduced and moderated by English faculty M. Eliatamby-O'Brien.

{hoto of Phinder Dulai speaking at a microphone, looking down at a folder in his hands.Phinder Dulai is the Surrey-based author of dream / arteries (Talon Books) and two previous books of poetry: Ragas from the Periphery (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995) and Basmati Brown (Nightwood Editions, 2000). Phinder toured dream / arteries extensively across Canada and USA. He read from dream / arteries at the Asian American Writers Workshop in New York City in 2015. His work has appeared in Canadian Literature, Cue Books Anthology, Ankur, Matrix, Memewar Magazine, Rungh, the Capilano Review, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Toronto South Asian Review, subTerrain, and West Coast LINE. In 2017, he was the co-creator of Canada's first writing residency for BIPOC writers called Centering Ourselves at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He currently serves as the Poetry Editor for Canadian Literature Journal.

Books can be ordered from Dulai's Canadian Publisher.



Photo of Juliana Kropla with a pink bob and wearing a square-neck blouse.Julianna Kropla (they/she) is a poet and literature fiend in their final year at Central Washington University. Their poetry has been published in Manastash Literary Journal. Alongside interning for Lion Rock, Julianna works for the university's writing center and is a McNair fellow. Their research funded by the McNair Scholars Program centers around horror films and the portrayals of minorities within the genre. This research has been presented at CWU's SOURCE and will be presented at the GEG Symposium hosted by University of Washington. They will be furthering their education in graduate school with plans to continue writing about the Moon and how moss feels under her feet. When they are not writing feverishly, she is likely talking about Scooby-Doo. Julianna currently resides in Ellensburg, WA with her spouse and cat.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil (she/her)

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 — 6 p.m. PST LRVWS presents Aimee Nezhukumatathil, reading from her work and featuring a reading and introduction by LRVWS Intern Kathleen Singleton

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 — 12:00 p.m. PST Craft Talk: "Consider the Penguin."

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 — 3:30 p.m. PST LRVWS & Kittitas County Regional Library Board present an interactive, generative workshop, "Nature Poetry for Kids."

Essayist, poet, and professor, author of World of Wonders, former Poetry Editor of Orion Magazine, and gardener Aimee Nezhukumatathil visits CWU and Ellensburg Community for three virtual, free, and public events on May 10th and 11th, 2022. 

Portrait of Aimee Nezhukumatathil smiling at the camera in a white blouse with a thin black tieAimee Nezhukumatathil (neh-ZOO / KOO-mah / tah-TILL) is the author of the New York Times best-selling illustrated collection of nature essays and Kirkus Prize finalist, WORLD OF WONDERS: IN PRAISE OF FIREFLIES, WHALE SHARKS, & OTHER ASTONISHMENTS (2020, Milkweed Editions), which was chosen as Barnes and Noble's Book of the Year. She has four previous poetry collections: OCEANIC (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), LUCKY FISH (2011), AT THE DRIVE-IN VOLCANO (2007), and MIRACLE FRUIT (2003), the last three from Tupelo Press. Her most recent chapbook is LACE & PYRITE, a collaboration of epistolary garden poems with the poet Ross Gay. Her writing appears twice in the Best American Poetry SeriesThe New York Times MagazineESPNPloughsharesAmerican Poetry Review, and Tin House. Honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pushcart Prize, a Mississippi Arts Council grant, and being named a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry. In 2021, she became the first-ever poetry editor for SIERRA magazine, the story-telling arm of The Sierra Club. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi's MFA program. Aimee's extended bio. Photo credit: Caroline Beffa Photography
Photo of Kathleen Singleton wearing blackKathleen Singleton is a writer in their senior year at Central Washington University. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, their writing explores familial history and the natural world. In addition to working as an intern with the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series, they work as a writing tutor and a communication assistant at Central Washington University. Their work has been featured at CWU's SOURCE, as well as at Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series readings. In their spare time they enjoy trying to make the perfect cup of tea and reading good books.

Panel Reading and Discussion with Chen Chen, Danni Quintos, and SJ Sindu

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 — 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time (US and Canada)

As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Studies Program, EthicsLab, and Libraries at Central Washington University invite three authors to read and discuss their work and their experiences of race and identity in the U.S. This public-facing discussion will inform a faculty workshop where students will explore the themes addressed in the panel discussion. The panel and workshop will be supported by a resource and reading list created by CWU Libraries whitch will include suggested reading, listening, and watching for cultivating greater awareness about racism against Asian Americans in the United States.

Panelists: Chen Chen, Danni Quintos, and SJ Sindu
Moderator: M. Eliatamby-O'Brien

Portrait of Chen Chen wearing a hat and glasses grinning at the cameraChen Chen

Photo of Danni Quintos wearing glasses with a hedge and tree behind herDanni Quintos

Portrait of SJ Sindu in a black blouse with a yellow backgroundSJ Sindu

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