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2012-2013 Lion Rock

Portrait of Kathleen Flenniken

Kathleen Flenniken
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


Portrait of David James DuncanTuesday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.

SURC Theatre

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.”


Portrait of Karen Spears ZachariasTuesday, January 29, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

SURC Theatre

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 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.


Portrait of Tom WaymanTuesday, February 19, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

SURC Theatre

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.

SURC Theatre

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.

Portrait of Jesse Lee KerchevalJesse Lee Kercheval

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

SURC Ballroom

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.

Portrait of Elizabeth AustenElizabeth Austen

Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

SURC Theatre

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.

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