Skip to body


College of Arts and Humanities
Give to English

Contact Us

English Department
Language & Literature 423
(509) 963-1546

Follow Us


2015-2016 Lion Rock

Rene Denfeld
October 13, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Wellington Event Center (adjacent to Barto Hall)

Portrait of Rene DenfeldRene Denfeld is the author of The Enchanted, winner of the prestigious French Prix award as well as an ALA Medal For Excellence in Fiction, the Texas Lariat, finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan prize, long-listed for the Carnegie Medal, and the Oregonian's #1 Book of the Year. The Enchanted was inspired by her work with men and women facing execution. Rene lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is the happy mom to three kids she adopted from foster care. She is currently the Chief Investigator for the public defender's office. Website.







Xavier Cavazos and Jennifer L. Knox
November 10, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
SURC Theatre

Portrait of Jennifer L. KnoxJennifer L. Knox is the author of five books of poems. Her latest, Days of Shame and Failure, will be published by Bloof Books in October 2015. Her poems have appeared four times in the Best American Poetry series as well as  The New York Times, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, McSweeney's, and Bomb. Jennifer was born in Lancaster, California—home to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the Space Shuttle. She received her B.A. from the University of Iowa, and her M.F.A. in poetry writing from New York University. She has taught poetry writing at Hunter College and New York University. She currently teaches at Iowa State University. Website.




Portrait of Xavier CavazosXavier Cavazos received his MFA in 2013 from Iowa State University where he served as poetry editor for Flyway: Journal of Creative Writing and the Environment and is the author of Barbarian at the Gate, selected and introduced by Thomas Sayers Ellis as part of the Poetry Society of America's New American Poets Chapbook Series and Diamond Grove Slave Tree, the inaugural Prairie Seed Poetry Prize from Ice Cube Press. Cavazos has poetry forthcoming in the Best American Experimental Writing (BAX) 2015, and teaches in the Africana and Black Studies and the Professional and Creative Writing Programs at Central Washington University.

Katharine Whitcomb
January 19, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Wildcat Shop

Portrait of Katharine WhitcombKatharine Whitcomb is the author of four collections of poems: The Daughter’s Almanac (The Backwaters Press, 2015), chosen by Patricia Smith as the winner of the 2014 The Backwaters Press Prize, Lamp of Letters (Floating Bridge Press, 2009), winner of the 2009 Floating Bridge Chapbook Award, Saints of South Dakota & Other Poems, which was chosen by Lucia Perillo as the winner of the 2000 Bluestem Award and published by Bluestem Press, and Hosannas (Parallel Press, 1999). She is the co-author, with artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter, of The Art Courage Program (Jaded Ibis, 2014), a parody self-help book/art piece. She is the co-editor of A Sense of Place: The Washington State Geospatial Poetry Anthology, and the founding co-editor of Cascadia Chronicle: A Geospatial Journal of Place, Environment and Imagination. Whitcomb was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, and had fellowships in poetry at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She has attended residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, La Muse in Labastide Esparbairenque, France, and the Whiteley Center on San Juan Island, WA. She has had work published in many journals including The Paris Review, Poetry Northwest, and Narrative, and in anthologies, including Fire On Her Tongue, and Making Poems. She teaches at Central Washington University and lives in Ellensburg, Washington. Website.

Megan Kruse
February 23, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
SURC Theatre

Portrait of Megan KruseMegan Kruse is the author of the acclaimed novel Call Me Home, released by Hawthorne Books in 2015, with an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and her work has appeared widely in magazines and journals, including Narrative Magazine, Psychology Today, The Rumpus,and The Sun, among others. She is currently the 2015-2016 Visiting Writer-in-Residency for Eastern Oregon University's Low-Residency MFA program, and at work on a second novel. Megan has just been named one of The National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" Honorees. Website.

Ava Chin
April 5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
SURC Theatre

Portrait of Ava ChinAva Chin is the author of Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal (Simon & Schuster), which won 1st Prize in the 2015 M.F.K. Fisher Book Awards. Kirkus called Eating Wildly “A delectable feast of the heart,” and Library Journal chose it as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times (“Urban Forager”), the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Marie Claire, Saveur, and the Village Voice, among others. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. A former slam poet, she is an associate professor of creative nonfiction at CUNY and a 2015 Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. The Huffington Post named her one of "9 Contemporary Authors You Should Be Reading." Website.

Fred D'Aguiar
April 19, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
SURC Theatre

Portrait of Fred D'AguiarFred D'Aguiar writes across genres. His dozen books include poetry and fiction, as well as published essays and staged and published plays. His latest novel is Children of Paradise (HarperCollins, 2014). Website.








Natalie Diaz
May 17, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Wellington Event Center (adjacent to Barto Hall)

Portrait of Natalie DiazNatalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. She is a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. In 2104, she was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, a Hodder Fellowship, and a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, as well as being awarded a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Rez MFA program and lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, working with the last remaining speakers at Fort Mojave to teach and revitalize the Mojave language. Website.


Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.