CWU News

Acclaimed Poet Sherwin Bitsui to Hold Workshop and Reading at CWU

Sherwin Bitsui, whose poetry collection, Flood Song, won the prestigious American Book Award and PEN Open Book Award in 2010, will visit Central Washington University as part of the 2017 Lion Rock Visiting Writers series on Tuesday, October 3.


Bitsui will read from his work from 6:00 pm. To 7:00 p.m. in the CWU Museum of Culture and Environment. Earlier in the day, he will give a poetry craft talk from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Black Hall, room 151.

Both events are free and open to the public. His books will be available for sale courtesy of the CWU Wildcat Shop following the 7:30 event.

Bitsui is also the author of Shapeshift (2003) and his work has appeared in the Iowa Review, American Poet, and Red Ink. He also has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, a grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, a Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.

Bitsui is a Diné (Navajo) from the Navajo Reservation in White Cone, Arizona. He received an AFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts Creative Writing Program and has served as a visiting writer or visiting faculty member at the University of Wyoming, University of Montana, and San Diego State University.

His work is, according to the Poetry Foundation, “steeped in Native American culture, mythology, and history. Bitsui’s poems reveal the tensions in the intersection of Native American and contemporary urban culture.”

The event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities, English Department, CWU Museum of Culture and Environment, Karen Gookin, the Wildcat Shop, and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

For more information about the Lion Rock series, visit: or contact Lisa Norris at 509-963-1745,

Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,