Past Visiting Writers

Every year the MFA program invites several prestigious writers to campus, where they lead workshops of student work and give readings to the broader community.  Recent guests in our visiting writers series include Albert Goldbarth, Thomas Lynch, Aurelie Sheehan, Peter Everwine, Mark Childress, David Wojahn, Ladette Randolph, Patricia Hampl, Linda Bierds, Thomas Lux, Alison Baker, James Tate, Valerie Martin, John Edgar Wideman, Dorianne Laux, Yusef Komunyakaa, Phillip Lopate, Lan Samantha Chang, Marilynne Robinson, Stuart Dybek, Gerald Stern, Lee Gutkind, Jane Smiley, Susan Musgrave, Ira Sukrungruang, John Rybicki, Molly Giles, and Lydia Millet.  (Right from top: Smiley, Lynch, and Musgrave.)

Please contact Pam Russell at 509.828.1434 for more information on visiting writers and all general program questions. 

2014-2015 Visiting Writers Series


Joseph Salvatore

Joseph Salvatore has published fiction and criticism in The Brooklyn Rail, Dossier Journal, H.O.W. Journal, LIT, New York Tyrant, Open City, Post Road, Salt Hill, Sleeping Fish, Willow Springs, 110 Stories (NYU Press, 2001), and Routeledge’s Encyclopedia of Queer Culture (2003). He is a frequent fiction reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and an assistant professor at The New School, where he founded their literary journal, LIT, and where he was awarded the University’s Award for Teaching Excellence. He is the Book Review editor for fiction and poetry at The Brooklyn Rail. His debut collection of short stories, To Assume a Pleasing Shape, from BOA Editions, was published 2011. He lives in New York City.

 Andrea Scarpino & William Wright

ascarpino1Andrea Scarpino is the author of Once,Then, a collection of poems published in March 2014 by Red Hen Press, and The Grove Behind, published by Finishing Line Press in 2009, She is a contributor to the blog Planet of the Blind and is widely published in print and online journals. She teaches in Union Institute and University’s Cohort Ph.D. Program in Interdisciplinary Studies where she is the Creative Dissertation Coordinator, Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing, and Director of the Master of Arts Program.
William Wright is the author of eight collections of poetry: four full length
books, including Tree Heresies (Mercer University Press, forthcoming in 2015), Night Field Anecdote (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011), Bledsoe (Texas Review Press, 2011), and Dark Orchard (Texas Review Press, 2005). Wright’s chapbooks are April Creatures (Blue Horse Press, forthcoming in 2015), Sleep Paralysis, Winner of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Prize, selected by Kwame Dawes, (Stepping Stones Press, 2012), Xylem & Heartwood (Finishing Line, 2013) , and The Ghost Narratives (Finishing Line, 2008). Wright is Series Editor and Volume Co-editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology, a multivolume series celebrating contemporary writing of the American South, published by Texas Review Press. Wright is also co-editor of Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry, to be published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2015. Additionally Wright serves as Assistant Editor for Shenandoah, translates German poetry, and edits several volumes, including The World Is Charged: Poetic Engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins (with Daniel Westover). Wright won the 2012 Porter Fleming Prize in Poetry and will serve as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee during the Spring 2016 term.

Emily Rapp

Headshot2012Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA) and The Still Point of the Turning World (Penguin Press), which was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the PEN Literary Award in nonfiction. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College-Dublin, Saint Olaf College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She has received fellowships and awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Fundacion Valparaiso, and Bucknell University, where she was the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence. Her blog, Little Seal, was named by TIME as one of the top 25 blogs of 2012, and The Huffington Post has recommended her work as “Required Reading for Women.” In 2013 she was named one of the “Faces to Watch” by The Los Angeles Times. Her work has appeared in VOGUE, the New York Times, The Times (UK), Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, The Sun, TIME, the Boston Globe, The Week, Redbook, O, the Oprah Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications. She regularly reviews books for the Boston Globe and the New York Times. She is on faculty in the University of California-Riverside Palm Desert MFA Program, and is currently the Joseph Russo Chair in Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico. She lives in a small mining town outside Santa Fe with her family.


Elizabeth Graver

Elizabeth Graver’s fourth novel, The End of the Point, was long-listed for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction and selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her other novels are Awake, The Honey Thief, and Unravelling. Her story collection, Have You Seen Me?, won the 1991 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories (1991, 2001); Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards (1994, 1996, 2001), The Pushcart Prize Anthology (2001), and Best American Essays (1998). She teaches at Boston College and is at work on a new project that draws on the Sephardic Jewish history of her family.

 Walter KirnWalter_Kirn

Walter Kirn is a novelist, literary critic and essayist. He is the author of eight books and an e-book. His novels Up in the Air and Thumbsucker have both been adapted into popular films. Kirn’s most recent publication, a memoir entitled Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery and a Masquerade, tells the story of his friendship with imposter and convicted murderer Clark Rockefeller. Kirn graduated from Princeton University in 1983 and went on to earn a second degree in English literature from Oxford. He is a contributing editor to Time magazine, where he was nominated for a National Magazine Award in his first year, and a regular reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vogue, New York and Esquire. He splits his time between Montana and California.

Michele Glazer & Mary Szybist


Michele Glazer’s books of poems are It Is Hard to Look at What We Came to Think We’d Come to See (Pittsburgh, 1998), which won the AWP Prize, Aggregate of Disturbances (Iowa, 2004), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize, and On Tact, & the Made Up World (Iowa, 2010), published in the Kuhl House Series. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Oregon Arts Commission, and Literary Arts. Glazer teaches in and currently directs the MFA Creative Writing program at Portland State University.

Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry. She the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.   Her work has appeared in such publications as Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and two Pushcart Prize anthologies.  Her first book , Granted, won the 2004 GLCA New Writers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  A native of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, she now lives in Portland, Oregon where she teaches at Lewis & Clark College