Public Reading Series
All our residency faculty readings are free and open to the public. Join us for these exciting events at the Scandinavian Cultural Center in the Anderson University Center at Pacific Lutheran University.
Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet (Sarabande Books, 2017). Her poems have appeared in The New York Times, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, Waxwing, and elsewhere. Her honors include a Whiting Award, a Hodder Fellowship, and an NEA Fellowship. She has also received awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at West Virginia University, and she is on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA.
Matt Young is the author of the memoir, Eat the Apple (Bloomsbury, 2018), and the novel, End of Active Service (Bloomsbury, 2024). His stories and essays have appeared in TIME, Granta, Tin House, Catapult, and The Cincinnati Review among other publications. He is the recipient of fellowships from Words After War and The Carey Institute for Global Good, and teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Centralia College in Washington.
Kelli Russell Agodon’s newest book is Dialogues with Rising Tides from Copper Canyon Press. She is the cofounder of Two Sylvias Press as well as the Co-Director of Poets on the Coast: A Weekend Retreat for Women. Her last book, Hourglass Museum, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards and shortlisted for the Julie Suk Poetry Prize. Her second book, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, was the winner of the Foreword Indies Book of the Year for poetry and also a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards. She’s received awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation, James Hearst Poetry Prize, Artist Trust, and the Puffin Foundation for editorial excellence. Agodon lives in a sleepy seaside town in Washington State on traditional lands of the Chimacum, Coast Salish, S’Klallam, and Suquamish people, where she is an avid hiker and paddleboarder.
April Ayers Lawson is the author of Virgin and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of the Year by The Irish Times and Vice, and a Best Foreign Book of the Year by Spain’s Qué Leer Magazine. Virgin and Other Stories has been (or will be) translated into German, Spanish, Norwegian, and Italian. She has received The Plimpton Prize for Fiction, as well as a writing fellowship from The Corporation of Yaddo. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, Die Welt, ZYZZYVA, and Oxford American, among others, has been cited as notable in Best American Short Stories, featured by Huffington Post, and anthologized in The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review. Her nonfiction has appeared in Der Spiegel, Granta, Vice, and Neue Zürcher Zeitung Magazine, and been named a Most Popular Read of the Year by Granta. She has taught in the creative writing programs at Emory University and the University Of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and now teaches at Clemson University.
Beth Nguyen (guest) is the author of the recent memoir Owner of a Lonely Heart, the memoir Stealing Buddha's Dinner, and the novels Short Girls and Pioneer Girl. She has received an American Book Award and a PEN/Jerard Award and her work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, Paris Review, Time Magazine, The New York Times, Best American Essays, and numerous anthologies. Her work has been featured in university and community reads programs around the country. Nguyen is a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Rigoberto González (guest) lives in Newark, NJ, and is the author of eighteen books of poetry and prose. His awards include Lannan, Guggenheim, NEA, NYFA, and USA Rolón fellowships, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Contributing editor for Poets & Writers, he is the series editor for the Camino del Sol Latinx Literary Series at the University of Arizona Press. Currently, he’s Distinguished Professor of English and the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.
Leila Renee (guest) is a writer from Milwaukee, WI. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. She received the 2021 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction, the 2022 Shirley Jackson Prize and has received support from the Fulbright program and Tin House. Leila has published stories and essays in McSweeney’s, Prairie Schooner, Columbia Journal, The Offing, Electric Literature and more. Her fiction has been selected for inclusion in Best Microfiction 2023 and nominated for Best of the Net. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at PLU.
Oliver de la Paz is the author of six collections of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, Post Subject: A Fable, and The Boy in the Labyrinth which was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry. His sixth book, The Diaspora Sonnets, is forthcoming from Liveright Press, an imprint of W.W. Norton, in 2023. He also co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. A founding member, Oliver serves as the co-chair of the Kundiman advisory board. He has received grants from the NEA, NYFA, the Artist’s Trust, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. His work has been published in journals such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tin House, The Southern Review, and Poetry Northwest. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at PLU.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (guest) is an Arab American poet, essayist, and translator. She is the author of two books of poetry, Water & Salt (Red Hen Press) for which she won the 2018 Washington State Book Award, and Kaan and Her Sisters (Trio House Press, 2023). Her third book, Something About Living, was selected by Adrian Matejka for the 2022 Akron Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from University of Akron Press in 2024. Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies including Being Palestinian, The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood, and We Call to the Eye and the Night. Tuffaha is the recipient of honors including Best of the Net, the Goldstein Prize, the Robert Watson Literary Prize, and an Artist Trust Fellowship. Tuffaha was the curator of the 2022 translation series Poems from Palestine for the Baffler magazine. She teaches poetry at the Loft Literary Center and lives in Redmond, Washington with her family.
Brenda Miller is the author of six essay collections, most recently A Braided Heart: Essays on Writing and Form. Her collaborative collection with Julie Marie Wade, Telephone: Essays in Two Voices, won the Cleveland State University Press Nonfiction Book Award and was published in 2021. She received the 2020 Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award for her poetry book The Daughters of Elderly Women and the 2017 Washington State Book Award for her memoir An Earlier Life. She also co-authored Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction with Suzanne Paola and The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World with Holly J. Hughes. Her work has received six Pushcart Prizes. She is a Professor of English at Western Washington University and associate faculty at the Rainier Writing Workshop.
Justin St. Germain is the author of the book-length essay Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, part of IG Publishing’s Bookmarked series, and the memoir Son of a Gun (Random House, 2013), which won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and was named a best book of the year by Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Salon, Library Journal, and others. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Tin House, New England Review, DIAGRAM, ZYZZYVA, and many other publications, as well as anthologies including Best of the West and The Pushcart Prize. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and has a BA and MFA from the University of Arizona. He lives in Oregon, teaches at Oregon State University and the Rainier Writing Workshop, and co-hosts I’ll Find Myself When I’m Dead, a podcast about the literary essay.
Scott Nadelson is the author of four story collections, most recently The Fourth Corner of the World; a memoir, The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress; and a novel, Between You and Me. His stories and essays have appeared in Harvard Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and Alaska Quarterly Review, and have been cited as notable in both Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. Winner of the Oregon Book Award, the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award, and the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, he teaches at Willamette University and lives in Salem, Oregon.
Marjorie Sandor is the author of five books of fiction and creative nonfiction, most recently a debut novel, The Secret Music at Tordesillas, which won the 2020 Foreword Indies Gold Medal for Historical Fiction. Earlier books include the linked story collection Portrait of my Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime, winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award in Fiction, and two books of personal essays, including The Night Gardener: A Search for Home, which won a 2000 Oregon Book Award in Literary Nonfiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Agni, The Georgia Review, and other literary journals, and have been anthologized in Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. She is also the editor of The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows, an international anthology of short fiction from St. Martins Press (2015). She has been a member of the RWW faculty since its founding.
Kevin Clark’s third volume of poems The Consecrations was published by Stephen F. Austin University Press. His second book Self-Portrait with Expletives won the Pleiades Press prize. His first collection In the Evening of No Warning earned a grant from the Academy of American Poets. Kevin’s poems appear in the Southern, Georgia, Iowa, and Antioch reviews, as well as Crazyhorse, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, etc. His poetry is anthologized in many places, including Keener Sounds: Selected Poems from The Georgia Review. He is The Literary Review’s Angoff Award winner and the inaugural selectee for the ArtSmith Award. Formerly a regular critic for The Georgia Review for fifteen years, Kevin has also published essays in The Iowa.
Rebecca McClanahan’s eleventh book, In the Key of New York City: A Memoir in Essays, was published in 2020. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Boulevard, The Sun, and in anthologies published by Simon & Schuster, Beacon, Norton, and Bedford/St. Martin, among others. Recipient of two Pushcart prizes, the Glasgow Award in Nonfiction, the Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, the Carter Prize for the Essay, and the N.C. Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, McClanahan teaches in the MFA programs of Rainier Writing Workshop and Queens University.
Peggy Shumaker’s most recent book is Cairn, new and selected poems and prose, published by Red Hen Press. The Rasmuson Foundation honored her work with its Distinguished Artist Award, and the National Endowment on the Arts with a fellowship in poetry. She served as Alaska State Writer Laureate. Shumaker is the author of eight books of poetry. Her lyrical memoir is Just Breathe Normally. Shumaker is professor emerita at University of Alaska Fairbanks. She serves on the Advisory Board for Storyknife and on the board of the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation. Shumaker is editor of the Boreal Books series (an imprint of Red Hen Press), editor of the Alaska Literary Series at University of Alaska Press, and contributing editor for Alaska Quarterly Review.