Past Literary Northwest Series Speakers:
Dionisia Morales and Matt Young
Dionisia Morales grew up in New York City and never thought she could call any place else home. But in her late twenties, while on a 30-day Rocky Mountain wilderness trip, she glimpsed an alternate life and decided to pull up stakes on the East Coast and move to Oregon. Morales’s bi-coastal identity crisis has been the subject of much of her work, which has appeared in journals such as Hunger Mountain, Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Oregon Humanities Magazine. In her debut book, Homing Instincts, she brings together a collection of essays to examine the meaning of home, asking: What does it mean to be a newcomer? What is gained or lost when we try to fit in? Who has the right to claim a sense of place? Morales explores these and other questions through her daily routines as a mother, wife, rock climber, canner, traveler, and aspiring beekeeper. A graduate of the Oregon State University MFA program in creative writing, Morales works as a publishing manager for the OSU Extension Service. She spends most of her time in Oregon but makes sure to get a Manhattan “fix” at least once a year.
Matt Young is a writer, teacher, and Marine Corps veteran. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University and is the recipient of fellowships with Words After War and the Carey Institute for Global Good. His work can be found in Catapult, Granta, Tin House, Word Riot, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. His first book, Eat the Apple, is a compilation of lyrical flash nonfiction essays about his three combat deployments to Iraq and subsequent returns home between 2005 and 2009. He teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Centralia College and lives in Olympia, Washington.
More Literary Northwest Speakers TBA!
Susan Jackson Rodgers
Susan Jackson Rodgers is the author of the novel This Must Be the Place, and two story collections: The Trouble With You Is and Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6. Her fiction has appeared in journals such as New England Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train, Beloit Fiction Journal, Midwestern Gothic, Colorado Review, Quick Fiction, and Prairie Schooner. She taught for many years at Kansas State University, and currently teaches and directs the MFA program in creative writing at Oregon State University.
Chris Anderson has been teaching at Oregon State University since 1986. He is also a Catholic deacon. He has written, co-written, or edited fourteen books in a variety of genres and on a variety of subjects, including Free/Style: A Direct Approach to Writing (Houghton Mifflin, 1992); Edge Effects: Notes from an Oregon Forest (Iowa, 1993), a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction; and Teaching as Believing: Faith in the University (Baylor, 2004). He has also published two books of poetry, My Problem with the Truth (Cloudbank, 2003), and The Next Thing Always Belongs (Airlie, 2011). His latest book is Light When It Comes: Trusting Joy, Facing Darkness, and Seeing God in Everything (Eerdmans, 2016), a book of collage essays. www.deaconchrisanderson.com
Elena Passarello is the author of Let Me Clear My Throat, a collection of essays on pop-culture voices, and Animals Strike Curious Poses, a bestiary of celebrity creatures. Her essays recently appeared in Oxford American, Creative Nonfiction, Virginia Quarterly Review and Iowa Review, as well as the nonfiction anthologies After Montaigne, I’ll Tell You Mine, and Cat is Art Spelled Wrong. She has received residencies from the MacDowell Colony and the Hambidge Center, an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship and the Whiting Award in nonfiction.
Jeff Fearnside’s short-story collection Making Love While Levitating Three Feet in the Air, a finalist for the New Rivers Press MVP Award and the Permafrost Book Prize in Fiction, was published in 2016 by the Stephen F. Austin State University Press. His fiction has appeared widely in journals and anthologies such as The Pinch, Rosebud, Many Mountains Moving, Bayou Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, and—most recently—Story, Fourteen Hills, Pacific Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, and Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53). His writing has been nominated for Best New American Voices and three times for a Pushcart Prize, and he is the recipient of a 2015 Individual Artist Fellowship award from the Oregon Arts Commission. Fearnside earned degrees in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University (BFA) and Eastern Washington University (MFA), and has taught writing and literature for many years at the Academy of Languages in Kazakhstan, Washington State University, Western Kentucky University, Prescott College, and currently Oregon State University. More info: http://www.jeff-fearnside.com/
Jesse Donaldson was born and raised in Kentucky, attended Kenyon College and Oregon State University, and was a fellow at The Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. His writing has appeared in The Oxford American, The Greensboro Review, and Crazyhorse. Among other things, he’s worked as a gardener, copywriter, teacher, and maintenance man. He now lives in Oregon with his wife and daughter, and a dog named Max.
Justin St. Germain
Justin St. Germain's first book, the memoir Son of a Gun, was published by Random House. It won the 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Award in Nonfiction and was named a best book of 2013 by Amazon, Amazon Canada, Library Journal, BookPage, Salon, Publisher’s Weekly, and the Pima County Public Library. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, Hobart, Barrelhouse, and various other journals, magazines, and anthologies, including the Best of the West series. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Marsh McCall Lecturer at Stanford University.
Héctor Tobar is the author of four books, including the novel The Barbarian Nurseries and the nonfiction Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle that Set Them Free, both published by FSG. A veteran journalist and foreign correspondent, he is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon. Visit his website at www.hectortobar.com.
Cindy Williams Gutierrez
Selected by Poets & Writers Magazine as a 2014 Notable Debut Poet, Cindy Williams Gutiérrez is inspired by the silent and silenced voices of history. Her collection, the small claim of bones published by Bilingual Press, won second place in the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. Poems have appeared in Borderlands, Calyx, Harvard’s Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Portland Review, Benedictine University’s Quiddity, and UNAM’s Periódico de poesía, as well as in People, Places, and Perceptions: A Look at Northwest Latino Art at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. Cindy is a founder of Los Porteños, Portland’s Latino writers’ collective, and Grupo de ’08, a Northwest collaborative-artists’ salon. Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Program with concentrations in Mesoamerican poetics and creative collaboration. She has taught poetry to K-12 youth through the Portland Art Museum, the Right Brain Initiative, and Writers in the Schools as well as to adults through Literary Arts’ Delve Seminars, the Oregon Council for Teachers of English, and the Stonecoast MFA Program. Cindy is the recipient of a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship.
Justin Taylor is the author of Flings, The Gospel of Anarchy, and Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Bookforum, Pacific Standard, Tin House, and The New York Times Book Review. He is the editor of the anthologies, The Apocalypse Reader and Come Back, Donald Barthelme, and is currently the fiction editor for The Literary Review. He has taught writing at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, N.Y.U., and the Pratt Institute. He lives in Portland, OR and at www.justindtaylor.net and @my19thcentury .
Jennifer Richter’s new collection, No Acute Distress, was named a Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Editor’s Selection and will be published in Spring 2016; her first book, Threshold, was chosen by Natasha Trethewey for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry and by Robert Pinsky as an Oregon Book Award Finalist. Richter was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship in Poetry by Stanford University, where she taught in the Creative Writing Program for four years; she currently teaches in Oregon State University’s MFA Program. Her website is http://jenniferrichterpoet.com