2019-2020 Events

Jia Tolentino

Visiting Writers Series

Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

The Lab Theatre, Withycombe Hall

Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of the essay collection Trick Mirror. Formerly, she was the deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin. She grew up in Texas, went to University of Virginia, and got her MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Grantland, and Pitchfork, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn. 

Ilya Kaminsky

Visiting Writers Series

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Learning Innovation Center, Room 128

Ilya Kaminsky is the author of the widely acclaimed Deaf Republic (Graywolf, 2019), which Kevin Young, writing in The New Yorker, called a work of “profound imagination.” Poems from Deaf Republic were awarded Poetry Magazine's Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize. He is also the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) and Musica Humana (Chapiteau Press, 2002). Kaminsky has won the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and the Foreword Magazine’s Best Poetry Book of the Year award. Recently, he was on the short-list for the Neusdadt International Literature Prize. His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize. His poems have been compared to work by Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Marina Tsvetaeva.  

Namwali Serpell

Visiting Writers Series

Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

The Valley Library Rotunda

Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. She won the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing for her story “The Sack.” She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for women writers in 2011 and was selected for the Africa39, a 2014 Hay Festival project to identify the best African writers under 40. Her first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize. The Old Drift (Hogarth, 2019) is her first novel.  

Steven Moore & Wendy Willis

Literary Northwest Series

February 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

The Lab Theatre, Withycombe Hall

Wendy Willis is a poet and essayist from Portland. Her recent book of essays, These are Strange Times, My Dear, was released in February 2019. Her last book of poems, A Long Late Pledge, won the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2019 Oregon Book Award. She teaches poetry at the Attic Institute and is also the Founder and Director of Oregon’s Kitchen Table at Portland State University and the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, a global network of organizations and leading scholars working in the field of deliberation and public engagement.

Steven Moore earned a BA in English from the University of Iowa in 2010 and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Oregon State University in 2016. His debut book The Longer We Were There: A Memoir of a Part-Time Soldier (University of Georgia Press, 2019) won the 2018 AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction, and tells the story of the author’s seven years of service as an infantryman in the Iowa Army National Guard, from enlisting at seventeen, to training during college, to deploying on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

His nonfiction has appeared in Kenyon Review online; The Georgia Review; Ninth Letter; Entropy; War, Literature, and the Arts; North American Review; Southeast Review; DIAGRAM; and forthcoming in the anthology Why We Write: Craft Essays on Writing War (Middle West Press). He is a contributing editor at Moss: A Journal of the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon.

Walt Moore & Ashley Toliver (Canceled)

Literary Northwest Series

April 17, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

The Lab Theatre, Withycombe Hall

Ashley Toliver is the author of Spectra (Coffee House Press), a finalist for the 2018 Believer Book Awards. She teaches poetry at the The Attic Institute in southeast Portland and serves as poetry editor at Moss. A Journal of the Pacific Northwest. Her work has been supported by fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets. She received her MFA from Brown University in 2013.

Dr. Walter Morre or "Walt” has published his weirdo stories and off poems in various newspapers and literary journals, and was the recipient of the Bearwolf Outstanding Writing Award (2010) and Ezhno Martin Poetry Prize (2018). His book of poems, my lungs are a dive bar was released in the spring of 2019 by EMP Books. Owen Egerton writes of this collection, “Hilarious, painful, and outrageous—often in the same phrase. Drawing from overheard fist fights, willfully eschewed observations, and half-a-lifetime of wrong turns turned right, Walter Moore crafts nail-sharp poems and prose explosions with a kind of screaming, laughing brilliance that is not to be missed. These pages will slap your eyes until everything you see shines.” Walt holds a B.A. in English from DePauw University (2000), an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Texas State University (2005), and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University (2015). He teaches in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at Oregon State University, and he has never fed a baboon.

Marjorie Sandor (Canceled)

Literary Northwest Series

May 1, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

The Lab Theatre, Withycombe Hall

Marjorie Sandor’s debut novel, The Secret Music at Tordesillas, is the winner of the inaugural Tuscarora Award for Historical Fiction from Hidden River Press. Her 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 The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction (Skyhorse Press). She is also the editor of The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows, an international anthology of short fiction (St. Martins Press, 2015). She teaches in the MFA Program at Oregon State University and the Rainier Writing Workshop.

Hanif Abdurraqib (Canceled)

Visiting Writers Series

Friday, May 22nd, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Location TBD

Hanif Abdurraqib is a writer from the east side of Columbus, Ohio. He is most recently the author of the book Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest, and A Fortune For Your Disaster.