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Faculty

Below is a list of faculty for the Creative Writing Program. If you're not certain whom to contact with your questions, please call or email Program Coordinator Nick Giammona at the main office:  (509) 359-4956, ngiammoma@ewu.edu

  • Natalie Kusz
    Natalie Kusz
    Associate Professor, Program Director
    Riverpoint One 425
    Phone: 509.359.4955

    Program Director Natalie Kusz is the author of the memoir Road Song, and has published essays in Harper's, Threepenny Review, McCall's, Real Simple, and other periodicals. Her work has earned, among other honors, a Whiting Writer's Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the NEA, the Bush Foundation, and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. A former faculty member of Bethel College and of Harvard University, she now teaches in the MFA program at Eastern Washington University.

  • Gregory Spatz
    Gregory Spatz
    Associate Professor
    Riverpoint One 425
    Phone: 509.359.4972

    Gregory Spatz is the author of the novels Fiddler's Dream and No One But Us, and of a story collection, Wonderful Tricks. His stories have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Iowa Review, Shenandoah, The Santa Monica Review, Kenyon Review, and New England Review. He is the recipient of a Michener Fellowship, Iowa Arts Fellowship, Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship, Mid-List First Series Award, Washington State Book Award, and runner-up for the 2006 Glasgow Award in short fiction.

    Spatz also plays the fiddle in the JUNO-nominated bluegrass band John Reischman and the Jaybirds. When not on the road with the Jaybirds or busy at work teaching and writing, he enjoys playing music with his wife, Caridwen, also a fiddler, being a step-dad to her two sons Tal and Angus, and building a writing studio of rice hulls, barbed wire, recycled wine bottles, adobe and cement in the back yard.

  • Rachel Toor
    Rachel Toor
    Associate Professor
    Riverpoint One 425
    Phone: (509) 359-4963
    Rachel Toor is the author of three books of creative nonfiction: Admissions Confidential (St. Martin's), The Pig and I (Penguin; Nebraska) and Personal Record (Nebraska). She writes a monthly column on issues in writing and publishing for The Chronicle of Higher Education and a bi-monthly column for Running Times. Her work has appeared inPloughsharesGlamourReader's DigestThe Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)The LA Times, and other various and diverse publications. After graduating from Yale, she spent a dozen years as an acquisitions editor at Oxford and Duke University Presses. She has an MFA from the University of Montana.
  • Samuel Ligon
    Samuel Ligon
    Associate Professor
    Riverpoint One 425
    Phone: 509.359.4967

    Samuel Ligon received an MA from the University of New Hampshire, and an MFA from New School University. He's the author of a collection of stories, Drift and Swerve, and a novel, Safe in Heaven Dead. His stories have appeared in The Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, StoryQuarterly, New England Review, Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth, Post Road, Keyhole, Sleepingfish, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. A recipient of a 2005 Artists Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship, Sam is also the editor of Willow Springs.

  • John Keeble
    John Keeble
    Professor
    Professor Emeritus John Keeble's most recent collection of stories, Nocturnal America, is available from the University of Nebraska Press. He is also the author of four novels, including Yellowfish, which was reissued by the University of Washington Press in 2008, with an introduction by Bill Kittredge and a postscript by the author. He also authored Broken Ground, which will be reissued by the University of Washington Press in spring of 2010. He is also the author of a work of nonfiction, Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound.
  • Jonathan Johnson
    Jonathan Johnson
    Professor
    Riverpoint One 425
    Phone: 509.359.4969

    Jonathan Johnson's second collection of poems, In the Land We Imagined Ourselves, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2010. His first collection, Mastodon, 80% Complete, was published in 2001 by Carnegie Mellon. His poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry and numerous other anthologies, as well as recent issues of Southern Review, Ploughshares, North American Review, and The Prairie Schooner. Johnson is also the author of a memoir, Hannah and the Mountain: Notes Toward a Wilderness Fatherhood, which was published in 2005 by the University of Nebraska Press in their American Lives Series. He is a professor at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, the MFA program at Eastern Washington University. Johnson spends as much time as he can in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and at the secluded, log cabin he and his wife built on the Johnson Family Farm in northern Idaho.

  • Christopher Howell
    Christopher Howell
    Professor
    Riverpoint One 425
    Phone: 509.368.6593

    Christopher Howell's eighth collection of poems, Light's Ladder, won the Washington State Book Award in 2005. His poems, essays and translations have also appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, including Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Crazy Horse, Denver Quarterly, Field, Gettysburg Review, Harper's, Hudson Review, Iowa Review, Northwest Review, Poetry Northwest, Southern Review and Volt. He has been recipient of three Pushcart Prizes and two National Endowment fellowships, as well as a number of other awards. In addition to teaching, he is senior editor for Eastern Washington University Press.

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