Visiting Writers Series

About the Series

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 include Amy Tan, Susan Choi, Morgan Talty, Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, Dana Johnson, Bonnie Nadzam, Paul Harding, Lily Hoang, Krys Lee, William Finnegan, Albert Goldbarth, Thomas Lynch, Peter Everwine, Patricia Hampl, Linda Bierds, Thomas Lux, Alison Baker, James Tate, Dorianne Laux, Yusek Komunyakaa, Phillip Lopate, Lan Samantha Chang, Marilynne Robinson, Stuart Dybek, Jane Smiley, and many more.

To see presentations from some of our recent guests on YouTube click here.

EWU’s Visiting Writers Series is promoted by Get Lit! Programs.

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

2023-24 Visiting Writers

Stephanie Oakes

Stephanie Oakes is a Spokane author with three novels. Her first two novels are The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, a Morris Award finalist and a Golden Kite Honor book, and The Arsonist, recipient of the Washington State Book Award. Her most recent novel, The Medows, has been described as a queer, YA Handmaid’s Tale meets Never Let Me Go. The Medows is about a dystopian society bent on relentless conformity, and the struggle of one girl to save herself and those she loves from a life of lies. Stephanie Oakes lives in Spokane, Washington with her wife and family.

October 20, 2023

7:30 pm at Spark Central




Subhaga Crystal Bacon

Subhaga Crystal Bacon is the author of four collections of poetry: Transitory, 2023 winner of the BOA Editions, Ltd. Isabella Gardner Award for Poetry; Surrender of Water in Hidden Places, 2023 winner of the Red Flag Poetry Chapbook Prize; Blue Hunger, Methow Press, and Elegy with a Glass of Whiskey, 2004 winner of the A. Poulin New Poetry America Prize from BOA Editions in 2004.  She’s also a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. She’s a teaching artist, working in schools and libraries with youth and adults as well as private students. Her work appears in a variety of print and online journals, including The Diode Poetry Journal, The Bellevue Literary Review, Indianapolis Review, Smartish Pace, and others.  She lives in rural north central Washington on unceded Methow land.

December 1, 2023

7:30 pm at Spark Central



Carrie Oeding

Carrie Oeding’s collection of poems If I Could Give You a Line  won the Akron Poetry Prize and was publis

hed by University of Akron Press (2023). She is also the author of Our List of Solutions (42 Miles Press), which won the Lester M. Wolfson Prize. Her work has appeared in such places as Bennington Review, Sixth Finch, PBS NewsHour’s ArtBeat, DIAGRAM, and Denver Quarterly. She was the recipient of the 2020 Rhode Island Council on the Arts’ Fellowship in Poetry. She received her PhD in creative writing from Ohio University and MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University. She has taught in such positions as Visiting Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University, an Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at Marshall University and is currently an instructional designer and educator at Johnson and Wales University in Providence Rhode Island. She lives with her husband and daughter in Rhode Island.

January 19, 2024

7:30 pm at Spark Central



Edan Lepucki

Edan Lepucki is the bestselling author of the novels California, Woman No. 17, and Time’s Mouth. She is also the editor of Mothers Before: Stories and Portraits as We Never Saw Them. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Esquire Magazine, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and The Cut, among other publications.  She is a lecturer in creative writing at Caltech. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

March 1, 2024

7:30 pm at Spark Central





Kai Carlson-Wee

Kai Carlson-Wee is the author of RAIL (BOA Editions, 2018). He received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He is the winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Lynda Hull Memorial Prize from Crazyhorse, and the Editor’s Prize from The Missouri Review. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and his work has appeared in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Tin House, AGNI, and The Southern Review. He currently lives in San Francisco and is a lecturer at Stanford University.

March 8, 2024

7:30 pm at Spark Central



Robert Lopez

Robert Lopez is the author of three novels, Part of the World, Kamby Bolongo Mean River —named one of 25 important books of the decade by HTML Giant, All Back Full, and two story collections, Asunder and Good People. A new novel-in-stories, A Better Class Of People, will be published by Dzanc Books in April, 2022. Dispatches from Puerto Nowhere, his first nonfiction book, will be published by Two Dollar Radio in March, 2023. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has appeared in dozens of publications, including Bomb, The Threepenny Review, Vice Magazine, New England Review, The Sun, and the Norton Anthology of Sudden Fiction – Latino. He teaches at Stony Brook University and has previously taught at Columbia University, The New School, Pratt Institute, and Syracuse University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

April 12, 2024

Robert Lopez’s Visiting Writer event will be part of the Get Lit! Festival. More details to follow.



Keenan Norris

Keenan Norris’s latest novel is The Confession of Copeland Cane, winner of the 2022 Northern California Book Award. His essays have garnered a 2021-22 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award and 2021 Folio: Eddie Award, while his debut novel Brother and the Dancer won the 2012 James D. Houston Award. In 2023, he’s authored the biblio-memoir Chi Boy: Native Sons and Chicago Reckonings and the novella Lustre. Keenan is an Associate Professor and coordinator of the Steinbeck Fellows Program at San Jose State University.

May 17, 2024

7:30 pm – 9pm at Spark Central




Melissa Kwasny

The author of seven books of poetry, including The Cloud Path (Milkweed Editions 2024), Where Outside the Body is the Soul Today and The Nine Senses, as well as a collection of essays Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision. She is also the editor of two anthologies: I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poets in Defense of Global Human Rights and Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950. A book of nonfiction, Putting on the Dog: The Animal Origins of What We Wear, explores the cultural, labor, and environmental histories of clothing materials provided by animals.

Widely published in journals, including Willow Springs, Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Orion, Bellingham Review, Kenyon Review, and Boston Review, Kwasny’s poems and essays are also included in the anthologies Queer Nature (Michael Walsh, ed.), Poetics for the More-Than-Human World (Newell, Quetchenbach, and Nolan, eds.); The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Corey and Waldrep, eds.); Montana Women Writers: A Geography of the Heart (Patterson, ed.); Poems Across the Big Sky and New Poets of the American West (Jaeger, ed.), as well as in West of 98: Living and Writing the American West (Rowland and Stegner, eds.)

Kwasny holds an M.F.A. in Poetry and an M.A. in Literature from the University of Montana.

She is the recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Award, judged by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, and the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award for a work in progress, judged by Ed Robertson. She has been awarded the Montana Art Council’s Artist’s Innovation Award and an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellowship, as well as residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ucross, Hedgebrook, Vermount Studio Center, the Taft Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities, and Open Air at American Prairie. She served as Montana Poet Laureate from 2019-2021, a position she shared with M.L. Smoker.

May 17, 2024

7:30 pm – 9pm at Spark Central


EWU’s Visiting Writers Series hosts 6-10 writers each year. More events will be announced in the coming weeks.


Presented By:

The MFA at EWU

Program Information

Get Lit! Programs

Get Lit! Website

Previous Visiting Writers

  • Christopher Boucher
  • Christopher Dombrowski
  • Dinah Lenney
  • Danielle Dutton
  • Ashley Capps
  • Alex Espinoza
  • Phillip Lopate

  • Steve Almond
  • Bonnie Nadzam
  • Mary Norris
  • Dennis Nurkse
  • Suzanne Matson
  • Ira Sukrungruang

  • Judy Blunt
  • Darin Strauss
  • Jesse Graves
  • Krys Lee
  • Emily Van Kley
  • Dan Chaon
  • Nance Van Winckel
  • Laura Kasischke

  • Alexis M. Smith
  • Kristin Dombek
  • Heather McHugh
  • Joe Wilkins
  • Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
  • Liz Kay
  • John Rybicki

  • Linda Bierds
  • S.M. Hulse
  • Bethany Schultz Hurst
  • Lily Hoang
  • Lidia Yuknavitch
  • Paul Harding
  • Nance Van Winckel
  • William Finnegan
  • Elizabeth Spires

  • Joseph Salvatore
  • Andrea Scarpino
  • William Wright
  • Emily Rapp
  • Elizabeth Graver
  • Walter Kirn
  • Michele Glazer
  • Mary Szybist