Author Interview

Dean Davis

Christopher Howell is the author of twelve collections of poetry including Love’s Last Number, Gaze, and most recently, The Grief of a Happy Life, just released by University of Washington Press. Howell has received numerous awards including the Washington State Governor’s Award, the Washington State Book Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and three Pushcart Prizes. Locally, he is known as a faculty member in Eastern Washington University’s Master of Fine Arts program as well as director of Willow Springs Books and Lynx House Press.

Gordon S. Jackson, is the author of the new novel, Never Say Moist at Wyndover College. Jackson taught journalism at Whitworth University for more than 30 years. He grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era, encountering the sensorship that subsequently promted him to promote free expression in the classroom and in his writing. Never Say Moist at Wyndover College is Jackson’s fourteenth book, and his second novel. 

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of nine books including The Big Burn, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, The Immortal Irishman, and The Worst Hard Time, which won the 2006 National Book Award for non-fiction. His new book, A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith, follows Egan on a personal journey of more than 1000 miles as he considers his own faith and traces the history of Christianity in Europe along the way.

Kathryn Smith's new chapbook, Chosen Companions of the Goblin, won the 2018 Open Country Chapbook Contest. It is inspired by the real-life story of the Fox Sisters, who claimed to be spiritual mediums and helped spark the spiritualist movment in 19th century America. 

She will be hosting a release party for the book, on Friday, October 25, 7 p.m. at the Woman's Club of Spokane, 1428 W 9th Ave.

Rebekah Crane is the author of several critically acclaimed young adult novels, including The Infinite Pieces of UsThe Upside of Falling Down, and The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland. She is a former high school English teacher who found a passion for writing young adult fiction while studying secondary English education at Ohio University. She is a yoga instructor and the mother of two girls. After living and teaching in six different cities, Rebekah finally settled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to write novels and work on screenplays. She now spends her days tucked behind a laptop at seventy-five hundred feet, where the altitude only enhances the writing experience.

Shann Ray is a poet, short story writer, and novelist who grew up in Montana and Alaska and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. He is the author of seven books including most recently a short story collection, Blood Fire Vapor Smoke and a poetry collection, Sweetclover, both of which were published this year.

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction including the New York Times best-sellers, Candyfreak and Against Football. He was also the host of the popular podcast Dear Sugars with fellow author Cheryl Strayed.

Almond's latest book, William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life is part of the "Bookmarked" series from Ig Publishers, in which authors talk about their favorite novels and how they've impacted their life and work. The subject of Almond's book is the 1965 novel Stoner by John Williams. 

Spokane Public Radio

McCarrthy moved to idaho in 1977 to work trail crew in the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness for the U.S. Forest Service. He later ran a range crew and worked on ranches in Hells Canyon and the Salmon River country. He started writing about winderness as a reporter for he Lewiston Morning Tribune, where he also covered cops, courts, arts, and agriculture for 10 years. He swited to environmental organizing and advocacy for two decades, as the conservation director for the Idaho Conservation league and Idaho Forest campaign durector for the Wilderness Society.

John Keeble is the author of eight books, including the new novel The Appointment: The Tale of Adaline Carson, a fictionalized account of the daughter of the famous frontiersman Kit Carson. His previous novels include Yellowfish, Broken Ground and The Shadows of Owls. His short fiction collection, Nocturnal America, won the Prairie Schooner Prize for short fiction and was published by the University of Nebraska press. He is also the author of Out of the Channel, the definitive study of the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Gregory Spatz is the author of a new collection of "bookmatched" stories and novellas, What Could Be Saved, and of the novels Inukshuk, Fiddler's Dream and No One But Us, and the short story collections Half As Happy and Wonderful Tricks. His stories have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Glimmer Train Stories, Shenandoah, Epoch, Kenyon Review and New England Review.

Simeon Mills is a writer, cartoonist, and teacher. His novel The Obsoletes is just out from Skybound Books.

Washington Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna has launched an interactive map which highlights poems about places in the state, connected by a network of highways. You can see the map, and submit your own poem at WashingtonPoeticRoutes.com.

Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times best-selling novel, There There, and one of the headlining authors the 2019 Get Lit! Festival. There There has won numerous awards including the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award's John Leonard Prize for first book by a new voice, and the 2019 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for debut novel.

Over the past 26 years, Paul E. Nelson has interviewed poetic luminaries such as Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Eileen Myles, and many, many more. As host of a whole-systems public affairs radio program, he also interviewed authors, activists, and spiritual leaders on a wide range of topics. He has recently published an anthology of his interviews titled American Prophets.

Suzanne Matson’s fourth novel, Ultraviolet, was published by Catapult in September 2018.  Her previous novels are The Tree-Sitter (W. W. Norton, 2006), short-listed for the PEN New England/L. L. Winship Award;  A Trick of Nature (W. W.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, giovanni singleton is the founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to experimental work of the African Diaspora and other contested spaces. She is the author of two collections of poetry, 2017’s AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper and Ascension, which won the 2011 California Book Award for Poetry. Her writing has earned numerous awards and fellowships and has been widely anthologized. singleton has taught at Saint Mary’s College, Naropa University, and New Mexico State University.

Thom Caraway is the author of the poetry collections, A Visitor's Guide to North Dakota, published by Finishing Line Press in 2007 and What the Sky Lacks, from Korrektiv Press (2018). From 2013-2015, he served as Spokane’s first Poet Laureate, and since 2008, he has taught Creative Writing, Editing, and Book Design at Whitworth University where he also serves as editor of the literary journal Rock & Sling.

Connie Voisine is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, Cathedral of the North, which won the 1999 AWP Prize in Poetry, Rare High Meadow of Which I Might Dream, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and 2015’s Calle Florista. Her most recent chapbook, And God Created Women was published in 2018, and later this year, she will release a book-length poem set in Belfast, Northern Ireland titled The Bower.

Photo by Rajah Bose

Sharma Shields's new novel The Cassandra is set at the Hanford Site in eastern Washington during WWII, and follows a young woman, Mildred Groves, who has visions of the destruction that will be caused by the atomic bombs she is unwittingly helping create. The book will be released Tuesday, February 12th and Shields will be reading from that day at the Downtown Branch of the Spokane Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Books will be available for sale by Auntie's Books.

G. Willow Wilson Currently, is author of the Hugo Award-winning comic book series Ms Marvel for Marvel comics, which stars Kamala Khan as a nerdy, comic-book-loving muslim Pakistani-American teenage superhero from Jersey City, New Jersey. Wilson's debut novel, Alif the Unseen, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. In 2010, she wrote a memoir called The Butterfly Mosque about love, Islam and life in Egypt during the waning years of the Mubarak regime.

Bonnie Nadzam's first novel, Lamb, won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. The book was made into an award-winning independent film, Lamb. Nadzam is co-author of Love in the Anthropocene with environmental ethicist Dale Jamieson. Her second novel, Lions was a Finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award in Fiction. Her third novel, 31, is forthcoming.

Photo credit Wendy Madar

Elena Passarello is a writer and actor and author of two books, Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012) and Animals Strike Curious Poses (Sarabande 2017), a collection of essays which investigate and mediate on famous animal named and immortalized by humans throughout history. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her writing including a 2015 Whiting Award, and in 2014, she was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon where teaches at Oregon State University. Since early 2018, she has been the announcer on Live Wire with Luke Burbank from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

  Claudia Castro Luna is Washington State Poet Laureate. She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet, from 2015-2017 and is the author of the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) and This City, (Floating Bridge Press) and the creator of  the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. She is also a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, a 2014 Jack Straw fellow, the recipient of a King County 4Culture grant and an individual artist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, La Bloga, Dialogo and Psychological Perspectives among others. 

Mary Norris joined the editorial staff of The New Yorker in 1978 and has been a copy editor and proofreader there for more than thirty years. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she lives in New York and Rockaway. Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen (W. W. Norton) is her first book.

Ben Goldfarb is an award-winning environmental journalist whose writing has appeared in Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The Guardian, Science, The Washington Post, High Country News, Outside, Smithsonian, Audubon Magazine, and many other publications. His new book, Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter explores the many ways in which this modest rodent has shaped the history of North America and how they may help us solve some of our most pressing environmental issues. He lives in Spokane, WA.

Laura Read is a poet and educator living in Spokane. She is the author of Dresses from the Old Country (BOA Editions, 2018); Instructions for my Mother’s Funeral (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012, winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, selected by Dorianne Laux), and The Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard Reminds Me of You (winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, 2011). Her poems appear widely. Recipient of a Washington State Artists Trust Grant, a Florida Review Prize for Poetry, and the Crab Creek Review Prize for Poetry, Laura teaches and presents regularly at literary festivals and conferences throughout the Northwest, such as GetLit!, Write on the Sound, Litfuse, and the Port Townsend Writers Conference. Laura teaches writing and literature at Spokane Falls Community College and serves as Poet Laureate of Spokane.

Sierra Golden  is a graduate of Gonzaga University and recieved an MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University. Her manuscript The Slow Art won the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize and was published by Bear Star Press in 2018. Golden's poems appear in literary journals such as Prairie Schooner, Permafrost, and Ploughshares.

Steve Almond is the author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction including the New York Times best-sellers, Candyfreak and Against Football. He was also the host of the popular podcast Dear Sugars with  fellow author Cheryl Strayed.

Elliot Reed's debut novel, A Key to Treehouse Living, is the adventure of William Tyce, a boy without parents, who grows uo near a rive in the rural Midwest. The novel takes the form of a glossary-style list with entries ranging from ARCHEOLOGY and MULLET to MORTAL BETRAYAL and REVELATION. 

Elliot Reed will be reading from the novel at Auntie's Bookstore on Thursday, October 4th at 7 p.m.

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