2015 Festival

Featured Authors

Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, a PEN/Hemingway Citation for Best First Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and performer.
Full Bio

Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is the author of two novels, Red Moon and The Wilding, as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His fiction and nonfiction have been read on National Public Radio and featured in many publications.

Full Bio

S.M. Hulse

S.M. Hulse

S.M. Hulse grew up in Spokane, Washington, and earned a B.A. in English from the University of Montana. She has worked as a U.S. House of Representatives page, a veterinary assistant, and a high school English teacher.

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Molly Giles

Molly Giles

Molly Giles has published three award-winning collections of stories: Rough Translations, Creek Walk, and Bothered. She has also published a novel, Iron Shoes. Her latest story collection, All The Wrong Places, recently won The 2013 Spokane Prize.

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Bruce Holbert

Bruce Holbert

Bruce Holbert’s fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, Other Voices, The Antioch Review, Crab Creek Review, The Spokesman Review, The West Wind Review, Cairn, RiverLit, Del Sol, and 94 Creations, the Tampa Tribune Quarterly, and The Inlander.

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Jeremy Pataky

Jeremy Pataky

Jeremy Pataky’s debut book of poetry, Overwinter, was published by University of Alaska Press in the Alaska Literary Series. His work has appeared in Colorado Review, Black Warrior Review, The Southeast Review, and many others. He is a co-founder of 49 Writers, a literary nonprofit in Alaska.

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Ellen Welcker

Ellen Welcker

Ellen Welcker has poems collected in the chapbooks “Mouth That Tastes of Gasoline” (alice blue, 2014) and “The Urban Lightwing Professionals” (H_NGM_N, 2011), and a book called The Botanical Garden.

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Reese Erlich

Reese Erlich

Reese Erlich’s history in journalism goes back over 40 years. He reports regularly for National Public Radio, CBC, ABC (Australia), Radio Deutsche Welle and Market Place Radio. His articles appear in the SF Chronicle and GlobalPost.

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Gregory Spatz

Gregory Spatz

Greg Spatz is the author of novels Inukshuk, Fiddler’s Dream and No One But Us, as well as short story collections, Half as Happy and Wonderful Tricks. His short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as Glimmer Train Stories, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Epoch, Santa Monica Review, The New Yorker, etc.

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Meghan Nuttall Sayres

Meghan Nuttall Sayres

Meghan Nuttall Sayres is a writer and tapestry weaver from Washington State. She is the author of several books, including Anahita’s Woven Riddle and its companion novel, Night Letter.

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Robert Michael Pyle

Robert Michael Pyle

Robert Michael Pyle is a lepidopterist and a professional writer who has authored seventeen books including Chasing Monarchs, Where Bigfoot Walks, and Wintergreen, which won the John Burroughs Medal.

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Carlos Reyes

Carlos Reyes

Carlos Reyes is a noted poet, writer and translator.  His most recent book Pomegranate, Sister of the Heart is published by Lost Horse Books (2012).  His other books of poetry are The Book of Shadows; New and Selected Poems, At the Edge of the Western Wave, and A Suitcase Full of Crows, which was a Bluestem Prize winner and finalist for 1996 Oregon Book Awards.

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Simeon Mills

Simeon Mills

Simeon Mills is a cartoonist, writer, and teacher living in Spokane, Washington. His  graphic stories are included or forthcoming in various journals, such as The Florida Review, RiverLit, and Okey-Panky. His graphic novel, Easy Reader, received a 2012 Artist Trust grant. You can see his work at www.simeonmills.com.

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Kelly Milner Halls

Kelly Milner Halls

Kelly Milner Halls has made her living as a nonfiction children’s writer and single mom for the past 20 years. She’s published more than 1,000 articles for young reader magazines and newspapers as well as writing book length for kids.

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Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them.

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Claire Rudolf Murphy

Claire Rudolf Murphy

A daughter of the West, Claire is the author of sixteen award-winning fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults, including Marching With Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Rights.

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Lauren Gilmore

Lauren Gilmore

Lauren Gilmore lives in Spokane, WA. She writes poems, stories, and love letters to strangers. In 2013, she was the winner of Spokane’s yearly Grand Slam, qualifying her for both National Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Her first book of poems is forthcoming in May/June 2015.

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Jordan Hartt

Jordan Hartt

Jordan Hartt is the director of programs for Centrum, the multidisciplinary nonprofit arts organization that presents the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference.  He is a graduate of the University of Idaho Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.

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Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is a mother of three sons, a wife of one husband, and a grader of many essays. Originally from Orange County, CA Erin has lived in Spokane for nine years. When her oldest son left home to go to graduate school last August, Erin began suffering from one-third-of-an-empty-nest syndrome.

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Jessica Lohafer

Jessica Lohafer

Jessica Lohafer is a poet, feminist, and bartender out of Bellingham, WA whose work has appeared in Whatcom Magazine, The Noisy Water Review, Thriving Thru The Winter: A Pacific Northwest Handguide and Your Hands, Your Mouth, Drunk in the Midnight Choir and the Crossing Guide.

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Manny Trembley

Manny Trembley

Manny Trembley is an author, illustrator, father of two boys, Jasper and Jared, and husband.  He is a graphic designer and spends his free time making graphic novels.

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Brooke Matson

Brooke Matson

Brooke Matson is a Washington poet and educator. She attended Gonzaga University where she received her B.A. in English and her M.A. in Educational Leadership. The Moons, her first full-length collection of poetry, was published by Blue Begonia Press in 2012.

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Sharma Shields

Sharma Shields

Sharma Shields is the author of a short story collection, Favorite Monster, and a novel, The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac, published by Holt in 2015. Sharma’s short fiction has appeared in Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Fugue, Sonora Review and elsewhere.

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Jess Walter

Jess Walter

A former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 30 languages and has been widely published.

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Shawn Vestal

Shawn Vestal

Shawn Vestal’s Godforsaken Idaho, a collection of short stories published by New Harvest in April 2013, was named the winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, which honors a debut book that “represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.”

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Gary Copeland Lilley

Gary Copeland Lilley

Gary Lilley is the author of four books of poetry: Alpha Zulu (2008), Black Poem, The Reprehensibles, and The Subsequent Blues. Lilley grew up in rural North Carolina, spent many years in Washington, D.C., and is a veteran of the United States Navy Submarine force. He is also a musician who often collaborates with other writers, like Kim Addonizio and Sam Ligon.

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Renée D’Aoust

Renée D’Aoust

Renée E. D’Aoust is the author of the memoir “Body of a Dancer,” which was a Foreword Reviews “Book of the Year” finalist. She has numerous publications and awards to her credit, including five of her essays being named “Notable Essays” in the Best American Essays series.

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Kris Dinnison

Kris Dinnison

Kris Dinnison is the author of the young adult novel You and Me and Him, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in July 2015. Her fiction, nonfiction, book reviews, and other work have appeared in Spokane Shorties, Lilac City Fairy Tales, The Pacific Northwest Inlander, and elsewhere.

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Melissa Kwasny

Melissa Kwasny

Melissa Kwasny is the author of the acclaimed poetry collections The Nine Senses, Reading Novalis in Montana, The Archival Birds, and Thistle (Lost Horse Press, 2006), which won the Idaho Prize in 2006. She is also the author of Pictograph, forthcoming in 2015.

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Natalie Kusz

Natalie Kusz

Natalie Kusz is the author of the memoir Road Song, and has published essays in Harper’s, Threepenny Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and other periodicals.

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Sam Ligon

Sam Ligon

Sam Ligon is the author of Drift and Swervve, a collection of stories (2009), and Safe in Heaven Dead, a novel (2003). 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.

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Jonathan Johnson

Jonathan Johnson

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.

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Maya Jewell Zeller

Maya Jewell Zeller

Maya Jewell Zeller’s poetry has won awards from Sycamore ReviewNew South, New Ohio Review, Dogwood,  Florida Review and Crab Orchard Review, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2011). Her first book, Rust Fish, was released in April 2011 from Lost Horse Press.

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Prartho Sereno

Prartho Sereno

Prartho Sereno is the 2014 winner of the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry. Since 1999, Sereno has been teaching for schools, colleges, senior centers, and private groups all over northern California. Her poems and essays have been widely published in journals, including Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, Comstock Review, and Rattle.

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Mary Cronk Farrell

Mary Cronk Farrell

Mary Cronk Farrell is an award-winning author of children’s and young adult books. She has a passion for stories about people facing great adversity with courage like her most recent PURE GRIT: HOW AMERICAN WWII NURSES SURVIVED BATTLE AND PRISON CAMP IN THE PACIFIC.

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Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor is a journalist who has followed stories from Burning Man to the Bering Sea. He is based in Spokane.

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Asa Maria Bradley

Asa Maria Bradley

Asa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired the immortal Vikings and Valkyries featured in her paranormal romances. She also writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance.

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Yvonne Higgins Leach

Yvonne Higgins Leach

Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of Another Autumn (WordTech Editions, 2014).  Her poems have appeared in South Dakota Review, South Carolina Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, and Wisconsin Review, among others.

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Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo’s first cookbook, Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour and Butter, was released in September 2014 from Sasquatch Books. She is also the author of A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press 2013) and The Pie Lady’s Manifesto, a zine republished by The Rumpus in 2014.

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Tim Greenup

Tim Greenup

Tim Greenup received his MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. He teaches writing and literature at Spokane Falls Community College. His poems have appeared in RedividerLEVELERinterrupture, and elsewhere.

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Sheri Boggs

Sheri Boggs

Sheri Boggs is the Youth Collection Development Librarian for the Spokane County Library District. She has been published in Lilac City Fairy Tales, Inlander Histories and Spokane Shorties.

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Audrey Connor

Audrey Connor

Audrey Connor is a writer and community organizer. She began to navigate the landscape of nonprofits at the age of seventeen, and is now the Youth Development Associate at Community-Minded Enterprises, which includes her work as coordinator of the Youth Sustainability Council.

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Jonathan Potter

Jonathan Potter

Jonathan Potter, author of the poetry collection House of Words, lives in Spokane with his wife and daughters. His poetry has recently appeared in Dappled Things, RiverLit, the Imago Dei anthology, and on The Writer’s Almanac radio show.

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Terry Martin

Terry Martin

Terry Martin earned a B.A. from Western Washington University and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. She’s been fortunate to make her living reading, writing, and talking with students for 35+ years.

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Walter Kirn

Walter Kirn

Walter Kirn is the author of eight books. His novels Up in the Air and Thumbsucker have both been adapted into successful films. Kirn’s most recent publication is a memoir titled Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade.

 

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Rick Barot

Rick Barot

Rick Barot has published two books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002), which received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize, and Want (2008), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize. His forthcoming book of poems, Chord, will be published in July 2015.

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Melanie Rae Thon

Melanie Rae Thon

Melanie Rae Thon’s most recent books are the novel The Voice of the River, and In This Light: New and Selected Stories.  She is also the author of the novels Sweet HeartsMeteors in August, and Iona Moon, and the story collections First, Body and Girls in the Grass.

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Tod Marshall

Tod Marshall

Tod Marshall grew up in Kansas. His books of poetry include Bugle, The Tangled Line, and Dare Say. He has also published a collection of his interviews with contemporary poets, Range of the Possible, and an attendant anthology of work by the interviewed poets, Range of Voices.

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Anna Witte

Anna Witte

Anna Witte is the author of Lola’s Fandango, which won the 2011 Booklist Editor’s Choice and Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. She is a Spanish lecturer at the University of Washington. Witte is also an accomplished artist and book illustrator.

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Laura Stott

Laura Stott

Laura Stott is the author of the book of poems, In the Museum of Coming and Going, (New Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University).  She received her M.F.A. from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, where she was managing editor of Willow Springs.

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Christopher Howell

Christopher Howell

Christopher Howell’s latest collection of poems, Gaze, was released in 2012 by Milkweed Editions. His selected volume, Dreamless and Possible, published by the University of Washington Press in 2010, encompasses three decades of distinguished work drawn from all of his previous books.

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Diana Darke

Diana Darke

Diana Darke is a Middle East cultural expert and Arabic speaker. She has written 16 travel books on the Near and Middle East, acquiring a rich appreciation of the region, its people, their culture and preoccupations during the 30 years she has lived and worked there.

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Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill is the author of fifteen volumes of original poetry including Measured by Stone and Almost Paradise: Selected Poems & Translations. He has also published three collections of essays and two dozen volumes translated from ancient Greek, Latin, Estonian, Japanese and Chinese.

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Rachel Toor

Rachel Toor

Rachel Toor is the author of three books of creative nonfiction: Admissions Confidential: An Insider’s Account of the Elite College Admissions Process, The Pig and I and Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running.

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Greg Pape

Greg Pape

Greg Pape is the author of ten books of poetry, including Four Swans, American Flamingo, winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition Award, Sunflower Facing the Sun, winner of the Edwin Ford Piper Prize, Storm Pattern, Black Branches, and Border Crossings.

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Thom Caraway

Thom Caraway

Thom Caraway was named Spokane’s first poet laureate in 2013. He earned his PhD in English from the University of North Dakota, and an MFA in Creative Writing and BA in English, both from EWU. He is currently a senior lecturer in Whitworth University’s English department.

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Trent Reedy

Trent Reedy

Trent Reedy is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and the author of Words in the Dust (winner of the Christopher Medal and an Al Roker’s Book Club pick on the Today Show) Stealing Air, If You’re Reading This and the Divided We Fall trilogy. Trent and his family live near Cheney, Washington.

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Leah Sottile Preston

Leah Sottile Preston

Leah Sottile is a freelance journalist whose work is frequently featured by The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America and Playboy. She has written on topics far and wide: giant earthworms, Elvis impersonators, My Little Pony fans, drugs, jails, sex, heavy metal, the American Dream and what people will do for God.

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Joanna Wylde

Joanna Wylde, apart from being a New York Times bestselling writer, is the secret identity of an international library spy who has travelled the world in search of exactly the right book to read.

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Emily Gwinn

Emily Gwinn

Emily Gwinn lives in Spokane, Washington where she teaches English at Spokane Falls Community College. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University.

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Kristen Millares Young

Kristen Millares Young

Kristen Millares Young is a Seattle writer and journalist whose work has been featured by the New York Times, the Guardian, Pacifica Literary Review, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and TIME Magazine.  She is a co-founder of InvestigateWest and a 2014 Jack Straw Writing Fellow.

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Nicole Sheets

Nicole Sheets

Nicole Sheets teaches at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Her essays have appeared in Mid-American Review, Image, Hotel Amerika, Tampa Review, and other journals. She is the web editor for both Rock & Sling and How to Pack for Church Camp, an online anthology of nonfiction about summer camp.

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Ben Cartwright

Ben Cartwright

Ben Cartwright lives in Spokane, WA.   His writing has appeared in Sentence, The Stinging Fly, Midwestern Gothic, Prick of the Spindle, and other fine places.  He teaches at Spokane Falls Community College.

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Davy Nguyen

Davy Nguyen

Davy Nguyen is a student at Gonzaga University. He hosts the twice-monthly all ages open mic Blurt & Blather.

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Kathryn Hunt

Kathryn Hunt

Kathryn Hunt is a writer and filmmaker and makes her home in Port Townsend, Washington, on the coast of the Salish Sea. Her stories, essays, and poems have appeared in Rattle, The Sun, Willow Springs, Orion, Crab Orchard Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review, among other publications.

Full Bio

John Keeble

John Keeble

John Keeble was born in Winnipeg, Canada, raised in Saskatchewan and California, and holds citizenship in both Canada and the U.S.A. For over thirty years he has lived with his family in rural Eastern Washington where he and his wife, Claire, a musician, now operate a small farm.

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Colton Worley

Colton Worley

Colton Worley is a comic book artist working in Spokane, WA. known for The Spider (Dynamite Ent.), Kato Origins (Dynamite Ent.), and The Complete Dracula (Dynamite Ent.).

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