Visiting Writers

Visiting Writers

In partnership with the EWU’s MFA in Creative Writing, Get Lit! Programs is a proud sponsor of the 2016-2017 Visiting Writers Series. This season includes a lineup of seven writers from across the country who have published award-winning works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Each writer’s visit will be held at Auntie’s Bookstore (402 W. Main Street, Spokane, 99201) in downtown Spokane. All events are FREE, open to the public, and will include a reading, Q&A, and book signing.

Please direct all questions regarding the Visiting Writers Series to Get Lit! Programs at


2016-2017 Visiting Writers

All events begin at 7:30 unless otherwise noted
September 30th, 2016 Alexis Smith
October 14th, 2016 Kristin Dombek
October 29th, 2016 Heather McHugh
November 11th, 2016 Joe Wilkins
February 24, 2017 Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
March 9th, 2017 Megan Kruse
March 17th, 2017 Liz Kay
Get Lit! Festival TBD John Rybicki

Alexis Smith

alexis-smith1September 30th, 2016

Alexis M. Smith is the author of two novels, Glaciers and Marrow Island. Glaciers was a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and a World Book Night 2013 selection. In 2015 she received a grant from Regional Arts & Culture Council and a fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. Her interests include trail running, beach combing, bird watching, and jam making. She lives with her wife and son in Portland, Oregon.  She is a visiting professor at EWU’s MFA program in creative writing.

Kristin Dombek

dombekOctober 14th, 2016

Kristin Dombek’s journalism and essays can be found in The Paris Review, Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, the London Review of Books, Vice, and n+1, where she writes an advice column called The Help Desk. She has been the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award for nonfiction and an n+1 Writer’s Fellowship, and her essays have been anthologized in Best American Essays and elsewhere. She lives in New York City and teaches in the Princeton Writing Program.

Heather McHugh

mchughOctober 29th, 2016 

Heather McHugh is the author of eight books of poetry and four books of poetry in translation. She was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” for her poetry in 2009.  She has won numerous awards including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize, the Griffin Prize, one of the first United States Artists Awards, a Guggenheim fellowship and a Witter Bynner fellowship. For over 20 years, she has served as a visiting faculty member in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and since 1984 as the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.

        Joe Wilkins

wilkinsNovember 11th, 2016

Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry, winner of a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award, and two collections of poems, Notes from the Journey Westward and Killing the Murnion Dogs. His third full-length collection, When We Were Birds, part of the Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series edited by Billy Collins, was released with the University of Arkansas Press in the spring of 2016. Wilkins was born and raised in eastern Montana. After graduating from Gonzaga University with a degree in computer engineering, he spent two years teaching ninth grade pre-algebra in the Mississippi Delta with Teach For America. He then went on to earn his MFA in creative writing from the University of Idaho, where he worked with the poet Robert Wrigley and the memoirist Kim Barnes. Wilkins now lives with his wife, son, and daughter in western Oregon, where he teaches writing at Linfield College.

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

bynumFebruary 24, 2017

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, the Georgia Review, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

             Megan Kruse

March 9, 2017

Megan Kruse grew up in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in Olympia. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and her debut novel, “Call Me Home,” was released from Hawthorne Books in March 2015, with an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert. She teaches fiction at Eastern Oregon University’s Low-Residency MFA program, Hugo House, and Gotham Writers Workshop. She was the recipient of a 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Award, and one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 for 2015.


Liz Kay

March 17, 2017

Liz Kakayy is a founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and the journal burntdistrict. Liz holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska, where she was the recipient of both an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Wendy Fort Foundation Prize for exemplary work in poetry. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Nimrod, Willow Springs, The New York Quarterly, Iron Horse Literary Review, Redactions, and Sugar House Review. Liz’s debut novel, Monsters: A Love Story, was published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in June of 2016. She lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and 3 sons.

 John Rybicki

rybickiGet Lit! Festival, date TBD

John Rybicki is the author of three poetry collections, We Bed Down into Water, Traveling at High Speeds, and When All the World Is Old as well as the short Yellow Haired Girl with Spider. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Ecotone, FailBetter, and Bomb, among many others, and have been reprinted in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize. He also occasionally spreads his wings over Alma College, teaching poetry as a Writer in Residence. When he is not teaching, he changes tires, paints houses, and swings a hammer. He lives in Augusta, Michigan with his son, Martell.

Past Authors


November 13th, 2015 Linda Bierds
November 20th, 2015 S.M. Hulse
December 4th, 2015 Bethany Schultz Hurst
January 22nd, 2016 Lily Hoang
February 26, 2016 Lidia Yuknavitch
April 14th, 2016 Paul Harding
April 14th, 2016 Nance Van Winckel
April 29th, 2016 William Finnegan
May 13th, 2016 Elizabeth Spires


October 4th, 2014 Joseph Salvatore
February 6, 2015 William Wright and Andrea Scarpino
February 20, 2015 Emily Rapp
March 6, 2015 Elizabeth Graver
April 24, 2015 Walter Kirn
May 15, 2015 Mary Szybist and Michele Glazer
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