The Rainier Writing Workshop
2018 Summer Residency Evening Readings
Thursday, August 2, 7:30PM:
Paisley Rekdal, The 2018 Judith Kitchen Visiting Writer
Bio Notes for the Readers
Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm (BOA Editions 2014), winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist, and of the chapbook Begotten (URB Books 2016), coauthored with poet F. Douglas Brown. His second full-length collection, Night Angler (BOA Editions), appears in Spring 2019. Davis’s honors include the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center. He has recent work published or forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, PBS NewsHour, and Ploughshares. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Davis serves as the poetry editor of Iron Horse Literary Review and teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Translation at the University of Arkansas.
Scott Nadelson is the author of four story collections, most recently The Fourth Corner of the World; a memoir, The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress; and a novel, Between You and Me. His stories and essays have appeared in Harvard Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and Alaska Quarterly Review, and have been cited as notable in both Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. Winner of the Oregon Book Award, the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award, and the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, he teaches at Willamette University and lives in Salem, Oregon.
Kevin Clark’s book, Self-Portrait with Expletives, won the Pleiades Press book contest and is distributed by LSU Press. His first full-length collection of poetry, In the Evening of No Warning, was published by New Issues Press, and his chapbook The Wanting won the 2016 Five Oaks Press contest. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines and collections, including The Antioch Review, The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, and The Iowa Review. He also won the Angoff Award from The Literary Review for best contribution in a volume year. Kevin’s textbook, The Mind’s Eye: A Guide to Writing Poetry, is published by Pearson Longman. He has published essays about numerous contemporary American poets. A regular essayist for The Georgia Review, his critical articles and reviews have appeared in many journals and collections, among them The Iowa Review, Papers on Language and Literature, The Southern Review, Contemporary Literary Criticism, and Poetry International. He was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA, where he taught poetry writing and modern and contemporary American literature. Still attempting slow-pitch softball and fast-pitch baseball, he lives with his wife Amy Hewes in San Luis Obispo.
Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to an American father and Japanese mother, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Her memoir, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, examines grief against the backdrop of the 2011 Great East Earthquake, and Mockett’s family temple located 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power reactor. Mockett’s awards include a Fellowship from the US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award, the Indies Choice for Nonfiction and the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her novel, Picking Bones from Ash, published by Graywolf, was a finalist for the Saroyan Prize and the Paterson Prize. Her new book, tentatively titled A Kernel in God’s Eye, explores her family’s one-hundred-year-old wheat farm in Nebraska, and the changing role of food, God, science, race and agriculture in society, and was a finalist for the Lukas Prize, awarded by Columbia and Harvard University’s Schools of Journalism. She lives in San Francisco.
Suzanne Berne is the author of four novels: The Dogs of Littlefield, The Ghost at the Table, A Perfect Arrangement, and A Crime in the Neighborhood, which won Great Britain’s Orange Prize in 1999, as well as a book of nonfiction. She has written frequently for The New York Times, and her short stories, reviews and essays have also appeared in Ploughshares, Agni, Vogue, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The London Sunday Times among other publications. She is the fiction editor for The Harvard Review and teaches creative writing at Boston College.
Justin St. Germain is the author of the memoir Son of a Gun, which won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and appeared on best books of 2013 lists from Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Salon, Library Journal, Bookpage, and the Pima County Public Library. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, the Guardian, and elsewhere, and recently won a Pushcart Prize. He attended the University of Arizona and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He has taught nonfiction writing at four MFA programs, Stanford’s Continuing Studies program, and the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. He lives in Oregon and teaches at Oregon State University.
Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and eleven books of prose, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and writes a monthly column for NBC-Latino online. Currently, he is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey, and the inaugural Stan Rubin Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Rainier Writing Workshop. In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the L.A. Times and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).
Maurya Simon is the author of ten volumes of poetry. Simon’s third book, Speaking in Tongues, was a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and her seventh book, Ghost Orchid, was nominated for a 2004 National Book Award in poetry. Simon’s most recent book publications include: The Raindrop’s Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome & St. Paula, a novel-in-verse (Elixir Press, 2010), and Questions My Daughter Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Her (Blackbird Press, 2014). In April 2018, Red Hen Press issued Simon’s tenth book, The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016. Simon’s been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in poetry, as well as serving two Visiting Artist Residencies at the American Academy in Rome and the MacDowell Colony. Her work has been translated into Farsi, Spanish, and French. Simon taught literature and creative writing in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside for nearly thirty years, and she currently serves as a Professor of the Graduate Division and Professor Emerita. She lives in the Angeles National Forest in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains.
David Biespiel is a poet, literary critic, memoirist, and contributing writer at American Poetry Review, New Republic, New York Times, Poetry, Politico, The Rumpus, and Slate, among other publications. He is the author of numerous books, most recently The Education of a Young Poet, which was selected a Best Books for Writers by Poets & Writers, A Long High Whistle, which received the 2016 Oregon Book Award for General Nonfiction, and The Book of Men and Women, which was chosen for Best Books of the Year by the Poetry Foundation and received the 2011 Oregon Book Award for Poetry. He was a 2018 National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Recipient of Lannan, National Endowment for the Arts, and Stegner fellowships, he has taught at Stanford University, University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Wake Forest University, in addition to other colleges and universities. He is Poet in Residence at Oregon State University and President of the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters.
Sherry Simpson has published two collections of essays, The Way Winter Comes and The Accidental Explorer. Her most recent book, Dominion of Bears, won the John Burroughs Medal for Excellence in Natural History Writing in 2015. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and magazines, including Orion, Harvard Review, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, On Nature: Great Writers on the Great Outdoors, and In Fact. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; a hybrid-genre photo-text entitled Intimate; and five books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope, and Animal Eye, which was a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize, the Balcones Prize, and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize. Her newest poetry collection is Imaginary Vessels, and her latest nonfiction work is The Broken Country, which won the 2016 AWP Nonfiction Prize. Her work has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship, and various state arts council awards. She teaches at the University of Utah and is Utah’s Poet Laureate.
Barrie Jean Borich is the author of Apocalypse, Darling (Ohio State University Press: Mad Creek Crooks/Machete Series in Literary Nonfiction 2018). PopMatters said “Apocalypse, Darling soars and seems to live as a new form altogether. It’s poetry, a meditation on life as “the other”, creative non-fiction, and abstract art.” Her memoir Body Geographic (University of Nebraska Press/American Lives Series 2013) won a Lambda Literary Award in Memoir, an IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Award) Gold Medal in Essay/Creative Nonfiction, and a 2013 Forward INDIE Bronze Award for Essays. In a starred review Kirkus called Body Geographic “an elegant literary map that celebrates shifting topographies as well as human bodies in motion, not only across water and land, but also through life.” Borich’s previous book, My Lesbian Husband (Graywolf 1999, 2000), won the American Library Association Stonewall Book Award, and her first book, Restoring the Color of Roses (1993), was published by Firebrand Books, an independent feminist press. Her work has been anthologized in Waveform: Twenty-First Century Essays by Women and in After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essays, and has been cited in Best American Essays and Best American Non-Required Reading. She is the recipient of The Florida Review Editor’s Prize in the Essay and the Crab Orchard Review Literary Nonfiction Prize, and her work has appeared in Ecotone, The Seneca Review, Indiana Review, Hotel Amerika, TriQuarterly, Passages North, The Washington Post, The Rumpus and many others. Borich is an associate professor in the English Department and MA in Writing and Publishing Program at DePaul University in Chicago. She leads writing workshops for graduate and undergraduate students at DePaul, teaches courses in LGBTQ memoir and the history and practice of the American literary magazine, and she edits Slag Glass City, a digital journal of the urban essay arts. A Chicago native, Borich lives with her spouse Linnea in the city’s historic Bryn Mawr District of the Edgewater Beach neighborhood, one of the most culturally and internationally diverse community areas of the city and recently voted the sixth “gayest” neighborhood in the United States.
Rebecca McClanahan’s most recent books are The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change and a new edition of Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively. She has also published five books of poetry, two additional books of writing instruction, and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, winner of the Glasgow Award in nonfiction. McClanahan’s work has appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, and numerous anthologies. McClanahan, who received the Wood Prize from Poetry, a Pushcart Prize in Fiction, the Carter Prize for the Essay, and literary fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, was the 2015 Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University.