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During the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, a rich and diverse gathering of prose writers and poets read from their work. Unless otherwise noted, all readings take place at the Joseph F. Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden State Park.
All readings are free, and open to the public.
2022 Reading Series
(Programs and artists subject to change)
Sunday, July 17, 2022 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Theater
Matthew Olzmann is the author of Constellation Route as well as two previous collections of poetry: Mezzanines and Contradictions in the Design. A recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, MacDowell, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Olzmann’s poems have appeared in The New York Times, Best American Poetry, the Pushcart Prizes, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. He is a Senior Lecturer of Creative Writing at Dartmouth College and also teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
CMarie Fuhrman is the author of Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems (Floodgate 2020) and co-editor of Native Voices: Indigenous Poetry, Craft, and Conversations (Tupelo 2019). She has forthcoming or published poetry and nonfiction in multiple journals including Emergence Magazine, Platform Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Cutthroat a Journal of the Arts, Whitefish Review, Poetry Northwest, as well as several anthologies. CMarie is the Director of Poetry Western Colorado University, where she also teaches Nature Writing. She is the 2021-2023 Idaho Writer in Residence and she resides in the mountains of West Central Idaho with her partner Caleb and their dogs Carhartt and Cisco.
Tess Gallagher’s eleventh volume of poetry, Is, Is Not, was published May 2019 by Graywolf Press. Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems, also from Graywolf, is the most comprehensive offering of her poems to date. Other poetry includes Dear Ghosts, Moon Crossing Bridge, and Amplitude. Gallagher’s The Man from Kinvara: Selected Stories was published fall 2009. Barnacle Soup—Stories from the West of Ireland, a collaboration with the late Sligo storyteller Josie Gray, is available in the U.S. from Carnegie Mellon. Her book of essays: A Concert of Tenses, has long been used to teach what is important to the writing of poetry and available from The University of Michigan Press.
Monday, July 18, 2022 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Theater
Shin Yu Pai
Shin Yu Pai is a poet, essayist and visual artist. She is the author of several books of poetry, including Virga (Empty Bowl, 2021), ENSŌ (Entre Ríos Books, 2020), Sightings: Selected Works (2000-2005) (1913 Press, 2007), AUX ARCS (La Alameda, 2013), Adamantine (White Pine, 2010), and Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003). She served as the fourth poet laureate of the city of Redmond from 2015 to 2017 and has been an artist in residence for the Seattle Art Museum, Town Hall Seattle, and Pacific Science Center. In 2014, she was nominated for a Stranger Genius Award in Literature. She is a three-time fellow of MacDowell and has also been in residence at Taipei Artist Village, Soul Mountain, The Ragdale Foundation, and The National Park Service. She lives and works on the unceded ancestral lands of the Duwamish.
Samuel Ligon’s recent serial novel—Miller Cane: A True & Exact History—appeared for a year in Spokane’s weekly newspaper, The Inlander, as well as on Spokane Public Radio. The author of four previous books of fiction, including Wonderland, illustrated by Stephen Knezovich, and Safe in Heaven Dead, Ligon is also co-editor, with Kate Lebo, of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze. His short fiction has appeared in Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and The Quarterly, among many other places. He teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, and serves as EWU’s Faculty Legislative Liaison in Olympia.
Kristen Millares Young
Kristen Millares Young is the author of the novel Subduction, named a staff pick by The Paris Review and called “whip-smart” by the Washington Post, “a brilliant debut” by the Seattle Times and “utterly unique and important” by Ms. Magazine. Shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, Subduction won Nautilus and IPPY awards and was also a finalist for two International Latino Book Awards and Foreword Indies Book of the Year. Her short stories, essays, reviews and investigations appear most recently in the Washington Post, The Rumpus, PANK Magazine, the Los Angeles Review, Joyland Magazine, Fiction International and Literary Hub, as well as the anthologies Advanced Creative Nonfiction and Alone Together, which won a Washington State Book Award. She is the editor of Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature, a 2021 Washington State Book Award finalist.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Theater
Born in Calcutta and raised in New Delhi, Sayantani Dasgupta received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her most recent book is the short story collection Women Who Misbehave. Her essay collection Fire Girl was a Finalist for the Foreword Indies Awards for Creative Nonfiction. Her writing has essays and stories have appeared in The Rumpus, Hunger Mountain, The Bellingham Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Hindu, and others. Besides the U.S., she has also taught writing in India, Italy, and Mexico.
Queer artist/writer/editor Elizabeth (EJ) Colen’s books include What Weaponry, a novel in prose poems, poetry collections Money for Sunsets (Lambda Literary Award and Audre Lorde Award finalist) and Waiting Up for the End of the World: Conspiracies, flash fiction collection Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake, book-length lyric essay The Green Condition, and fiction collaboration True Ash. She earned a BA from Georgia State University and an MFA from the University of Washington, where she was the recipient of the Nelson Bentley and Frederick Ingham Fellowships.
Terrance Hayes’s most recent publications include American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin (Penguin 2018) and To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight (Wave, 2018). To Float In The Space Between was winner of the Poetry Foundation’s 2019 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin won the Hurston/Wright 2019 Award for Poetry and was a finalist the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry, the 2018 TS Eliot Prize for Poetry, and the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Hayes is a Professor of English at New York University.
Wednesday, July 20, 2022 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Theater
Wendy Call is co-editor of the craft anthology Telling True Stories; author of the award-awarding No Word for Welcome, and translator of In the Belly of Night and Other Poems, by poet Irma Pineda. A 2015 NEA Literature Fellow and 2018-19 Fulbright Scholar to Colombia, she teaches creative nonfiction in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. She has served as writer in residence at more than two dozen institutions, including national parks, universities, a historical archive, and a public hospital. Wendy makes her home in Southeast Seattle (on Duwamish land) and in Oaxaca, Mexico (on Mixtec and Zapotec land).
David Haynes is the author of seven novels for adults and five books for younger readers. He is an emeritus professor of English at Southern Methodist University, where he directed the creative writing program for ten years. Since 1996 he has taught regularly in MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and has also taught writing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Hamline University, at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, and at the Writers’ Garret in Dallas. His seventh and most recently novel is A Star in the Face of the Sky. He is also the author of a series for children called The West Seventh Wildcats. His upcoming book is a collection, Martha’s Daughter: A Novella and Stories.
Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart; and three essay collections: Abandon Me, a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist; Girlhood, a national bestseller; and Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative. A recipient of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary and of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Barbara Deming Foundation, The BAU Institute, Vermont Studio Center, and others; her essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Granta, The Yale Review, Tin House, The Sun, and The New York Times Magazine. She is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.
Thursday, July 21, 2022 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Theater
Dawn Pinchón Barron
Dawn Pichón Barron is the Academic Director of the Native Pathways Program and Creative Writing Faculty at the Evergreen State College. Born in Southern California, raised in rural Spokane, she is currently a doctoral candidate (Indigenous Development & Advancement) at Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi—research focused on Identity Politics and Indigeneity in Institutions of Higher Learning. She founded and curated the Gray Skies Reading Series 2009-2019. Her chapbook, Escape Girl Blues, was published by Finishing Line Press, 2018. Other work can be found at Moss, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Washington 129 Poetry Anthology, Yellow Medicine Review, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere. She lives with her wingman and Chihuahuas at the southern tip of the Salish Sea.
Adrian Blevins is the author of the forthcoming Status Pending (Four Way Books, 2023), Appalachians Run Amok, Live from the Homesick Jamboree, The Brass Girl Brouhaha, and a co-edited collection of essays by new and emerging Appalachian writers. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Wilder Prize from Two Sylvias Press, a Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, among others. She is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Sebastian Matthews’ latest books are a memoir in essays, Beyond Repair: Living in a Fractured State (Red Hen Press), and a hybrid collection of poetry and prose, Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision (Red Hen Press), an Independent Publisher’s Book Award winner. His other publications include two books of poems, the memoir In My Father’s Footsteps (W.W. Norton & Co.), and the collage novel The Life & Times of American Crow. Matthews is the recipient of a North Carolina Writers Grant and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference’s Bernard de Soto Fellowship in Nonfiction. Along with Stanley Plumly, he edited Search Party: The Collected Poems of William Matthews (Houghton Mifflin), which was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. Matthews serves on the board of trustees for the Vermont Studio Center and on the advisory board for Callaloo.
Friday, July 22, 2022 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Theater
Gary Copeland Lilley
Gary Copeland Lilley is the Artistic Curator for the Port Townsend Writers Conference. Author of eight books of poetry, his most recent publication is The Bushman’s Medicine Show, from Lost Horse Press (2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing, from Blue Horse Press (2018). He earned his MFA from the Warren Wilson College Program for Creative Writers. Lilley is a veteran of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine force. He is originally from North Carolina and now lives, writes, performs, and teaches in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the Washington D.C. Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry. A founding member of The Black Rooster poetry collective, he is published in numerous anthologies and journals. He is a Cave Canem fellow.
Kate Lebo’s first collection of essays, The Book of Difficult Fruit, is out now from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the U.S. and from Picador in the U.K. Other recent work includes the chapbook Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Entre Rios Books) and the anthology Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze (Sasquatch Books), which she edited with Samuel Ligon. Her essay about listening through hearing loss, The Loudproof Room, originally published in New England Review, was anthologized in Best American Essays. She is also the author of Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter (Sasquatch Books) and the poetry/ephemera/recipe collection A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in This is the Place: Women Writing About Home, Ghosts of Seattle Past, Best New Poets, Gettysburg Review, Willow Springs, The Inlander, and Poetry Northwest, among other places. A graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA program and Western Washington University, she’s the recipient of a Nelson Bentley Fellowship and a Joan Grayston Poetry Prize, and grants from Spokane Arts and Artist Trust.
Arna Bontemps Hemenway
Arna Bontemps Hemenway is the author of Elegy on Kinderklavier (Sarabande Books), winner of the PEN/Hemingway Prize, finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Best American Short Stories 2015, A Public Space, Ecotone, and The Missouri Review, among other venues. He holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is currently Associate Professor of English in Creative Writing at Baylor University, and lives in Dallas, where he cares for his two wonderful children.