WSU Vancouver hosts Creative Writers Series

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 11:19am -- brenda_alling

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Six creative writers and scholars will speak as part of Washington State University Vancouver’s 2019 Creative Writers Series, presented on six Wednesday nights between Jan. 16 and April 10.

The presentations are free and open to the public, and all take place at 6 p.m. in Dengerink Administration Building, Room 110. Each talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Some authors will have books available for purchase.

The series kicks off with a free public reception from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16, tentatively scheduled in Dengerink Administration Building, Rooms 129/130. (check for confirmation). There will also be receptions before the writers’ talks on Feb. 13 and Feb. 27.

The speakers represent a variety of literary genres and fields, from poetry to creative nonfiction and publishing. Their themes range from personal stories to identities, the wilderness to the current state of the book ecosystem, and more.

For more information, contact the series’ coordinator, Pavithra Narayanan, at The schedule follows:

Jan. 16: Renny Christopher

“Crossing Boundaries, Crossing Genres: Using History, Family History and Historical Research to tell Uncommonly Told Stories”

Reception 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., talk at 6 p.m.

Christopher has won awards for her poetry collections, “My Name is Medea” and “Longing Fervently for Revolution,” and for her scholarly book on Vietnam. Her memoir, “A Carpenter’s Daughter: A Working-Class Woman in Higher Education” (2009) addresses her experiences as the first in her family to attend college. Christopher is vice chancellor for academic affairs at WSU Vancouver.

Jan. 30: Samiya Bashir

“| The Swarm | Restorative Poetics: Writing Humanity”

Bashir’s most recent book of poetry, “Field Theories,” won the 2018 Oregon Book Award for poetry, and two earlier collections, “Gospel” and “Where the Apple Falls,” were finalists for the Lambda Literary Award. She is a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writers’ festival for LGBT writers of African descent. In October 2017, she received the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature. Bashir is associate professor of creative writing at Reed College.

Feb. 13: Melba Joyce Boyd

“Detroit Poetry Movements”

Reception 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., talk at 6 p.m.

Boyd is the author of 13 books, including nine collections of poetry. Among her books are “Death Dance of a Butterfly,” which received the 2013 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award for Poetry, and “Roses and Revolutions,” which received the 2010 Independent Publishers Award and the 2010 Library of Michigan Notable Books Award for Poetry. She has also received the Sojourner Meritorious Award for Community Service, National Conference of Artist Award and the Charles H. Wright Museum's Women's Award. Boyd is a distinguished professor in African American studies at Wayne State University, Detroit.

Feb. 27: Qwo-Li Driskill

“Two-Spirit Creative Resistance”
Reception 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., talk at 6 p.m.

Driskill is a (non-citizen) Cherokee Two-Spirit and queer writer, activist and performer also of African, Irish, Lenape, Lumbee and Osage ascent. The author of “Walking with Ghosts: Poems” and “Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory,” Driskill was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in 2017. Driskill is associate professor and the director of graduate studies in women, gender and sexuality at Oregon State University.

March 27: Debbie Lee

“The Storied Wilderness”
Lee is the author/editor of seven books, most recently “The Land Speaks: New Voices at the Intersection of Oral and Environmental History” (2017). Her book “Slavery and the Romantic Imagination” received the 2003 Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Narrative, the Montreal Review, Terrain, the Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Her honors include a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project. Lee is regents professor of English at WSU Pullman.

April 10: Abbey Gaterud

“Book Publishing Big and Small”
Gaterud is senior instructor of English at Portland State University and the publisher of PSU's award-winning publishing house, Ooligan Press. She teaches courses in book publishing, book design, business development and writing. She is also an award-winning freelance book designer and was recognized by Publishers Weekly as a future leader of the publishing industry as part of its Star Watch 2015.

About WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave. in Vancouver, east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205, or via C-Tran bus service. Parking is available at meters or in the Blue Daily Pay Lot for $4; $2 after 5 p.m.

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,

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