The Creative Writing Program is pleased to welcome a distinguished group of visiting writers in the 2018-19 academic year. Additional details, times, and locations for these events will be posted here as they are finalized.


2018-19 Creative Writing Reading Series. See details below for names and dates.

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Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Spring 2019

Fall 2018

Gabriela Torres Olivares and Justin Hocking
Monday, October 29 at 6:30pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238

Gabriela Torres OlivaresGabriela Torres Olivares was born in Monterrey, México. She is the author of three collections of short stories: Enfermario (2010), which Reforma named as one of the Best Books of 2010; Incompletario (2007); and Están Muertos (2004). Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals, including Vice, Pic-Nic, Playboy, and Luvina. She received a 2015-16 grant from the National Fund for Culture and Arts to complete a novel. Les Figues Press published Enfermario in English (translated by Jennifer Donovan) in 2017.




Justin HockingJustin Hocking’s memoir, The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld, won the 2015 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and was a Library Journal “Best Books of 2014” pick. His nonfiction and fiction have appeared in The Rumpus, Orion, The Normal School, Portland Review, Tin House online, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. From 2006 to 2014, Hocking served as Executive Director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). He currently teaches creative nonfiction at Portland State University.




Diane Williams and Rodney Koeneke
Monday, November 5 at 6:30pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238

Diane WilliamsDiane Williams is the author of nine books of fiction, including The Collected Stories of Diane Williams (Soho Press, 2018). She is the founder and editor of the literary annual NOON. She lives in New York City.






Rodney KoenekeRodney Koeneke is author of the poetry collections Body & Glass (Wave Books, 2018), Etruria (Wave Books, 2014), Musee Mechanique (BlazeVOX, 2006), and Rouge State (Pavement Saw, 2003). An early member of the Flarf collective, he was active in the San Francisco Bay Area poetry scene until 2006, when he moved to Portland, Oregon. He teaches in the History Department at Portland State University.






Sean Davis and Matthew Robinson
Monday, November 19 at 6:30pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238

Sean DavisSean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War and a Purple Heart Iraq War veteran. He won the Legionnaire of the Year Award from the American Legion in 2015, and the Emily Gottfried Emerging Leader Human Rights Award in 2016. His stories, essays, and articles have appeared in the Ted Talk book The Misfit’s Manifesto (Simon and Schuster), the anthology City of Weird (Forest Avenue Press), Sixty Minutes, Story Corps, Flaunt Magazine, The Big Smoke, Human the movie, and elsewhere.




Matthew RobinsonMatthew Robinson is the author of The Horse Latitudes. He holds an MFA from Portland State University and is the 2016 recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship for Fiction. His writing has appeared in Propeller, Shirley, O-Dark Thirty, Nailed, Gobshite Quarterly, Split Lip, Clackamas Literary Review, and elsewhere. Matthew is co-editor of the online literary journal The Gravity of the Thing. H lives, writes, and teaches in Portland, Oregon.

Davis and Robinson are contributors to the new literary anthology The Jesus He Deserved, forthcoming December 14.



Winter 2019

Kisha Schlegel and Lynn Otto

Monday, January 28 at 6:30pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238


Kisha SchlegelKisha Lewellyn Schlegel’s first book of essays won the inaugural Gournay Prize from Mad Creek Books. She has published essays in the Tin House blog, The Kenyon Review, and Conjunctions and is a recipient of the Richard J. Margolis Award, an Iowa Arts Grant, a Washington State Grant for Artist Projects, a writing residency at the Bloedel Reserve. A graduate of the University of Montana's Environmental Studies Program and the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program, she now teaches creative writing at Whitman College.




Lynn OttoLynn Otto’s first poetry collection, Real Daughter, won Unicorn Press’s 2017 First Book Award and will be available in early 2019. Lynn has an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University (Oregon) and was a 2015/16 resident associate at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. She has given readings and workshops in the US, Canada, and France. She works as freelance copy editor and writing mentor, serves on the board of the Oregon Poetry Association, and facilitates critique groups.  




Paul Collins and Ted Van Alst
Monday, February 25 at 6:30pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238


Paul CollinsPaul Collins is a writer specializing in history, memoir, and unusual antiquarian literature. His nine books have been translated into eleven languages, and include Not Even Wrong: A Father's Journey Into the Lost History of Autism (2004), and The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars (2011).  He is a 2009 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction. Collins's recent freelance work includes pieces for the New Yorker, Lapham's Quarterly, and New Scientist. In addition to appearing on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday as its “literary detective” on odd and forgotten old books, he is also the founding editor of the Collins Library imprint of McSweeney's Books, where he has revived such disparate works as a World War I internment camp memoir and an absurdist 1934 detective tale. Collins is Professor and Chair of English at Portland State University. 


Ted Van AlstDr. Theodore “Ted” C. Van Alst, Jr. is Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University. He is co-editor and Creative Editor for Transmotion, a journal of postmodern indigenous studies. His short story collection about growing up in Chicago, Sacred Smokes, was published in August 2018 by the University of New Mexico Press, who also published his edited volume The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones. Van Alst’s work appears in collections such as Seeing Red, Visualities, and The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature. His fiction, essays, and photography have been published widely.



Suzanne Matson and Andrea Hollander
Monday, March 4 at 6:30pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 333


Suzanne Matson (photo by Mark Wilson)Suzanne Matson’s new novel, Ultraviolet, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was included in Real Simple's roundup of “The Best Books of 2018.” Her first novel, The Hunger Moon, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. Her third, The Tree-Sitter, was short-listed for the PEN New England/ L. L. Winship Award. She has published two poetry collections with Alice James Books, and received writing fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Matson studied at Portland State University and the University of Washington. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts, and teaches at Boston College.  



Andrea Hollander is the author of five full-length poetry collections: Blue Mistaken for Sky; Landscape with Female Figure: New & Selected Poems, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Woman in the Painting; The Other Life; and House Without a Dreamer, which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Other honors include the 2017 Vern Rutsala Award, a 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship, the Runes Poetry Prize, and poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arkansas Arts Council. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, college textbooks, and literary journals. For twenty-two years she served as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College, where she was awarded the Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches workshops and seminars in her home.


Joshua Beckman: RESCHEDULED

Monday, March 11 at 6:30pm

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238

Joshua BeckmanJoshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of many books, including The Lives of the Poems and Three Talks (2018), The Inside of an AppleTake ItShakeYour Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is editor-in-chief at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He also co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015).

Spring 2019


Amy Orazio and Omar Pimienta
Monday, April 8 at 6:30 PM
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238

Amy Orazio's work has appeared in Gap Tooth, Pidgeonholes, Chaparral, Timber Journal, Ruminate Magazine, The Curator and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, called Quench, (CW Books), is available now. Amy lives in the uncool part of Portland with her husband and two tiny sons. 





Omar Pimienta is an interdisciplinary artist and writer who lives and works in the San Diego / Tijuana border region. His artistic practice examines questions of identity, trans-nationality, emergency poetics, landscape, and memory. He received his MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego in 2010 and he is currently part of the Ph.D program in Literature of UCSD. He has published several books of poetry, including Primera Persona Ella (Ediciones de La Esquina, 2004 and Littera Libros, 2009) and La Libertad: Ciudad de Paso (CECUT, 2006 and Aullido Libros, 2008), Escribo desde Aquí (the book that won the 10th Emilio Prado International Publication prize from the Centro Cultural Generación del 27 Malaga Spain, 2010), El Album de las Rejas (Ediciones Liliputienses, 2016), and Album of Fences (Cardboard House Press, 2018).


Will Alexander, PSU/Tin House Writer in Residence
Friday, April 19 at 6:30 PM
The Little Church
5138 NE 23rd Avenue
Portland, OR


Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher, aphorist, playwright, visual artist, and pianist. His books include Asia and Haiti, The Sri Lankan Loxodrome, Compression and Purity, Sunrise In Armageddon, Diary As Sin, Inside the Earthquake Palace, Towards The Primeval Lightning Field, and Mirach Speaks To His Grammatical Transparents. Alexander is a recipient of the Whiting Fellowship for Poetry, California Arts Council Fellowship, PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award, American Book Award, and Jackson Poetry Prize. He lives in Los Angeles. 

As the 2019 PSU/Tin House Writer in Residence, Alexander is teaching the Spring MFA poetry workshop at Portland State.