2015-16 Reading & Lectures Series

Michael N. McGregor, Author
Tuesday, October 6
Co-sponsored by the Garaventa Center
Michael N. McGregor is an author, journalist, editor, teacher and writing consultant based in Portland, OR.  A professor of English and Creative Writing at Portland State University, he holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University in New York and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oregon. McGregor’s essays, articles, short stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a wide variety of publications, including The Seattle Review, StoryQuarterly, Poetry, Notre Dame Magazine, The Crab Orchard Review, The South Dakota Review, Image, Weber: The Contemporary West, Poets & Writers, The Writers’ Chronicle, American Theatre, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Portland Magazine,  The Merton Seasonal and The Merton Annual.  He has also contributed chapters to The Dictionary of Literary Biography, Now Write! Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism and Creative Nonfiction Exercises from Today’s Best Writers and Teachers, and Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler.  This September, Fordham University Press will publish his first book,Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax.  McGregor’s writing awards include the Oregon Literary Arts Leslie Bradshaw Fellowship, the Daniel Curley Award for Short Fiction, an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, a Walden Residency Fellowship, an Image Artist of the Month selection, and a “notable essay” designation in Best American Essays 2013. He has also been a Resident Scholar at the Collegeville Institute at St. John’s University in Minnesota and received the John Eliot Allen Award as the PSU English Department’s Outstanding Teacher four times.

Sara Jaffe, Fiction Writer
Wednesday, October 7
Sara Jaffe is a fiction writer living in Portland, OR. Her first novel, Dryland, will be published by Tin House Books in September 2015. Her short fiction and criticism have appeared in publications including Fence, BOMB, NOON, Paul Revere’s Horse, matchbook, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She co-edited The Art of Touring (Yeti, 2009), an anthology of writing and visual art by musicians drawing on her experience as guitarist for post-punk band Erase Errata.
Sara holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, RADAR Productions, and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. She is also co-founding editor of New Herring Press, a publisher of prose chapbooks.

Martin Flanagan, Schoenfeldt Writer
Thursday, November 5
The renowned Australian writer Martin Flanagan is the author of 13 books of fiction, nonfiction, and poems, including The Call, an imaginative reconstruction of the life of Tom Wills, the founder of Australian football, which was adapted into a stage play in 2004. Martin’s other books include collections of his newspaper essays, several books about his beloved “footy,” an autobiographical novel (Going Away), and a masterful inquiry into sport and violence and Australian character called The Game in Time of War. He is also the author, with his late father Arch Flanagan, of The Line, based on Arch’s experiences on the infamous Burma Railway when he was taken prisoner by the Japanese during the Second World War. Flanagan, widely considered Australia’s finest sportswriter (“a legend of Australian journalism,” according to Time Magazine), was born into a large family in Tasmania (one of his brothers is the novelist Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2014 Booker Award) and graduated in law from the University of Tasmania in 1975. He and his family live in Melbourne, where he writes for The Age newspaper on sport, politics, Australian culture, and the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. He is currently working on a book about Aboriginal footballer Michael Long and a TV series based on The Call.

Elyse Fenton, Poet
Tuesday, November 17
Elyse Fenton is the author of the poetry collections, Clamor, winner of the 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize and Sweet Insurgent(forthcoming 2017), winner of the Alice Fay di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America. Her poetry and prose have been published in The New York Times, Best New Poets, American Poetry Review, Pleiades and Prairie Schooner, and featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and PRI’s The World. She received a BA from Reed College and an MFA from the University of Oregon and has worked in the woods, on farms and in schools in the Pacific Northwest, New Hampshire, Mongolia and Texas. She lives with her family in Portland, where she purports to be writing a novel. Visit her at www.elysefenton.com.

Laila Lalami, Schoenfeldt Writer
Monday, February 15
Born and raised in Morocco, Laila Lalami’s birthplace permeates her stories and novels. Her newest book, The Moor’s Account, was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It is a stunning piece of historical fiction: the imagined memoirs of the New World’s first explorer of African descent, a Moroccan slave known as Estebanico. Salman Rushdie called the book “absorbing” and “brilliantly imagined”. Her work has also been translated into ten languages and her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in Newsweek, the Los Angeles TimesThe Washington PostThe NationThe GuardianThe New York Times, and in numerous anthologies. She is the recipient of Morocco’s prestigious Wissam Medal, a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.

Don Waters, Fiction Writer
Wednesday, February 24
Don Waters is the author of Sunland, a novel, and the story collection Desert Gothic, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. His fiction has been widely published and anthologized in the Pushcart Prize, Best of the West, and New Stories from the Southwest. A frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, he’s written for the New York Times Book ReviewOutsideThe Believer, and Slate, among other publications. Waters is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Lewis & Clark College. Originally from Reno, Nevada, he lives in Portland, Oregon with his partner, the writer Robin Romm.

William Deresiewicz, Essayist and Critic
Saturday, March 19
NUCL Keynote Speaker
Dr. William Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and critic, a frequent college speaker, and the best-selling author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. He taught English at Yale for ten years and at Columbia for five. His essay “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education” has been viewed over one million times. Deresiewicz is a Contributing Writer for The Nation and a Contributing Editor for The American Scholar. His work has also appeared in The New York TimesThe AtlanticHarper'sThe New RepublicThe London Review of Books, and elsewhere. He has won the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, the Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and is a three-time National Magazine Award nominee.

Eva Hooker, CSC, Poet
Monday, April 4
Co-sponsored by the Garaventa Center
Sr. Eva is a Shakespeare scholar and poet in residence at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and is the Regent’s Professor of Poetry at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. The Winterkeeper and Notes for Survival in the Wilderness are among her most prominent other collections of poetry. 

Jae Choi, Poet
Wednesday, April 6
Jae's poems have appeared in VoltaTin HouseThe Iowa ReviewPloughsharesWeekdayLVNGPoor Claudia, Flying Object’s It’s My Decision series, and as installations in group shows at galleries such as 356 Mission (Los Angeles) and Good Press (Glasgow). Her long poem Woman Carrying Thing was published as a limited-edition chapbook by The Song Cave. Jae holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow and an Alberta Metcalf Kelly Fellow. She has been a recipient of an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship and an Artist-in-Residence at the Ucross Foundation and Caldera Arts. She divides her time, discriminately, along the West Coast, but last called Joshua Tree, California, her home. She is currently at Reed College as the 2015-2016 Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing, Poetry.

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