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The La Grande Lit Week is a project of the Eastern Oregon University MFA Program in Creative Writing, bringing together faculty and visiting writers during its annual residency for seven days of literary events in Northeastern Oregon on the I-84 corridor. The line up features winners of the Oregon Book Awards, the Washington State Book Awards, and the Pacific Northwest Book Awards, as well as authors touring brand new books. Most of the featured authors will be in conversation with EOU MFA faculty after their readings. Please see the full schedule below.
We give thanks to our initial partners and sponsors, especially the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Other partners include Fishtrap, JaxDog Café and Books, Liberty Theatre Cafe, Side A Brewery, Cook Memorial Library, La Grande Parks and Recreation, hq, The Local, Elgin Opera House, and Art Center East.
We also humbly acknowledge the original inhabitants of the land that La Grande and EOU are upon: the Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Nez Perce people. We celebrate their traditions, languages, and stories. We acknowledge their continuing connection to this land, water, and community and pay our respects to these original stewards of northeastern Oregon.
All readings and conversations are free and open to the public. For those interested in honing their own writing craft, one-hour “community classes” will be offered by Lit Week writers on special topics such as “Storytelling Science,” “Writing Toward Joy,” or “Demystifying Historical Fiction.” Registration for each class is $20. Classes will be held in Badgley Hall on the EOU campus at 3:25 pm and 4:30 pm from Monday, July 18 to Friday, July 22. For more information and to register, please see the class descriptions via the link above. Further questions may be directed to Nick Neely, Assistant Professor of English/Writing, email@example.com.
Claire Boyles (MFA faculty) is the recipient of a Whiting Award and the author of Site Fidelity: Stories, a 2022 finalist for the Reading the West Debut Fiction Award and the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction.
Nick Neely (MFA faculty) is the author of Coast Range, a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal for natural history writing, and Alta California, an LA Times Bestseller.
Molly Reid (MFA faculty) is the author of The Rapture Index: A Suburban Bestiary, winner of the BOA Short Fiction Prize and longlisted for the 2020 PEN America/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.
Marina Richie is the author of Halcyon Journey: In Search of the Belted Kingfisher. Her articles and essays on the natural world have been published widely.
Michael P Branch is the author of On the Trail of the Jackalope and How to Cuss in Western, among other books. He is a professor of literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Followed at 7 pm by a panel on animal writing with the Lit Trail authors.
Laura Da’ is the author of Tributaries, which won an American Book Award, and Instruments of the True Measure: Poems, which won the Washington State Book Award for Poetry. She’ll be in conversation with Christopher Kondrich (see bio below).
David Axelrod (MFA director) is the author of nine poetry collections, his latest Years Beyond the River, and two books of essays, including The Eclipse I Call Father.
Christopher Kondrich (MFA faculty) is the author of Valuing, a winner of the National Poetry Series.
Christopher Howell (MFA faculty) is the author of twelve collections of poetry, including The Grief of a Happy Life. He is the recipient of a Washington State Book Award.
Kathryn Miles (MFA Faculty) is the author of the newly released Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders, as well as four other nonfiction books. She’ll be in conversation with Nick Neely (see previous bio).
Followed at 8:15 pm by Boise band Hillfolk Noir.
Leyna Krow is the author of Fire Season: A Novel, out on July 12, and the story collection I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking, which was a Believer Book Award finalist. She’ll be in conversation with Megan Kruse (MFA faculty), the author of Call Me Home.
MFA student thesis readings: Lora Alix, Colette Marie, Cheyenne Maszk, Kyle Rowland, and Chase Van Weerdhuizen.
Followed at 7:30 pm by Jon Raymond, the author of six books including Denial: A Novel, out on July 26, and Livability: Stories, which won the Oregon Book Award in fiction. He’ll be in conversation with Claire Boyles (see previous bio).
Raymond’s event will be livestreamed via Zoom here.
MFA student thesis readings: Phil Carson, Leah Hedberg, James Kelly, Alexander Ortega, and Chelsey Waters.
Followed at 4 pm by the MFA program grad ceremony.
Emilly Prado is the author of Funeral for Flaca: Essays, winner of a Pacific Northwest Book Award. She’ll be in conversation with Melissa Matthewson (MFA faculty), whose Tracing the Desire Line was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction.
Followed at 8 pm by a festive DJ set by Emilly Prado.