Creative Writing Faculty

Linda Bierds, poetry. Her books include Flights of the Harvest Mare (Ahsahta, 1985), The Stillness, the Dancing (Holt, 1988), Heart and Perimeter (Holt, 1991), The Ghost Trio (Holt, 1994), The Profile Makers (Holt, 1997), The Seconds (Putnam, 2001), First Hand (Putnam, 2005), Flight: New and Selected Poems (Putnam, 2008) and Roget's Illusion (Putnam, 2014). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Artist Trust Foundation of Washington and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 1998 she was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.

David Bosworth, fiction and non-fiction. His book of stories, The Death of Descartes, won the Drue Heinz Prize and a Special Citation from PEN and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. His novel, From My Father Singing, was the winner of the Editors' Book Award. He has been the recipient of NEA and Ingram Merrill fellowships in fiction, and his literary and cultural essays have selected for a Pushcart Prize and a Gamma award.

Andrew Feld, poetry. He is the author of Citizen, a 2003 National Poetry Series selection and Raptor (Chicago, 2012)and he is the editor-in-chief and poetry editor of The Seattle Review . He is currently the Director of the Creative Writing Program. He has received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, the "Discovery," The Nation Award, and two Pushcart Prizes.

Charles Johnson, (emeritus), fiction. He is the Pollock Professor of English, author of 16 books, among them the novels Middle Passage, Oxherding Tale, Faith and the Good Thing, and Dreamer; the story collections: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (nominated for a PEN/Faulkner award), Soulcatcher and Other Stories, and Dr. King's Refrigerator and Other Bedtime Stories; and works of philosophy and criticism such as Being and Race: Black Writing Since 1970 and Turning the Wheel: Essays on Buddhism and Writing. He is also a screenwriter, essayist, professional cartoonist, international lecturer, and for 20 years served as fiction editor of Seattle Review/, He received the 1990 National Book Award (fiction) for Middle Passage, NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, a Writers Guild Award for his PBS drama "Booker," two Washington State Governor's Awards for literature, the Academy Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and numerous other prizes and honorary degrees. Students are encouraged to submit work to the "Charles Johnson Fiction Award" at Southern Illinois University. In 1998 he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, and in 2003 literary scholars founded the Charles Johnson Society at the American Literature Association ( His author's web-site is at

Richard Kenney, poetry. His books of poetry include The Evolution of the Flightless Bird, Orrery (Atheneum, 1985), The Invention of the Zero (Knopf), and The One Strand River. In 1987 he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.

Colleen McElroy (emerita), fiction and poetry. Winner of the American Book Award, Fulbright, N.E.A. and Rockefeller fellowships, she has eight books of poetry, including What Madness Brought Me Here: Selected Poems, 1968-89, and two collections of short fiction, the most recent: Driving Under the Cardboard Pines. She is editor-in-chief and poetry editor of Seattle Review.

Heather McHugh, (emerita), poetry. Heather McHugh has written more than ten volumes of poetry, essays and translation, including Hinge & Sign, (a volume of selected poems which was shortlisted for the National Book Award), Eyeshot (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry) and Glottal Stop (translations of Paul Celan, with Nikolai Popov-- a book which won the Griffin International Poetry Prize). Formerly a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009 she received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. Click here to listen to the 9/22/09 NPR All Things Considered interview.

David Shields, short story, memoir, essay. David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), and Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Forthcoming are That Thing You Do With Your Mouth (McSweeney’s, June 2015), War Is Beautiful (powerHouse, September 15), Flip-Side (powerHouse, January 2016) and Other People (Knopf, February 2017). The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into twenty languages.

Maya Sonenberg, fiction. Her most recent collection of stories, Voices from the Blue Hotel, was published in 2006, and her first collection, Cartographies, received the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in 1989.

Pimone Triplett. Pimone Triplett is the author of The Price of Light (2005), Ruining the Picture (1998), and Rumor (2009). She has been the recipient of the Levis Poetry Prize and the Hazel Hall Poetry Prize. With Daniel Tobin, she is the co-editor of Poet's Work, Poet's Play, a collection of essays on craft by Warren Wilson MFA Program professors. Her MFA is from the University of Iowa.

David Wagoner (emeritus), Poetry, fiction, playwriting. His fourteen books of poetry inclucde Collected Poems 1956-1976, Who Shall Be the Sun? and First Light. He has had ten novels published, the most recent being The Hanging Garden.  He is a member of the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.  For many years he was editor of Poetry Northwest.

Shawn Wong, fiction. He is the author of two novels, Homebase and American Knees, and the editor of six anthologies of Asian American and multicultural literature, including the landmark anthology, Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers. The film version of American Knees, entitled Americanese, will be released in theatres in 2008. Wong also started the first summer creative writing workshop at the UW Rome Center in 1997. In addition to teaching regularly in Italy, he also has taught in Germany at the University of Tuebingen and in Lyon, France at Jean Moulin University.

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