This Year’s Readers
Emcee JON RAYMOND
Jon Raymond is the author of three novels—Freebird, Rain Dragon, and The Half-Life, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2004—and the short-story collection Livability, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and winner of the Oregon Book Award. He is also the screenwriter of the film Meek’s Cutoff and cowriter of the films Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, both based on his short fiction, and the film Night Moves. He also cowrote the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, winner of five Emmy Awards. Raymond’s writing has appeared in Tin House, The Village Voice, Bookforum, Artforum, Playboy, and other publications. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
OMAR EL AKKAD
Omar El Akkad is an Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist. He has reported from Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and numerous other locations around the world. He is the recipient of Canada’s National Newspaper Award for Investigative Journalism and the Goff Penny Award for young journalism. His debut novel, American War, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award and the Oregon Book Award for fiction, and has been nominated for eight other awards. It has been translated into a dozen languages. Omar lives in the woods just south of Portland.
JOSÉ ANGEL ARAGUZ
José Angel Araguz is a CantoMundo fellow and the author of seven chapbooks as well as the collections Everything We Think We Hear (Floricanto Press), Small Fires (FutureCycle Press), and Until We Are Level Again (Mongrel Empire Press). His poems, prose, and reviews have appeared in Hunger Mountain, Prairie Schooner, The Laurel Review, The Windward Review, and The Bind. He also serves as an editor for Right Hand Pointing and Airlie Press. He runs the poetry blog The Friday Influence as well as the Instagram poetry project poetryamano. He teaches English and creative writing at Linfield College in McMinnville.
John Larison was born and raised in Corvallis, and now lives with his family on a small farm near Finley Wildlife Refuge. He attended Inavale, Harding, Western View, Corvallis High School, and OSU. He is the author of a work of nonfiction about fly fishing, as well as three novels, Northwest of Normal (2009), Holding Lies (2011), and Whiskey When We’re Dry (2018), which is currently being developed for a
Chad Murphy is an assistant professor of management at Oregon State University. In his spare time he moonlights as the creator of Lord Birthday—a series of lightly satirical cartoons, poems, and single-panel comics. First appearing on Instagram in the fall of 2015, Lord Birthday has recently made the leap to print, in a debut collection called How to Appear Normal at Social Events published by Andrews McMeel in March of 2018. Lord Birthday has been featured on NPR’s Invisibilia and was recently blurbed about in People Magazine.
Elena Passarello grew up in Snellville Georgia, a smallish town with the motto “Where Everybody’s Somebody.” Her two collections of essays are Let Me Clear My Throat and Animals Strike Curious Poses, which won The 2018 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, made the 2017 best-of lists in the Guardian, Publisher’s Weekly, and the New York Times, and has been translated into German, Italian, and Mandarin. She has won the Whiting Award for nonfiction as well as the award for Messiest Office among the Creative Writing faculty at Oregon State University. You can hear her on OPB every Saturday as the announcer/sidekick of Luke Burbank’s Live Wire radio hour.
SAM ROXAS-CHUA 姚
Sam Roxas-Chua 姚 is a poet and multi-disciplinary artist from Eugene, Oregon. He is the author of the books Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater (Lithic Press), Echolalia in Script – A Collection of Asemic Writing (Orison Books) and the chapbook Fawn Language (Tebot Bach). Recent poems and artwork have appeared in Narrative, december magazine, and Cream City Review. In 2014, his poetry sequence Diary of Collected Summers was awarded the Missouri Review’s Miller Audio Prize. His asemic work has been exhibited at selected galleries including the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Sam is the director of The Requatorist, an organization dedicated to writing mentorship, publishing, and audio recording services.
Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry. She teaches at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Leni Zumas’ new novel, Red Clocks, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, an Indie Next List selection, and a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Literary Fiction pick. Zumas is also the author of the story collection Farewell Navigator and the novel The Listeners, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She has received grants and fellowships from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Originally from Washington, D.C., she now lives in Oregon and teaches creative writing at Portland State University.