Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Archive

Hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, this reading series brings a number of writers of national significance to Alaska for readings, lectures, and individual meetings with local aspiring writers. Below is a list of visiting writers from the past couple years.

Spring 2020: Julie Iromuanya, Elena Passarello and Shena McAuliffe (Postponed)

Due to public health concerns, Julie Iromuanya’s, Elena Passarello’s and Shena McAullife’s were postponed. If we can reschedule these events, we’ll update this page with further information.

Julie Iromuanya is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press, 2016). She was the inaugural Herbert W. Martin Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Dayton, and she is now an assistant professor in the creative writing program at the University of Chicago. (Reading postponed in Spring 2020.)

Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her first collection Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012), won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon and teaches at Oregon State University. (Reading postponed in Spring 2020.)

Shena McAuliffe is the author of the novel The Good Echo (Black Lawrence Press), which won the Big Moose Prize and the Balcones Fiction Prize. Her essay collection Glass, Light & Electricity: Essays was selected as winner of the 2019 Permafrost Nonfiction Prize. McAuliffee is an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Union College. (Reading postponed in Spring 2020.)

November 2019: Christopher Lee Miles

Christopher Lee Miles’s first book is Armor & Ornament (University of Alaska Press, 2019). He works with rural Alaska and Alaska Native students at the Interior Alaska Campus.

October 2019: the 28th annual Dead Writers reading

Students, faculty and community members dressed as dearly departed author, delivered readings and performances, and channeled spirits. Prizes were awarded to the best, brightest and most daring.

April 2019: Nicole Stellon O’Donnell & Rob McCue

Nicole Stellon O’Donnell is the author of You Are No Longer in Trouble (White Pine Press, 2019), a memoir-in-flash about being a teacher, a student, and a principal’s daughter. Her poetry collection Everything Never Comes Your Way is forthcoming from Boreal Books in 2020. She is currently serving a two-year term as a Heinemann Fellow.



Rob McCue is the author of One Water (Red Hen, 2018). He has lived in Alaska for thirty-one years. He has worked as a commercial fisherman, cab driver, construction worker, and backcountry guide. He has spent several years camping in the Alaskan wilderness.

April 2019: Roger Wall
Winner of the 2018 Permafrost Book Prize in Fiction

Roger Wall studied fiction writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His debut novel, During-the-Event won the 2018 Permafrost Book Prize. He lives in New York and the Catskills.

March 2019: Tessa Fontaine

Tessa Fontaine is the author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts, which chronicles a season she spent performing with the World of Wonders, the last American traveling circus sideshow. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Hayden’s Ferry Review, FSG’s Works in Progress, Creative Nonfiction, Seneca Review and elsewhere.

February 2019: Susannah Nevison

Susannah Nevison is the author of two collections of poetry, Lethal Theater (Ohio State University Press, 2019) and Teratology (Persea Books, 2015). Her work has appeared in Tin House, Pleiades, Crazyhorse, and The New York Times. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Sweet Briar College.

November 2018: LaTanya McQueen

LaTanya McQueen is author of the essay collection And It Begins Like This (Black Lawrence Press, 2018). She received her MFA from Emerson College, her PhD from the University of Missouri. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Coe College.

October 2018: John Straley
(hosted by the University of Alaska Press)

John Straley is the author of The Curious Eat Themselves and The Woman Who Married a Bear. He lives with his wife, Jan, a prominent whale biologist, in a bright green house on the beach in Sitka, Alaska. Straley was appointed the Writer Laureate of Alaska in 2006. He received a BA in English and a certificate of completion in horse shoeing.

October 2018: the 27th annual Dead Writers reading

The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series presented another memorable year of readings, costumes and jokes at the 27th Annual Dead Writers Reading.

October 2018: Anne Valente

Anne Valente is author of the story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names (Dzanc Books, 2014), as well as the novels Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2016) and The Desert Sky Before Us (HarperCollins, 2019). Originally from St. Louis, she currently lives in upstate New York where she teaches creative writing and literature at Hamilton College.

September 2018: Rebecca Lindenberg

Rebecca Lindenberg is the author of Love, an Index (McSweeney’s) and The Logan Notebooks (Mountain West Poetry Series), winner of the 2015 Utah Book Award. She is the Poetry Editor of the Cincinnati Review, and an Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Cincinnati, where she directs the Creative Writing Program.





2016–17 Visiting Writers

Danielle Evans, author of the story collection Before You Suffocate You Own Fool Self

Tyrone Jaegar, author of the story collection So Many True Believers

Anand Prahlad, author of the memoir The Secret Life of a Black Aspie, winner of the 2016 Permafrost Book Prize in nonfiction

Scott Russell Sanders, judge of the 2016 Permafrost Book Prize in nonfiction and author of many books of fiction and nonfiction, including Dancing in Dreamtime

Other visiting writers have included Benjamin PercyHeid ErdrichPatricia Smith and Tom McGuane.