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Writers in the Woods brings exciting authors from across the country to campus for intimate readings and workshops.

Writers in the Woods Literary Speaker Series

SNC Tahoe’s Writers in the Woods brings well-known poets and writers from all over the country to the campus for intimate readings and workshops, where audience members can meet and exchange ideas with the guest writers.

Readings: Friday evenings, 7 – 9pm. Free and open to the public.
Workshops: Saturday mornings, 10am – noon. Free to students, $50  for community members — REGISTER HERE. Can be taken for credit.
Location: Tahoe Center for Environmental Studies (TCES) Room 139-141

We have hosted writers such as Nick Flynn, Tim O’Brien, Patricia Smith, Denise Duhamel, Tobias Wolff, Kelle Groom, Lola Haskins, Brenda Hillman, Bob Hass, and many others.


2016 – 2017 Season

Luis Alberto Urrea

September 9 - 10

Luis Alberto Urrea is the acclaimed author of 13 books across multiple genres. The Devil's Highway, his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist and included in many of that year's "best book of the year" lists. His critically acclaimed novel The Hummingbird’s Daughter was the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize winner.

His newest novel, Into the Beautiful North, is the SNC 2016 Common Read selection. It is the story of young women in a small Mexican town who, inspired by the film The Magnificent Seven, follow their men North to persuade them to return. It has been optioned by the TNT network for a television series.

author website: www.luisurrea.com/

Carolyn Forché

Sept 30 - October 1

Carolyn Forché is a poet, editor, translator, and human rights advocate who has witnessed, thought about, and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century history.

She is author of Blue Hour, The Angel of History, and The Country Between Us, a poetry bestseller, as well as editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA grants.


Cathy Linh Che

November 4 - 5

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James, 2014), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies.

A Vietnamese American poet from Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA, she received her BA from Reed College and her MFA from New York University. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Poets & Writers, The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Kundiman, Hedgebrook, Poets House, The Asian American Literary Review, The Center for Book Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency, and a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant.

She is founding editor of the online journal Paperbag, Publicity & Events Associate at Kaya Press, and Executive Director at Kundiman.

author website: cathylinhche.com


Shaun Griffin

February 3 - 4

Shaun Griffin is author of This is What the Desert Surrenders and Bathing in the River of Ashes, and editor of From Sorrow’s Well, a volume on the poet Hayden Carruth, among other works. Both his own work and the anthologies he edits are grounded in the West's cultures and landscapes.

A long-time resident of Virginia City, he has taught poetry workshops in the Northern Nevada Correctional Center and is co-founder of the Community Chest, a nonprofit agency serving children and families in Northwestern Nevada.


Brian Turner

March 3 - 4

Brian Turner is the author of two collections of poetry: Here, Bullet (2005) and Phantom Noise (2010), which was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize in England. His poetry and essays have been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and other journals. Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division (1999-2000). Turner was featured in the documentary film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

He has received many poetry fellowships, and the Poets’ Prize. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, the BBC, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Here and Now, and on Weekend America, among others. He is the Director of the SNC Tahoe low residency MFA Program in Creative Writing.

author website: www.brianturner.org/

Poetry Center Celebration

March 31 - April 1

With poets Cedar Sigo, Lara Mimosa Montes, and Lauren Levin.

Sierra Nevada College's Poetry Center promotes an appreciation of contemporary American poetry with a collection of more than 3000 volumes, and presents programs of public readings and workshops by such poets as Poet Laureate of California Juan Filipe Herrera and award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield.

Visit the Poetry Center in March for details about this year's event.

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Peter Makuck

April 14 - 15

Peter Makuck is a poet, short story writer, and critic. In 2010, his book Long Lens: New and Selected Poems, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His books include Off Season in the Promised Land, Against Distance, Allegiance and Betrayal, and other works. As a student, he witnessed the 1970 Kent State shootings; his early poem The Commons addresses this event.

author website: www.makuck.com

Annual Tahoe Poetry Slam

April 28

Cash prizes are awarded for first, second and third place, with the winner claiming the title of Tahoe Slam Champion of the Year.


For more information

June Sylvester Saraceno
English Program Chair
jsaraceno@sierranevada.edu
775-831-1314 x7514


Past Seasons


  • Kevin Fedarko


  • Al Maginnes


  • Ellen Hopkins


  • Denise Duhamel


  • Nahid Rachlin


  • Tom Meschery


  • Suzanne Roberts


  • Rebecca Makkai


  • Tim O’Brien


  • David Lee


  • Kirk Robertson


  • Tobias Wolff


  • Jared Stanley


  • Lola Haskins


  • Gary Short


  • Kelly Groom


  • Terry Allen


  • Li Miao Lovett


  • Mark Maynard


  • Gailmarie Pahmeier


  • Patricia Smith


  • Lindsay Wilson


  • Sholeh Wolpé


  • Baron Wormser


  • Robert Hass


  • Saeed Jones


  • Amy Franklin-Willis


  • June Sylvester Saraceno


  • Brenda Hillman


  • Benjamin Busch


  • Ingrid Wendt


  • Marisella Veiga


  • Nathalie Handal


  • Chris Ware


  • Catherine Brady


  • Chris Millis


  • Joanne Meschery


  • Nick Flynn


  • Gayle Brandeis


  • Ralph Salisbury


  • Kim Wyatt


  • Benjamin Percy

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