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.


2017 – 2018 Season

Sunil Yapa

September 15 - 16
Headshot of novelist Sunil Yapa

Sunil Yapa’s first novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the Seattle World Trade Organization protests of November 1999, is this year's Common Read and a 2016 Time Magazine Best Books of the Year, an Amazon 2016 Best Books of the year, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, and an Indies Next Pick.

“Yapa’s melding of fact and fiction, human frailty and geopolitics, is a genuine tour-de-force.”
– The Seattle Times

The winner of the 2010 Asian American short story award, Yapa’s work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, The Margins, Hyphen Magazine, The Tottenville Review, Pindeldyboz: Stories that Defy Classification, and others. The biracial son of a father from Sri Lanka and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived in The Netherlands, Thailand, Greece, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, China, and India, as well as London, Montreal, and New York City.

author website: sunilyapa.com

Sholeh Wolpé

October 13 - 14

Sholeh Wolpé is an award-winning poet, literary translator and writer. Born in Iran, she lived in England and Trinidad before settling in the United States. Her recent translation of Sufi mystic poet Attar’s masterpiece The Conference of the Birds was awarded the prestigious PEN/Heim grant, and her translation of the iconic Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad's Sin, now in its fourth printing, was awarded the prestigious Lois Roth Persian Translation Award in 2010. She is the author of the books of poetry Rooftops of Tehran, The Scar Saloon, and Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths.

“Wolpé’s concise, unflinching, and often wry free verse explores violence, culture, and gender.”
– The Poetry Foundation

Wolpe’s poems, translations, essays and reviews have appeared in scores of literary journals, periodicals and anthologies worldwide, and have been translated into several languages. She has been thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and been featured on NPR, Voice of America and Dodge Poetry Festival.

author website: www.sholehwolpe.com

Gayle Brandeis

November 10 - 11
image of author Gayle Brandeis

Gayle Brandeis grew up in the Chicago area and has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old. Her latest book is The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving my Mother’s Suicide, a memoir. She is the author of the poetry books The Selfless Bliss of the Body and Dictionary Poems, Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write, the novels The Book of Dead Birds, which won Barbara Kingsolver’s Bellwether Prize for Fiction in Support of a Literature of Social Change, Self Storage and Delta Girls, and her first novel for young readers, My Life with the Lincolns. She released The Book of Live Wires, the sequel to The Book of Dead Birds, as an e-book in 2011.

Gayle’s poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her essay on the meaning of liberty was one of three included in the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial time capsule in 1986, when she was 18. In 2004, the Writer Magazine honored Gayle with a Writer Who Makes a Difference Award. She is a founding member of the Women Creating Peace Collective and served as Inlandia Literary Laureate from 2012-2014.

author website: www.gaylebrandeis.com

Jared Stanley

November 10 - 11

Jared Stanley is the author of the full-length books of poetry Ears, The Weeds and Book Made of Forest, as well as four chapbooks, including How the Desert Did Me In. He frequently collaborates with visual artists and is a member of the interdisciplinary public art group Unmanned Minerals, whose work explores how language mediates landscape. Stanley is a co-editor of Mrs. Maybe, and a 2012-2014 Research Fellow at the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art.

His poems have appeared in Manor House Quarterly, Newfound, Bombsite, textsound, OnandOnScreen, Ping*Pong: The Journal of the Henry Miller Library, Slope, and the Columbia Poetry Review.

author website: jared-stanley.info

Lynne Thompson

February 9 - 10
Lynne Thompson, author, discussing her published work.

Lynne Thompson is the author of Start with a Small Guitar (What Books Press, 2013) and Beg No Pardon (Perugia Press, 2007).

“I was born and raised and have lived most of my life in Los Angeles. I write poems that reflect the history of the city—what is discarded and what is kept and why. When the answers elude (as they always do), I write other poems that reflect the questions that haunt me—where I’ve come from, where I’m going, what I’ve lost along the way.”


Indigo Moor

February 9 - 10
Headshot of author Indigo Moor

Poet Laureate of Sacramento, Indigo Moor is also a playwright and author. His second book of poetry, Through the Stonecutter’s Window, won Northwestern University Press’s Cave Canem prize. His first book, Tap-Root, was published as part of Main Street Rag’s Editor’s Select Poetry Series. Three of his short plays, Harvest, Shuffling, and The Red and Yellow Quartet debuted at the 60 Million Plus Theatre’s Spring Playwright’s festival. His full-length stageplay Live! at the Excelsior has been optioned for a full length film.

Indigo is a 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the 2005 Vesle Fenstermaker Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2008 Jack Kerouac Poetry contest. His work has appeared in Missouri Review, Arkansas Review, Xavier Review, LA Review, Mochila Review, Boston University’s The Comment, the Pushcart Prize nominated Out of the Blue Artists Unite, Poetry Now, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African-American Nature Poetry, Cave Canem Anthologies VIII and IX, The Ringing Ear, the NCPS 2006 Anthology, Blue Moon Literary & Arts Review, Breathe 101: Contemporary Odes, and Gathering Ground.

author website: indigomoor.org

Lola Haskins

March 2 - 3
Headshot of poet and author Lola Haskins

Lola Haskins is author of Not Feathers Yet: A Beginner’s Guide to the Poetic Life, Solutions Beginning with A, Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems, Extranjera, The Rim Benders, Hunger, Forty-Four Ambitions for the Piano and Castings. Besides poetry, Ms. Haskins has published environmental writing, introducing a book of photographs, Visions of Florida and an interpretation the Florida environment in Wild Heart of Florida, as well as the book of essays Wind, the Grass, and Us.

Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, The London Review of Books, Georgia Review, and Southern Review. She has collaborated with both musicians and visual artists - most recently, she and cellist Ben Noyes created a CD of poems from The Grace to Leave. She taught Computer Science at the University of Florida for 28 years before joining the faculty of the Rainier Writer's Workshop.

author website: lolahaskins.com

Laura McCullough

April 6 - 7
Headshot of poet Laura McCullough

The Wild Night Dress, selected by Billy Collins in the Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series, was published by University of Arkansas Press, 2017. Her other books of poems include Jersey Mercy, Rigger Death & Hoist Another, Panic (winner of the Kinereth Genseler Award), Speech Acts, What Men Want, and The Dancing Bear. She conceived of and curated two anthologies of essays on poetry, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race (University of Georgia Press) and The Room and the World: Essays on the Poet Stephen Dunn (University of Syracuse Press).

Her prose and poetry have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, The American Poetry Review, Guernica, Pank, Gulf Coast, The Writer's Chronicle, Best American Poetry, and others. She is the founding editor of Mead: the Magazine of Literature and Libations, and teaches full time at Brookdale Community College on the Jersey shore, where she has lived most of her life.

author website: www.lauramccullough.org

Annual Tahoe Poetry Slam

April 27

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


  • Tim O’Brien


  • Headshot of author Joanne Meschery

    Joanne Meschery


  • Headshot of novelist Ellen Hopkins

    Ellen Hopkins


  • Headshot of poet and playwright Nathalie Handal

    Nathalie Handal


  • Mark Maynard


  • Luis Alberto Urrea


  • Peter Makuck


  • Lindsay Wilson


  • Gailmarie Pahmeier


  • Baron Wormser


  • Headshot of poet Robert Hass

    Robert Hass


  • Headshot of poet Ralph Salisbury

    Ralph Salisbury


  • Headshot of Carolyn Forche, author and activist

    Carolyn Forché


  • Headshot of Kelle Groom, poet

    Kelle Groom


  • Benjamin Busch


  • Nahid Rachlin


  • Kevin Fedarko


  • Headshot of poet Patricia Smith

    Patricia Smith


  • Nick Flynn


  • Chris Ware


  • Illustration of Kirk Robertson, author

    Kirk Robertson


  • Headshot of author and journalist Marisella Viega

    Marisella Veiga


  • Rebecca Makkai


  • Terry Allen


  • Benjamin Percy


  • Author Ingrid Wendt holding copies of her work

    Ingrid Wendt


  • David Lee


  • Headshot of author Denis Duhamel

    Denise Duhamel


  • Al Maginnes


  • June Sylvester Saraceno


  • Saeed Jones


  • Picture of author and activist Shaun Griffin

    Shaun Griffin


  • Headshot of author Gary Short

    Gary Short


  • Headshot of poet Brenda Hillman

    Brenda Hillman


  • Headshot of travel writer and poet Suzanne Roberts

    Suzanne Roberts


  • Headshot of novelist and screenwriter Chris Millis

    Chris Millis


  • Tom Meschery, author, sitting at home.

    Tom Meschery


  • Li Miao Lovett


  • Headshot of poet Brian Turner

    Brian Turner


  • Kim Wyatt


  • Amy Franklin-Willis


  • Tobias Wolff


  • Headshot of author of many young adult novels Catherine Brady

    Catherine Brady


  • Headshot of poet and novelist Cathy Lin Che

    Cathy Linh Che

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