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.

2019 – 2020 Season

Rebecca Makkai

September 27 - 28

Rebecca Makkai's most recent work, The Great Believers was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and was featured as one of the top ten best books for 2018 in the New York Times.

“Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers is . . . among the first to convey the terrors and tragedies of the [AIDs] epidemic’s early years as well as its course and repercussions . . . an absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis.”
- Michael Cunningham in The New York Times Book Review

Makkai is also the author of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s Novel of the Year award, The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut, and the short story collection Music for Wartime.

author website: http://rebeccamakkai.com/
twitter @RebeccaMakkai

Lacy M. Johnson

October 18 - 19
Writer and activist Lacy M Johnson, author of 'The Reckonings'

Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and writer. The Reckonings was named a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Criticism, and one of the best books of 2018 by the Boston Globe, Electric Literature, Autostraddle, Book Riot, and Refinery 29.

"Johnson grapples with the fundamental issue of our time: what is justice? What is punishment? What is mercy? Johnson's beautiful writing and hard-won wisdom will make you think, and then think again."
- Emily Rapp, Author of The Still Point of the Turning World

author website: lacymjohnson.com
twitter @LacyMJohnson

Michael Branch

November 1 - 2
Nevada author and desert rat Mike Branch, author of 'How to Cuss in Western'

Michael Branch is a Reno-based professor, writer, humorist, environmentalist and desert rat. He is the recipient of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Silver Pen Award and the Western Literature Association Frederick Manfred Award for Creative Writing.

"[Branch’s] gift for humor arises in well-turned phrases and ironic scenes . . . You might not know which to prefer: the erudite storyteller with the massive vocabulary, or the good old boy who confesses he’s also a bit of a gear head. But you need not choose between the two.”
- The Spokesman-Review on How to Cuss in Western

author website: michaelbranchwriter.com

Gayle Brandeis & June Sylvester Saraceno

February 7 - 8

SNC celebrates new titles by home girls Gayle Brandeis and June Sylvester Saraceno. Many Restless Concerns: The Victims of Countess Bathory Speak in a Chorus (A Testimony) by Gayle Brandeis and Feral, North Carolina, 1965, a novel, and The Girl from Yesterday, a poetry collection by June Sylvester Saraceno will be featured.

Headshot of Author Gayle Brandeis
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.

author website: www.gaylebrandeis.com

Author and Sierra Nevada College English professor June Saraceno
June Sylvester Saraceno

June Sylvester Saraceno is the author of two books of poetry, including Of Dirt and Tar (Cherry Grove Collections 2014). She has been honored with the Excellence and Innovation in Humanities Teaching by Nevada Humanities for her dedicated work at SNC, including establishing the Writers in the Woods series. Her new titles Feral, North Carolina, 1965, and The Girl from Yesterday will be hitting bookstores soon.

Kaveh Akbar

April 10 - 11
Kaveh Akbar, author of 'Calling a Wolf a Wolf'

Kaveh Akbar is an Iranian-American poet, professor, and scholar. He is the recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, among many other awards.

“Akbar has what every poet needs: the power to make, from emotions others have felt, memorable language nobody has assembled before.”
- Stephanie Burt for the Yale Review on Calling a Wolf a Wolf

author website: kavehakbar.com
twitter @KavehAkbar
instagram @Kavehhhhhhhh

Annual Tahoe Poetry Slam

April 24

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
775-831-1314 x7514

Past Seasons

  • Nahid Rachlin

  • Saeed Jones

  • Tim O’Brien

  • Lynne Thompson, author, discussing her published work.

    Lynne Thompson

  • Headshot of Author Gayle Brandeis

    Gayle Brandeis

  • Headshot of novelist and screenwriter Chris Millis

    Chris Millis

  • Headshot of poet and novelist Cathy Lin Che

    Cathy Linh Che

  • Chris Ware

  • Mark Maynard

  • Al Maginnes

  • Headshot of poet Brian Turner

    Brian Turner

  • photo of Natalie Baszile, author of the novel Queen Sugar

    Natalie Baszile

  • Amy Franklin-Willis

  • Headshot of poet Brenda Hillman

    Brenda Hillman

  • Terry Allen

  • Headshot of novelist Sunil Yapa

    Sunil Yapa

  • Picture of author and activist Shaun Griffin

    Shaun Griffin

  • David Lee

  • Baron Wormser

  • Li Miao Lovett

  • Headshot of Carolyn Forche, author and activist

    Carolyn Forché

  • Headshot of poet and author Lola Haskins

    Lola Haskins

  • Tom Meschery, author, sitting at home.

    Tom Meschery

  • photo of poet and memoirist Alice Anderson

    Alice Anderson

  • Tobias Wolff

  • photo of author Lydia Yuknavitch

    Lidia Yuknavitch

  • Headshot of author Denis Duhamel

    Denise Duhamel

  • photo pf Fresno poet Lee Herrick

    Lee Herrick

  • Headshot of poet and playwright Nathalie Handal

    Nathalie Handal

  • Sholeh Wolpé

  • Reno poet Gailmarie Pahmeier

    Gailmarie Pahmeier

  • Headshot of author Indigo Moor

    Indigo Moor

  • Author Peter Makuck

    Peter Makuck

  • Headshot of author and journalist Marisella Viega

    Marisella Veiga

  • Luis Alberto Urrea

  • Headshot of novelist Ellen Hopkins

    Ellen Hopkins

  • Headshot of author Gary Short

    Gary Short

  • Author Ingrid Wendt holding copies of her work

    Ingrid Wendt

  • Benjamin Percy

  • photo of author Claire Vaye Watkins

    Claire Vaye Watkins

  • Headshot of poet Patricia Smith

    Patricia Smith

  • Headshot of author of many young adult novels Catherine Brady

    Catherine Brady

  • Lindsay Wilson

  • Illustration of Kirk Robertson, author

    Kirk Robertson

  • Headshot of poet Ralph Salisbury

    Ralph Salisbury

  • Headshot of poet Robert Hass

    Robert Hass

  • photo of journalist and adventure writer Jeremy Evans

    Jeremy Evans

  • Kevin Fedarko

  • Jared Stanley

  • Headshot of author Suzanne Roberts

    Suzanne Roberts

  • Headshot of author Joanne Meschery

    Joanne Meschery

  • Headshot of poet Laura McCullough

    Laura McCullough

  • Benjamin Busch

  • Nick Flynn

  • Kim Wyatt

  • Headshot of Kelle Groom, poet

    Kelle Groom