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Arts and Authors


The Western Washington University English department faculty includes a number of well-known authors who are available to read their work and to discuss creative writing.

Dr. Bruce Beasley is the author of five collections of poems, including Lord Brain, winner of the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series competition. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes in poetry and was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1996, he won the prestigious Colorado Prize for Poetry for Summer Mystagogia.

Associate professor Brenda Miller is the author of Season of the Body. This collection of personal essays, published by Sarabande Books in 2002, was a finalist for the PEN American Center Book Award. Miller has received four Pushcart Prizes for her work in creative nonfiction. She is the co-author with Suzanne Paola of a textbook, Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction, published by McGraw-Hill in 2003. She is also the editor-in-chief of the literary journal, Bellingham Review, which received a Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award for its special Northwest edition. Miller's essays have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies.

Body Toxic: An Environmental Memoir, written by associate professor Suzanne Antonetta Paola, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2001 and won an American Book Award for that year. After its publication, Paola received $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to work on her second nonfiction book, published in 2005. In this new book, A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World, Paola, as Suzanne Antonetta, shows how we can learn from those with neurological disorders such as depression, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia and autism. Paola is also the receipient of the 1998 Brittingham Prize for Bardo, her third book of poetry. A fourth book of poetry, The Lives of the Saints, was published by the University of Washington Press in October 2002.

Assistant Professor Kate Trueblood is the editor of an anthology of fiction and memoirs, Homeground, which draws from American ethnic and class backgrounds. She is also the author of The Sperm Donor’s Daughter and Other Tales of Modern Family. She attended the Radcliffe Publishing course and is available to speak about current trends in American book publishing. She also directs the Writers in the Community program in which graduate students teach creative writing workshops in schools and social service programs.

Dr. Steven VanderStaay, author of Street Lives: An Oral History of Homeless America, was the 1999-2000 National Academy of Education/Spencer postdoctoral fellow. VanderStaay discusses the writing process and research leading to the publication of this book.

 Western's Music Department

Western's Department of Music can arrange student and faculty music ensembles for your event. A fee is normally associated with this service. For more information, call (360) 650-3130.

Please click here for a regularly updated listing of student and faculty recitals and concert performances. Unless otherwise noted, these events are unticketed and admission is free.

On-Campus Offerings

Please see our on-campus offerings for information about the Western Gallery, WWU's Outdoor Sculpture Collection, guided tours, theatre, dance and concert performances, Western's Distinguished Lecture Series, the Turning Points Faculty Speaker Series, student and faculty musical groups and group tours of Western's Planetarium.

For information about current theatre performances, guest speakers and other special events on campus, see our events calendar.

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