Reading by Pulitzer Winner Yusef Komunyakaa Canceled

Yusef Komunyakaa

December 12, 2017

SPOKANE, Wash. – The 2017-18 Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series reading on Thursday, Jan. 25 by American poet, educator and scholar Yusef Komunyakaa has been canceled. The series will continue on March 6 with a reading by former New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe.

Gonzaga English Professor and Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, who organizes the annual Visiting Writers series that he started in 2007, said he hopes the series will host the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer in the future. Marshall began his appointment as Poet Laureate in 2016 and completes it on Jan. 31.

An Inland Northwest cultural gem, the series stimulates interest in literature and reading through dynamic encounters with some of our nation’s most accomplished and respected writers whose voices express new and different perspectives. The events are free and open to the public.

Following are the upcoming events in this year’s series.

Gonzaga University Visiting
Writers Series 2018 Events:


Former New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe will read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. Howe’s poetry is recognized for its use of Biblical and mythical allusions to portray various aspects of human life. She is the author of several renowned poetry collections, including: “The Good Thief”; “What the Living Do”; and “The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.” Howe is the recipient of the Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the American Academy of Poets, and fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her most recent collection, “Magdalene,” has been selected on the 2017 National Book Award Longlist for Poetry. She studied at the University of Windsor and Columbia University, and has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University and New York University.


The series concludes with “Gonzaga Reads,” featuring public readings from Jessica Halliday, senior lecturer in English at Gonzaga, and the 2018 Michael and Gail Gurian Awards winners at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 28 at in the Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium. Halliday earned a master’s of fine arts with an emphasis in fiction from Eastern Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. Her recent essay on raising a son in the competitive sports world was featured on the Sports Illustrated website. Her previous publications include “A Mother’s Fairy Tale” (Weber Studies: The Contemporary West) and “Out Where Everyone Can See” (The Spokesman-Review). The annual Gurian Awards honor three Gonzaga students for excellence in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction writing. The winners will read excerpts from their work. The contest is open to all enrolled Gonzaga undergraduates.

For more information, visit or contact Tod Marshall at (509) 313-6681 or