Nonfiction writer Elissa Washuta will read from her work on March 14 at 4:30 p.m. in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall. This reading, the second in the Spring 2019 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series, is sponsored by the Creative Writing Program of Cornell’s English Department. The reading will be followed by a catered reception and book signing, and books by the author will be available for purchase courtesy of Buffalo Street Books. This event is free and open to the public.
“Washuta’s visit shows our commitment to inviting important and relevant voices in the literary world to come and share their vision and their forceful work campuswide,” said Helena María Viramontes, director of the Creative Writing Program.
Washuta’s books include "Starvation Mode" and "My Body Is a Book of Rules," named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. With Theresa Warburton, she is co-editor of the anthology "Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers." "White Magic," a personal essay collection and one of Washuta’s most recent works, won a 2019 Creative Capital Award. Her books, according to Creative Capital, “defy boundaries and definition of nonfiction narrative. Each work combines the author’s personal struggles with mental illness, the emotional wounds caused by sexual violence, and the regulations she takes upon her body to create a powerful document of American womanhood in the modern age.”
A member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Washuta has been active in the Seattle and Washington state literary scene. She was the 2016 Fremont Bridge writer-in-residence, working from the bridge tower over the course of the summer to write a creative nonfiction history of the Puget Sound and Seattle's "waterways, bridges, and spirits." She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, 4Culture, Potlatch Fund, and Hugo House and is an assistant professor of creative writing at The Ohio State University.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided for this reading. The venue is wheelchair accessible and equipped with assistive listening technology.