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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Good Thunder: 2018-19 lineup

Good Thunder: 2018-19 lineup


Good Thunder’s 2018-19 line-up is organized around the theme of Crossing Borders, whether thematically or aesthetically. All six visiting writers will provide a workshop, a craft talk, a reading, and an event in the community.  Bio notes for each are below.

September 12-13, 2018
Ladan Osman,
poet and creative nonfiction writer

October 10-11, 2018
Nick White,
novelist and short story writer

November 7-8, 2018
Danez Smith,

February 6-7, 2019
Sequoia Nagamatsu,
short story writer and Robert C. Wright Visiting Writer

Jordan Deveraux,
poet and Robert C. Wright award winner

March 12-15, 2019
Layli Long Soldier,
poet and Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer

April 6-7, 2019
Lidia Yuknavitch,
novelist, creative nonfiction writer, and Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer

Lorna Pecard,
poet and Nadine B. Andreas Graduate Assistant


Ladan Osman is a Somali born artist whose work is a lyric and exegetic response to problems of race, gender, displacement, and colonialism. She is the author of The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (2015), winner of a Sillerman First Book Prize. Her next collection Exiles of Eden, a work of poetry, photos, and experimental text, is forthcoming with Coffee House Press in 2019. Her work has appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Roar, Rumpus, among others. Osman’s writing has been translated into over 10 languages. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

A native of Mississippi, Nick White is the author of the short story collection Sweet and Low, and the novel How to Survive a Summer, which was named one of Book Riot's Best Queer Books of 2017. His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Guernica, The Hopkins Review, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. He is an Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University's MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Danez Smith was born St. Paul, Minnesota. They are the author of Don't Call Us Dead (2017), a finalist for the National Book Award; [insert] Boy (2014), winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and the chapbook hands on ya knees (Penmanship Books, 2013). Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, Voices of Our Nation (VONA), and elsewhere. They are a founding member of the multigenre, multicultural Dark Noise Collective. Their writing has appeared in many magazines and journals, such as Poetry, Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Kinfolks. In poetry slam, Smith is a 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and the reigning two-time Rustbelt Individual Champion, and was on the 2014 championship team Sad Boy Supper Club. In 2014 they were the festival director for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam, and were awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Smith earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they were a First Wave Urban Arts Scholar. They are a co-host of the Poetry Foundation's podcast, VS.

Sequoia Nagamatsu is the author of the story collection, Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone (Black Lawrence Press), silver medal winner of the 2016 Foreword Reviews’ Indies Book of the Year Award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Conjunctions, ZYZZYVA, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, The Fairy Tale Review, Tin House online, Black Warrior Review, Willow Springs, The Bellevue Literary Review, Lightspeed Magazine, and One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories, among others. Originally from Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area, he was educated at Grinnell College and Southern Illinois University. He co-edits Psychopomp Magazine, an online quarterly dedicated to innovative prose, and teaches at St. Olaf College and the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing.

Jordan Deveraux was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah. He has been a poetry editor, operations editor, and managing editor at Blue Earth Review, Minnesota State University’s literary journal. In addition to reading and writing poems, he likes to listen to music in the car, and ride skateboards down hills that are only slightly more steep than flat.

Layli Long Soldier earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA with honors from Bard College. She is the author of the chapbook Chromosomory (2010) and the full-length collection Whereas (2017), which won the National Books Critics Circle award, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Awards. She has been a contributing editor to Drunken Boat and is poetry editor at Kore Press; in 2012, her participatory installation, Whereas We Respond, was featured on the Pine Ridge Reservation. In 2015, Long Soldier was awarded a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. Long Soldier, a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, lives in Tsaile, Ariz., in the Navajo Nation and is an adjunct faculty member at Dine College.

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of national bestselling novels The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader's Choice Award, the novel Dora: A Headcase, and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories Of Violence. Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader's Choice. A book based on her recent TED Talk, The Misfit's Manifesto, was released in October 2017.  She has also had writing appear in publications including Guernica Magazine, Ms., The Iowa Review, Zyzzyva, Another Chicago Magazine, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, TANK, and in the anthologies Life As We Show It (City Lights), Wreckage of Reason (Spuytin Duyvil), Forms at War (FC2), Feminaissance (Les Figues Press), and Representing Bisexualities (SUNY), as well as online at The Rumpus.  She founded the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland Oregon, where she teaches both in person and online.  She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. She lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.

Lorna Pecard is a poet and MFA candidate at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she teaches Intro to Creative Writing and serves as a managing editor for the Blue Earth Review. Lorna is a co-host for KMSU’s Weekly Reader, an author interview program, and a workshop facilitator for Aktion Club Theatre, a social justice theatre group for people of all ages and abilities. She has also been a teaching artist at The Loft Literary Center and is the recipient of the 2018-19 Nadine B. Andreas Graduate Assistantship.


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