Saturday, July 1, 2023

In Spring 2023, the NWP welcomed writer Jordan Kisner, as the 2022-23 Bedell Distinguished Visiting Professor.  

Writer Jordan Kisner, photo by Ebru Yildiz

While at the NWP, Kisner taught two graduate nonfiction courses, gave a public reading at Prairie Lights, and wowed and challenged both the NWP and the local writing community.

A graduate of Columbia University, Kisner is the author of The Thin Places: Essays from In-Between, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. A collection of “encounters with the ineffable,” as Kisner herself describes it, The Thin Places chronicles a range of personal experiences and cultural phenomena, from her own upbringing in a mixed race household, to America’s uniquely evangelical approach to religion, to previously unexplored debutante balls in Texas.  

This coming Spring, nonfiction writer and poet Paisley Rekdal will join the NWP in Spring 2024 as the 2023-24 Bedell Distinguished Visiting Professor.

writer Paisley Rekdal

Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; the hybrid photo-text memoir, Intimate; a hybrid book-length poem entitled West: A Translation; and six books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos; Six Girls Without Pants; The Invention of the Kaleidoscope; Animal Eye, a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize; Imaginary Vessels, finalist for the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Prize; and Nightingale, which won the 2020 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. Her newest works of nonfiction are a book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam and Appropriate: A Provocation. Her latest, Real Toads: Imaginary Gardens: How to Read and Teach a Poem, is forthcoming.

Rekdal’s work has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes (2009, 2013), Narrative's Poetry Prize, the AWP Creative Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards.

She is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Utah, where she directs the American West Center.

The NWP community looks forward to her arrival!

Finally, an overdue congratulations to former Bedell Distinguished Visiting Professor Kiese Laymon, who was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Grant in 2022. Author of the award-winning book HEAVY, Laymon visited the NWP in 2018.