The Lions in Winter 2015 featured writers are Stephen Graham Jones, Natalie Diaz, Edward Kelsey Moore, Julija Šukys, and Jessica Young.
Stephen Graham Jones is the keynote speaker for Lions in Winter 2015. He is the author of ten novels, two collections, one novella and countless short stories. Stephen has been a Shirley Jackson Award finalist three times, a Bram Stoker Award finalist, a Black Quill Award finalist, an International Horror Guild finalist, a Colorado Book Award Finalist, a Texas Monthly Book Selection, and has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction and the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Fiction. He’s also been a Texas Writers League Fellow and an NEA fellow in fiction. His short fiction has been in Cemetery Dance, Asimov’s, Weird Tales, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, as well as Open City, Black Warrior Review, Alaska Quarterly Review and many others. He received his PhD from Florida State University.
Natalie Diaz grew up in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia for several years, she completed her Master of Fine Arts in poetry and fiction at Old Dominion University. She was awarded the Bread Loaf 2012 Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry, the 2012 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellowship, as well as being awarded a 2012 Lannan Literary Fellowship. She won a Pushcart Prize in 2013. She teaches in the Institute of American Indian Arts low residency MFA program. Her first book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published in June 2012, by Copper Canyon Press. She currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and directs a language revitalization program at Fort Mojave, her home reservation. There she works and teaches with the last Elder speakers of the Mojave language.
Edward Kelsey Moore is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, which was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2013. The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat was awarded the 2014 First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was chosen as a 2013 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. The Supremes was also named a 2014 Illinois Reads book by the Illinois Reading Council. Edward’s essays and short fiction have appeared in the New York Times and a number of literary magazines, including Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, African American Review and Inkwell. His short story Grandma and the Elusive Fifth Crucifix was selected as an audience favorite on Chicago Public Radio’s Stories on Stage series. In addition to his writing, Edward maintains a career as a professional cellist, performing with a number of ensembles, including the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Edward lives in Chicago, Illinois with his partner of many years. He is currently at work on his second novel. More at http://www.edwardkelseymoore.com.
Julija Šukys is assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She is the author of two books of nonfiction, Silence is Death: The Life and Work of Tahar Djaout (Nebraska, 2007) and Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Oa Šimaitė (Nebraska, 2012). Epistolophilia was shortlisted for the Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction, long-listed for the Charles Taylor Award in Literary Nonfiction and won the 2013 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Literature. She is currently working on a personal story that starts in Lithuania, continues in Siberia, and ends in Canada. Julija’s blog, Writing.Life, explores the processes of writing creative nonfiction and living the life of a writer. Forms that interest her include memoir, biography, life-writing, the essay, and just about anything that involves the artful arrangement and reflection upon facts, life, and the world around us. Learn more at http://julijasukys.com.
NEW to Lions in Winter 2015, Story Hour and Workshop with a Children’s Book Author
Children’s author Jessica Young grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Jessica’s award-winning debut picture book, My Blue is Happy (2013, Candlewick Press/Walker UK) was included on the 2014 Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adults, the Texas Library Association’s 2014 2×2 Reading List, the Ontario Library Association’s Best Bets 2013, the Library of Congress/Center for the Book’s 52 Great Reads list and many other lists. Her next picture book, Spy Guy, will be published in May of 2015 by Harcourt Children’s Books. Her first chapter book series, Finley Flowers, for readers ages 6-9, will be published in January by Capstone Kids. She will be providing a story hour for children on Saturday morning of Lions In Winter 2015. More at http://jessicayoungbooks.wordpress.com/.
Lions in Winter Literary Festival would not be possible without the generous support of the Doudna Fine Arts Center New and Emerging Artists Series, The College of Arts and Humanities, EIU Department of English, and the Coles County Arts Council.