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Below is a list of faculty for the Creative Writing Program. If you're not certain whom to contact with your questions, please call or email Program Coordinator, Pam Russell, at the main office: 509.828.1434, or via email:

  • Natalie Kusz
    Natalie Kusz
    Associate Professor
    Riverpoint Campus, SEWC #263

    Natalie Kusz is the author of the memoir Road Song, and has published essays and reviews in Harper's, Threepenny Review, McCall's, Real Simple, The New York Times Book Reviewand other periodicals. Her work has earned, among other honors, a Whiting Writer's Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the NEA, the Bush Foundation, and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College.

    A former faculty member of Bethel College and of Harvard University, she now teaches in the MFA program at Eastern Washington University. Contact  

     Office Hours:  M/Th 4:30pm - 5:30pm

  • Gregory Spatz
    Gregory Spatz
    Professor, Program Director
    Riverpoint Campus, SEWC #260
    Phone: 509.828.1310

    Program Director Gregory Spatz is the author of the novels InukshukFiddler's Dream and No One But Us, and of the story collections Half as Happy and Wonderful Tricks. His stories have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Glimmer Train Stories, Shenandoah, Epoch, Kenyon ReviewNew England Review, and Zyzzyva. He has written for Poets and Writers, as well as The Oxford American. He is the recipient of a Michener Fellowship, an Iowa Arts Fellowship, a Washington State Book Award, and a 2012 NEA Fellowship in literature. Spatz also plays the fiddle in the twice Juno-nominated bluegrass band John Reischman and the Jaybirds.

    When not on the road with the Jaybirds or busy at work teaching and writing, he enjoys playing music with his wife, Caridwen, also a fiddler, and being a step-dad to her two sons Tal and Angus.

    Visit Greg's website at

    Read Greg's article in Poets & Writers: "The Teachable Talent:  Why Creative Writing Can Be Taught"Check out Greg's interview with Kenyon Review.

     Office Hours:  M/W/Th 3:00pm-5:00pm & Friday by appointment only


  • Rachel Toor
    Rachel Toor
    Riverpoint Campus, SEWC #261

    Rachel Toor is the author of five books of creative nonfiction: Write Your Way In (Chicago, 2016); Misunderstood (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015); Personal Record (Nebraska, 2008); The Pig and I (Penguin, 2005; Nebraska, 2009) and Admissions Confidential (St. Martin's, 2001). Her first novel, On the Road to Find Out, was published in 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She writes a monthly column on issues in writing and publishing for The Chronicle of Higher Education and "Everything is Copy," which appears monthly in the Spokesman-Review. She was a longtime contributor to Running Times and in 2012 she was given an award for journalistic excellence by the Road Runners of America. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Ploughshares, SB Nation, Glamour, Inside Higher EdReader's Digest, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)The LA Times, and other various and diverse publications. Three times she has had essays listed as Notable in Best American Sports Writing, and once in Best American Essays, and in 2017 she received a Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize. She's been sponsored by Athleta and SkirtSports.

    After graduating from Yale, Rachel spent a dozen years as an acquisitions editor at Oxford and Duke University Presses. She has an MFA from the University of Montana.

     Office Hours:  T/W 4:00pm - 5:30pm

  • Samuel Ligon
    Samuel Ligon
    Riverpoint Campus, SEWC #265

    Samuel Ligon is the author of two novels - Among the Dead and Dreaming and Safe in Heaven Dead - and two collections of stories, Wonderland, illustrated by Stephen Knezovich, and Drift and Swerve. His short fiction has appeared in Prairie Schooner, New England Review, New Ohio Review, and Gulf Coast, among other places, and his essays appear in The Inlander. Ligon edits the journal Willow Springs, and is Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Writers' Conference.

    Office Hours: Friday 2:00pm-3:00pm & by appointment

  • John Keeble
    John Keeble
    Professor Emeritus

    Professor Emeritus John Keeble's most recent collection of stories, Nocturnal America, is available from the University of Nebraska Press. He is also the author of four novels, including Yellowfish, which was reissued by the University of Washington Press in 2008, with an introduction by Bill Kittredge and a postscript by the author. He also authored Broken Ground, which will be reissued by the University of Washington Press in spring of 2010. He is also the author of a work of nonfiction, Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound.

  • Jonathan Johnson
    Jonathan Johnson
    Riverpoint Campus, SEWC #266

    Jonathan Johnson's poems have been anthologized in Best American Poetry, published in recent issues of Ploughshares, Southern Review, Witness, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, New Ohio Review, Missouri Review and Gettysburg Review, and read on NPR's Writer's Almanac. His books include the poetry collections Mastodon, 80% Complete (Carnegie Mellon, 2001) and In the Land We Imagined Ourselves (Carnegie Mellon, 2010), and a memoir, Hannah and the Mountain (Nebraska, 2005). Ode, his play about John Keats and Fanny Brawne, premiered in 2013 as part of the GetLit! Literary Festival. He teaches in the MFA program at Eastern Washington University and migrates between Washington, the Lake Superior Coastal town of Marquette, Michigan, and his ancestral village of Glenelg in the Scottish Highland where his cousins are still crofters.
    In addition to his regular course load, Jonathan teaches a unique summer writing class from Yellowstone National Park.

  • Christopher Howell
    Christopher Howell
    Riverpoint Campus, SEWC #262
    Phone: 509.828.1312

    Christopher Howell's Light's Ladder won the Washington State Book Award in 2005. His poems, essays, and translations have also appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, including Antioch ReviewColorado ReviewCrazy HorseDenver QuarterlyFieldGettysburg ReviewHarper'sHudson ReviewIowa ReviewNorthwest ReviewPoetry Northwest, Southern Review and Volt. He has been recipient of three Pushcart Prizes and two National Endowment fellowships, as well as a number of other awards.

     Office Hours:  T/Th 11:00am - 4:00pm at Riverpoint 


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