Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series

The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series is an annual program in which local and nationally renowned writers visit UAF to present craft lectures and public readings. The first events were held in the early 1970s, and over the years, many of the most prestigious names in literature—Robert Pinsky, Lucille Clifton, Scott Russell Sanders, Mark Doty, Camille Dungy, and Terry Tempest Williams, to name a few—have made appearances in Fairbanks. All events are free, and they're open to university students, stakeholders and community members.

The series also hosts the Dead Writers reading during the Halloween season, a longstanding beloved MFA event—originating in 1990—that raises additional funds to bring our writers to Fairbanks. Readers from all over Fairbanks don costumes and perform the works of their favorite deceased authors. In 2020, we will continue the Dead Writers tradition in a virtual format.

Due to the global pandemic, we have suspended in-person readings for the 2020–21 academic year. However, we will be hosting several virtual events. You can also visit the MFA Community page to view our partial archive of past Midnight Sun Visiting Writers.

heather lende mugshot

Fri., Oct. 16; 7:00 p.m.

Heather Lende
Heather Lende’s many essays and stories, mostly about life and sometimes death in Haines, Alaska, have been distributed widely, from The Anchorage Daily News and Christan Science Monitor to NPR and Country Living. She is the author of bestselling memoirs If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name and Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs. Her latest books are Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer, the Alaska Reads selection for 2020, and Of Bears and Ballots: An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics. Her reading for the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series was streamed live via Zoom and Facebook Live.


a ghostly manThur., Oct. 15– Fri., Oct. 30

Dead Writers Video Contest
This year’s Dead Writers fundraiser will be an online video contest. Dress as a dearly departed author, then record a reading, performance, or spectral channeling. View the contest details and submission procedures on the MFA Community page . Winners will receive a prize! The entry fee is $3, and submissions cannot exceed three minutes.