Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series

The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series is an annual reading series that features both local and nationally renowned writers. Visiting writers come to UAF to present craft lectures and public readings to creative writing students, faculty, and community members. All of these events are free and open to the public. 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. 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of this vibrant tradition.

The Midnight Sun series has a long history at UAF. The first events were held in the early 1970s, and over the years, many of the most prestigious names in literature have made appearances in Fairbanks, including Robert Pinsky, Lucille Clifton, Scott Russell Sanders, Mark Doty, Camille Dungy, and Terry Tempest Williams, to name a few.

Fall 2019 featured the following events:

Christopher Miles

November 22, Schaible Auditorium, 7pm: Christopher Lee Miles

Christopher Lee Miles’s first book is Armor & Ornament (University of Alaska Press, 2019). He was raised on a farm in southeastern Minnesota. He served four years in the U.S. Navy and was deployed, onboard the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. His poems have appeared in the Cincinnati Review; Salamander; Sugarhouse Review; War, Literature, and the Arts; and West Branch. He currently works with rural Alaska and Alaska Native students at the Interior Alaska Campus.


Dead Writers logo

October 25, the UAF Pub, 7pm: the 28th annual Dead Writers reading
Tickets: $12 advance (at UAF Wood Center), $15 at the door

Dress as a dearly departed author. Deliver a brief reading, performance, or spectral channeling. (Spectators also welcome!) Prizes will be awarded to the best, brightest, or most daring. All ticket holders are eligible for door prizes throughout the evening. Proceeds fund the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series. Please note that you must be 21 years of age to attend this event.

Spring 2020 featured the following events:

 Julie Iromuanya  

March 20: Julie Iromuanya — POSTPONED
Due to health concerns and university travel restrictions, Julie Iromuanya's reading has been postponed. We hope to reschedule the event for Fall 2020, and we'll post further updates to this page.

Julie Iromuanya is the author of Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press), a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature (now 9 Mobile Prize for Literature), and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize for Debut Fiction. Her scholarly-critical work most recently appears in Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism and Callaloo: A Journal of African American Arts and Letters and is forthcoming in Afropolitan Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury Publishing). She was the inaugural Herbert W. Martin Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Dayton. She has also been a Kimbilio Fellow, a Jane Tinkham Broughton Fellow in Fiction at Bread Loaf Writers Conference, a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference, a Bread Loaf Bakeless/Camargo France Fellow, a Brown Foundation Fellow at the Dora Maar House, a Jan Michalski Fellow at “The Treehouses,” and the Eternal Vada Fellow at Sangam House. Her work has also been supported by fellowships and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Ragdale Foundation, Villa Lena, and Villa Ruffieux. Iromuanya earned her B.A. at the University of Central Florida and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she was a Presidential Fellow, Richard H. Larson Fellow, and award-winning teacher. She is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at the University of Chicago. She is at work on a second novel, A Season of Light. http://julieiromuanya.comThis event has been postponed.

                                             Elena Passarello                     

April 24: Elena Passarello and Shena McAuliffe
Permafrost Nonfiction Book Prize reading  — POSTPONED
Due to health concerns and university travel restrictions, the Permafrost Prize reading has been postponed. We hope to reschedule the event for Fall 2020, and we'll post further updates to this page.

Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her first collection Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012), won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Her essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world have been published in Oxford American, Slate, Creative Nonfiction, and The Iowa Review, among other publications, as well as in the 2015 anthologies Cat is Art Spelled Wrong and After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essay. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon and teaches at Oregon State University. https://www.elenapassarello.com/books/ This event has been postponed.

  Shena McAuliffe  

Shena McAuliffe’s is the author of the novel The Good Echo (Black Lawrence Press), which won the Big Moose Prize and the Balcones Fiction Prize, and Glass, Light & Electricity: Essays, winner of the Permafrost Nonfiction Prize. She grew up in Wisconsin and Colorado. She has published stories and essays in Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. She lives in Schenectady, New York, where she is an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Union College. This event has been postponed.