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Shann Ray

Poet and prose writer Shann Ray teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga. Born and raised in Montana, his powerful, graceful writing considers the nature of humanity with regard to violence and forgiveness. He holds a dual MFA in poetry and fiction from EWU, and a PhD in systems psychology from the University of Alberta. He has served as an NEA Literature Fellow, a research psychologist for the CDC, and as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ray’s debut novel, American Copper, came out last November. It follows the story of Evelynne Lowry, the daughter of a copper baron, as she comes of age in early 20th Century Montana. Sherman Alexie called the book “Tough, poetic, and beautiful,” while David Eggers said Ray’s writing “brings to mind Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx … lyrical, prophetic, brutal, yet ultimately hopefully.”

Ray has published four books prior to American Copper, including the short story collection American Masculine and the poetry collection Balefire. His work has been featured in PoetryEsquireMcSweeney’s, Narrative, LitHub, Story Quarterly, Poetry International, the Open Bar at Tin House, and Montana Quarterly, and he’s won the Crab Creek Review Fiction Award, the Poetry Quarterly Poetry Prize, and the Creative Writing Distinguished Alumni Award from Eastern Washington University.

My Authors Sessions

Friday, April 15

1:30pm PDT