LEWISTON, Idaho – Poet and novelist Joe Wilkins will discuss “Language, Memory and Story” as part of the Lewis-Clark State College Humanities Division’s Annual Stegner Lecture, which will take place at 7 p.m. on March 11 at the LC State Center for Arts & History, located at 415 Main St. in Lewiston.
The college’s COVID-19 protocols will be followed for the event. Face coverings are required at the Center for Arts & History at all times. This and other protocols may be found on the college’s Coronavirus Resource Page.
Wilkins is director of the creative writing program at Linfield University in McMinnville, Ore. He is the author of the novel “Fall Back Down When I Die,” which earned several honors, including the Pacific Northwest Book Award and the 2020 High Plains Book Award. It also made the short list for the First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction.
Wilkins also won awards for his memoir “The Mountain and the Fathers,” which was a finalist for the Orion Book Award and won the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s Emerging Writers Award. He also has published four poetry collections, including “When We Were Birds,” which won the Oregon Book Award, and “Thieve,” which was a finalist for the same award.
Wilkins’ poems, essays and stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Pushcart Prize, which is an American literary publication that honors the best poetry, short fiction, essays and literary pieces published in small presses each year.
Wilkins was born and raised on a sheep and hay ranch north of the Bull Mountains in eastern Montana. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in engineering and later went on to earn his master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Idaho where he worked with Robert Wrigley and Kim Barnes. Wrigley taught at LC State for 22 years while Barnes is an LC State graduate.
Wilkins also serves on the faculty of Eastern Oregon University’s Low Residency MFA program.
The Stegner Lecture is named after Wallace Stegner and has been an area literary-cultural highlight since Stegner gave the first lecture in 1982. Stegner has often been called “The Dean of Western Writers” and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972. The annual lecture at LC State features discussions about the writer’s relationship with the physical and psychological territories in which the writer resides.