[POSTPONED] Inland Northwest Writers, feat. Sharma Shields, Ben Goldfarb, Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Alexis M Smith, Johanna Stoberock, and Emma Noyes


Six award-winning writers from around our region will share and discuss their multifarious work. Writers include Aaron Bobrow-Strain, winner of a 2020 PNBA Award for his book The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story; Ben Goldfarb, PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award winner for Eager: The Surprising, Secret Lives of Beavers and Why They Matter; Emma Noyes, SAGA Award winner for Baby Speaks Salish: An Instruction Manual Inspired By One Family's Effort to Raise a Salish Speaker; Alexis Smith, PNBA award winner for Marrow Island; and Johanna Stoberock, author of Pigs and winner of the 2019 LaSalle Storyteller Award from Artist Trust. The panel will be moderated by Sharma Shields, who received a 2020 PNBA award for The Cassandra and a 2016 Washington State Book Award for The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac.

About Sharma Shields, winner of a 2020 Pacific Northwest Book Award:

Sharma Shields is the author of a short story collection, Favorite Monster, and two novels, The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac and The Cassandra. Sharma’s short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Electric Lit, Catapult, Slice, Slate, Fairy Tale Review, Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, Fugue, and elsewhere and have garnered such awards as the 2016 Washington State Book Award, the Autumn House Fiction Prize, the Tim McGinnis Award for Humor, a Grant for Artist Projects from Artist Trust, and the A.B. Guthrie Award for Outstanding Prose. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Washington (2000) and her MFA from the University of Montana (2004). Sharma has worked in independent bookstores and public libraries throughout Washington State and lives in Spokane with her husband (writer and graphic novelist Simeon Mills) and their young children.

About Ben Goldfarb, winner of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award:

Ben Goldfarb is an environmental journalist whose writing has appeared in the Atlantic, the Guardian, Science, Orion Magazine, Outside, High Country News, and many other publications. He is the author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and named a best book of 2018 by the Washington Post. His next book, on the emergent science of road ecology, will be published in 2022 by W.W. Norton. 

About Aaron Bobrow Strain, winner of a 2020 Pacific Northwest Books Award:

Aaron Bobrow-Strain writes and teaches about food politics, immigration, political economy, and the U.S-Mexico border. His first bookIntimate Enemies: Landowners, Power, and Violence in Chiapas grew out of sixteen months of interviews with powerful coffee planters, pistoleros, and the peasant groups that fought against them in southern Mexico. His second bookWhite Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf (Beacon 2012), explores the all-American desire to change the world by changing what people eat. It does this by tracing the bizarre and entertaining story of 150 years of battles over the country's most basic staple food--white bread. Along with academic journals in the U.S. and Mexico, his writing on has appeared in The BelieverThe Chronicle of Higher Education Review, SalonGastronomica, and The Huffington Post.  He's appeared on numerous national and regional NPR radio programs, and been interviewed for stories in The New York TimesThe Boston Globe, Foxnews.com, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, and other media. He has an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley.He's received grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council and won teaching prizes from UC Berkeley and Whitman College.

About Alexis M. Smith, winner of a 2017 Pacific Northwest Book Award:

Alexis M. Smith is the author of the novels Glaciers, a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, and Marrow Island, winner of a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and a Lambda Literary Award. Her work has appeared in Moss, The Portland MonthlyBon AppétitTin House, and elsewhere. She works at Spokane Public Radio and in Eastern Washington University's MFA in Creative Writing.

About Johanna Stoberock, winner of a Gar LaSalle Storyteller Grant:

Johanna Stoberock is the author of the novels Pigs (Red Hen Press) and City of Ghosts (W.W. Norton). The 2019 recipient of the Artist Trust/Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award, 2016 Runner Up for the Italo Calvino Prize for Fiction, and a 2012 Jack Straw Fellow, Johanna has received residencies at the Corporation of Yaddo, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Millay Colony. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Review of Books, Lit Hub, the Best of the Net Anthology, and elsewhere. She lives in Walla Walla, where she teaches in the Composition and First Year programs at Whitman College.

About Emma Noyes, Winner of a Spokane Arts Guild Award: 

Emma Noyes is an illustrator, writer, and language learner dedicated to creating a future where Native peoples thrive and enjoy whole-person wellness through connection to culture and community. She is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and also has Danish immigrant roots. Emma, her husband Jake LaMere, and their daughter Maren live and work in the traditional homelands of the Spokane Tribe in Spokane, Washington. Emma strives to be a good Tum (mother) and a good ancestor.



Event date: 
Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
402 W Main
Spokane, WA 99201
The Cassandra: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250260628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - January 21st, 2020

Sharma Shields' The Cassandra follows a woman who goes to work in a top secret research facility during World War II, only to be tormented by visions of what the mission will mean for humankind.

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374191979
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 16th, 2019

Winner of the 2020 Pacific Northwest Book Award | Named a 2019 Southwest Book of the Year
Shortlisted for the 2019 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize

What happens when an undocumented teen mother takes on the U.S. immigration system?

Marrow Island Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328710345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 6th, 2017

“Eerie and intriguing . . .

Pigs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597090445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Red Hen Press - October 1st, 2019

Four children live on an island that serves as the repository for all the world's garbage. Trash arrives, the children sort it, and then they feed it to a herd of insatiable pigs: a perfect system. But when a barrel washes ashore with a boy inside, the children must decide whether he is more of the world's detritus, meant to be fed to the pigs, or whether he is one of them.

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781603589086
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chelsea Green Publishing Company - March 8th, 2019

WINNER of the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

Washington Post "50 Notable Works of Nonfiction"

Science News "Favorite Science Books of 2018"

Booklist "Top Ten Science/Technology Book of 2018"