Fiction writer Kent Nelson and poet and nonfiction writer Ellen Waterston—visitors to Lopez—will do a joint reading at the Lopez Island Library on Friday, November 16 at 3:00 p.m. Their readings will focus on desert landscapes and the poems and stories they inspire.


Award-winning writer and poet Ellen Waterston has published four poetry titles, most recently Hotel Domilocos in 2017. Her verse novel, Vía Láctea, she adapted to a libretto. Premiering in 2016 as a full-length opera, it is slated for a second staging in 2021. Her third nonfiction title, High Centered, is due out from UW Press in 2020. She’s the founder of the Writing Ranch, specializing in workshops and retreats for emerging and established writers, and of the Waterston Desert Writing Prize, annually recognizing a nonfiction proposal that examines the role of deserts in the human narrative. She lives in Bend, Oregon and is on Lopez Island working on High Centered.


Kent Nelson has published four novels, six collections of short fiction, and 155 stories in magazines, several of which have have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Best of the West, O. Henry, and The Best American Mystery Stories. He has been a distinguished visiting professor at several universities, and his recent story collection, The Spirit Bird, won the 2014 Drue Heinz Literature Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. He lives in Ouray, Colorado, and is on Lopez Island working on a novel.