Author-in-Residence Program

The University Club of Portland’s Author-in-Residence program was established in 2004. It began due to the success of the Club’s annual Authors’ Night which has brought local authors to speak and socialize with Members for the last twenty years. The Author-in-Residence program enriches the membership experience and allows local authors to reach out to new audiences.

Each year one Board-approved local Author establishes a residency at the Club. They are offered one year of dues free Membership and have the opportunity to create programming for our Members.

If you are interested in a residency, please contact our Communications Director, Alexandra Sowerby at [email protected] or 503 223 6237.

Those interested must provide a resume and bio. The Library Committee will then pass along a recommendation to the Board of Directors for approval.

  • 2019-2020 UC Author-in-Residence, Leni Zumas

      Leni Zumas won the 2019 Oregon Book Award (Ken Kesey Award for Fiction) for her national bestselling novel Red Clocks, which was also a finalist for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and Dartmouth’s Neukom Prize for Speculative Fiction. Red Clocks was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and the New York Public Library. Vulture called it one of the 100 Most Important Books of the 21st Century So Far.

      Zumas is also the author of Farewell Navigator: Stories and the novel The Listeners. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Granta, The Times Literary Supplement, Guernica, The Cut, Portland Monthly, Tin House, and elsewhere. Her work has received support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. 

      Born and raised in Washington, DC, she now lives in Oregon and directs the creative writing program at Portland State University.

  • 2018-2019 UC Author-in-Residence, Phillip Margolin

      Phillip Margolin grew up in New York City and Levittown, New York.  In 1965, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa and shortly after graduated from the New York University School of Law. As an appellate attorney he has appeared before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals. He was the first Oregon attorney to use the Battered Women's Syndrome to defend a battered woman accused of murdering her spouse. 

      In 1996, Phillip Margolin  began writing full time.  All of his novels have been on the bestseller list. Heartstone was nominated for an Edgar for best original paperback mystery of 1978 by the Mystery Writers of America. The Last Innocent Man, was made into an HBO movie. Gone, But Not Forgotten has been sold to more than 25 foreign publishers and was made into a mini-series starring Brooke Shields. It was also the Main Selection of the Literary Guild. After Dark was a Book of the Month Club selection. The Burning Man was the Main Selection of the Literary Guild and a Reader's Digest condensed book. The Undertaker's Widow was a Book of the Month Club selection. Wild Justice was a Main Selection of the Literary Guild, a selection of the Book of the Month Club and was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. Lost Lake was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. Executive Privilege  was awarded the Spotted Owl Award for the Best Northwest Mystery. Willamette Writers awarded Phillip Margolin the 2009 Distinguished Northwest Writers Award.

      From 1996 to 2009 Phillip Margolin was the President and Chairman of the Board of Chess for Success. He is still heavily involved in the program and returned to the Board after a one year absence in 2010. Chess for Success is a non-profit charity that uses chess to teach elementary and middle school children in Title I schools study skills. He has also served on the Board of Literary Arts, which sponsors the Oregon Book Awards, The Writers in the Schools program and Portland Arts and Lectures.

  • 2017 UC Author-in-Residence, Lidia Yuknavitch

      The University Club is happy to announce its 2017-2018 Author-in-Residence, Lidia Yuknavitch. Lidia is the winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, and the Reader's Choice Award winner for her National Bestselling novel, The Small Backs of Children. She has written a number of works including; the novel Dora: A Headcase, three books of short fictions – Her Other Mouths, Liberty's Excess, and Real TO Reel - and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories Of Violence. Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction, winner of a PNBA Award, and winner of the Oregon Book Award Reader's Choice. Her novel The Book of Joan was released in April, and she is currently working on a book based on her recent TED Talk, The Misfit's Manifesto.

      Her writing has appeared in publications including Guernica Magazine, Ms., The Iowa Review, Zyzzyva, Another Chicago Magazine, The Sun, Exquisite Corpse, TANK, and in the anthologies Life As We Show It, Wreckage of Reason, Forms at War, Feminaissance, and Representing Bisexualities, and online at The Rumpus.

      She founded the workshop series ‘Corporeal Writing’ in Portland Oregon, where she teaches both in person and online.  She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. She lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.

  • 2016 UC Author-in-Residence Chelsea Cain
    • Growing up in the shadow of the Green River Killer in Bellingham, Washington made Chelsea Cain keenly aware of the underbelly of humanity and she has harnessed that into career of writing “gory thrillers. These include the New York Times bestselling Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series: Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, Kill You Twice, and Let Me Go; and her more recent thriller series: One Kick, and Kick Back. Along with her thrillers, she has written humor books, a memoir, and a Marvel comic book series on the character Mockingbird. Her Portland-based thrillers have been published in over thirty languages, and are in development as TV shows. Stephen King included two of her books in his top ten favorite books of the year, and NPR named Heartsick one of the best 100 thrillers ever written. According to Booklist, “Popular entertainment just doesn’t get much better than this." She attended UC-Irvine and the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism.

  • 2015 UC Author-in-Residence, Cheryl Strayed
    • Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the bestselling advice essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things, the novel Torch, and the quotes collection, Brave Enough. Her books have been translated into forty languages around the world. Wild stayed on the NYT Bestseller list for 126 weeks, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the Oregon Book Award, and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey to be featured as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. The Oscar-nominated movie adaptation of Wild stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl and Laura Dern as Cheryl’s mother, Bobbi. Strayed’s essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, and elsewhere. Strayed is the co-host, along with Steve Almond, of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus. Strayed holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota.

  • 2013-2014 UC Author-in-Residence, Emily Chenoweth
    • Emily Chenoweth is the author of the novel Hello Goodbye, a novel that mirrors her experience of losing her mother to brain cancer. It was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and was named one of the top ten Northwest books of 2009 by The Oregonian. As a ghostwriter, she has penned seven young adult novels, one of which was a #1 New York Times bestseller. She has coauthored three books with James Patterson under the pen name Emily Raymond: First Love, The Lost, and Little Black Dress. A former English teacher in Iowa and book reviews editor in New York City, Emily moved to Portland in 2005, where she has taught fiction workshops at Portland State University and Literary Arts.

  • 2012-2013 UC Author-in-Residence, Jean Auel
    • International best-selling author, Jean M. Auel, was married at 18, had five children by 25, and at 28 started night courses while working full time at an electronics firm. She entered an MBA program at the University of Portland and was granted the degree in 1976. Then in 1977, after quitting her job, she had an idea to write a story about a young woman who lived during the Ice Age. A love of reading, an insatiable curiosity, and a penchant for research led to hours with books from the library, which resulted in a long first draft for a novel that became, instead, an outline for a series. Additional library research, supplemented by field courses that included making stone tools, building a snow cave, and brain-tanning buckskin, plus travel to both western and eastern Europe, have helped to flesh out the details for the Earth’s Children® series: The Clan Of The Cave Bear, The Valley Of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains Of Passage, The Shelters Of Stone, and The Land Of Painted Caves. Since the first book’s publication in 1980, the series has sold over 34 million copies worldwide. In October 2008, Auel was named an officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.

  • 2011 UC Author-in-Residence, Judith Barrington
    • Judith Barrington is a poet and memoirist who has published three collections of poetry, a prize-winning memoir, and a text on writing literary memoir, used across the United States and in Australia and Europe. Her memoir, Lifesaving, won the Lambda Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. Her most recent book of poems, Horses and the Human Soul, was selected by The Oregon State Library to be listed on “150 Books for the Sesquicentennial.” In 2013, she was awarded the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize. Judith was a faculty member of the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. She currently offers workshops at many conferences and writing events around the world. She grew up in England and moved to Portland in 1976, where she has lived for more than thirty years with her partner, Ruth Gundle and their dog, Yofi.

  • 2010 UC Author-in-Residence, Lee Montgomery
    • Lee Montgomery is the author of The Things Between Us, Whose World Is This?, and Searching for Emily. The Things Between Us received the 2007 Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction, and Whose World Is This? won the 2007 John Simmons Iowa Short Fiction Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications including, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Antioch Review, the London Telegraph Sunday Magazine, and Tin House. Ms. Montgomery has been the editor of the Iowa Review and the Santa Monica Review, as well as the anthologies; Transgressions: The Iowa Anthology of Innovative Fiction, Absolute Disaster: Fiction from Los Angeles, and Woof!: Writers on Dogs. She currently is the editorial director of Tin House Books and the executive editor for Tin House magazine.

  • 2009 UC Author-in-Residence, Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Ursula Le Guin is an American author of novels, children's books, and short stories. Her short stories have been published in The Western Humanities Review, Fantastic Stories of imagination, Threshold, Millennial Women, and Amazing Stories. First published in the 1960s, her work has often depicted futuristic or imaginary alternative worlds in politics, the natural environment, gender, religion, sexuality and ethnography. She influenced such authors as Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell, Neil Gaiman, and Iain Banks. Her books, Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, both won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, making her the first to win both awards for each book. She has also won the Locus Award, and the World Fantasy Award, each more than once. Le Guin, along with Ken Kesey, Brian Booth, and William Stafford, founded the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts, now known as Literary Arts, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. In 2014, she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

  • 2008 UC Author-in-Residence, Elizabeth Burnett
    • In 2008, Elizabeth Burnett was Executive Director of Literary Arts, Inc., a community-based nonprofit literary center located in downtown Portland. Literary Arts runs the Portland Arts & Lectures series, the Writers in the Schools program, the Oregon Literary Fellowships and other programs. She was Executive Director for three years and was with the organization for seven years. Burnett came to Portland after getting an MFA at the University of Montana and ran the Writers in the Schools program for four years prior the becoming Executive Director. Elizabeth Burnett currently resides in Stockbridge, Massachusetts as Vice President of Development at Kripalu, a center for Yoga & Health.

  • 2006-2007 UC Author-in-Residence, Scott Poole
    • Scott Poole is the author of three books of poetry; The Sliding Glass Door, The Cheap Seats, and Hiding from Salesmen. He broadcasts regularly on PBS’s show Live Wire!, which brings the intimacy of the theater and the power of the airways together to inspire and engage audiences. He is also the founding director of both: Get Lit!, a Spokane, WA book festival celebrating reading, writing and storytelling; and Wordstock, a Portland, OR book festival put on by Literary Arts. Currently, he is a software developer in Portland, OR.

  • 2005 UC Author-in-Residence, Larry Colton
    • Larry's first book, Idol Time, took a look at the Portland Trail Blazers after their 1977 NBA Championship. In 1993, his second book, Goat Brothers, became a main selection of the Book of the Month Club and was described by Entertainment Weekly as ‘engaging’ and ‘compulsively readable.’ His third book, Counting Coup, was published in September 2000 and immediately became the International eBook Foundation’s Non-Fiction Book of the Year. It was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. As a freelance writer, Larry has written over 250 feature stories for magazines such as Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Ladies Home Journal, and The New York Times Magazine. Larry works as Project Director of the Community of Writers, a non-profit organization in Portland dedicated to improving the quality of writing instruction in Oregon's public schools.

  • 2004 UC Author-in-Residence, Kim Stafford
    • The author of more than a dozen books, Stafford writes in multiple genres. His poems, collected in many volumes, have been published in national magazines as well as etched into local public art projects. His essay collection, Having Everything Right, won a Western States Book Award citation. In 1986 he penned a memoir of his father, Poet William Stafford, titled Early Morning, which created an intimate portrait of father and son. Stafford’s range as a writer is exemplified by the half-dozen Oregon Book Award nominations he has garnered—-in more categories than any other writer. He has his PhD in Medieval Literature from University of Oregon. He is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute, and the co-director of the Documentary Studies Certificate Program, both of which are at Lewis & Clark College, in Portland.