English and Journalism

The Fred Case & Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence

Distinguished national writers of poetry and fiction visit the campus of Western Illinois University each year through the generous gift of Lola Austin Case and Fred Ewing Case. Visiting writers teach workshops and seminars to creative writing students, offer public readings of their latest works, and help create an environment which nurtures budding writers.

Case Writers are in residence for periods ranging from two weeks to an entire semester. Individual tutorials as well as seminars are available for creative writing students.

Spring 2013 Case Writer: Kim Addonizio

Kim Addonizio has been called “one of our nation’s most provocative and edgy poets.” Her latest books are Lucifer at the Starlite, a finalist for the Poets Prize and the Northern CA Book Award; and Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, both from W.W. Norton. Her novel-in-verse, Jimmy & Rita, was recently reissued by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. Kalima Press published her Selected Poems in Arabic. Addonizio’s many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and Pushcart Prizes for both poetry and the essay. Her collection Tell Me was a National Book Award Finalist. Other books include two novels from Simon & Schuster, Little Beauties and My Dreams Out in the Street. Addonizio offers private workshops in Oakland, CA, and online, and often incorporates her love of blues harmonica into her readings.

Fall 2012 Case Writer: David Gessner

Novelist David Gessner is the Fall 2012 Fred Ewing Case and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence.

David Gessner is the author of eight books, including Return of the Osprey, Sick of Nature, My Green Manifesto, and The Tarball Chronicles, which Publishers Weekly called “a brilliant and thoughtful book.” He has published essays in many magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, and has won the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay, a Pushcart Prize, and inclusion in Best American Nonrequired Reading. He taught Environmental Writing as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard, and is currently a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he founded the award-winning literary journal of place, Ecotone. He now puts a lot of energy into Bill and Dave's Cocktail Hour, a website he created with the writer Bill Roorbach. He still dreams of winning the national championship in ultimate Frisbee, but knows it will never happen.

He read from his book My Green Manifesto

  • Question & Answer session: Wed Oct 10, 4:30pm, Simpkins Hall 027
  • Public Reading: Thu Oct 11, 7:00pm, Sherman Auditorium

Both events were free and open to the public.

Past Case Writers-in-Residence