Lurie Visiting Authors

The Lurie Author-in-Residence Program was established through the generosity of Connie and Robert Lurie in order to attract nationally and internationally known authors to a position officially called "Visiting Artist/Scholar" for a period of one or two semesters (depending upon funds and the availability of the author).

It is a teaching professorship entailing close contact with students and public appearances. The fund is a permanent endowment. Candidates are nominated and selected by a review committee appointed by the English Department Chair with the approval of the Dean. The distinguished visiting artist/scholar carries the title of "Lurie Professor."

The Center for Literary Arts also invites major authors to campus for one-day seminars and large lectures. Recent authors include Salman Rushdie, Dorothy Allison, Gore Vidal and Neil Gaiman. See the Center for Literary Arts Major Author Series for events that involve the Lurie Professor.


Nayomi Munaweera 

Nayomi Munaweera in 2019

Teaching Spring Course
ENGL 241, Fiction Writing Workshop

Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka. She grew up in Nigeria, and immigrated to Los Angeles in the early 80s. She is the award-winning author of the novels, Island of a Thousand Mirrors and What Lies Between Us

Munaweera earned her B.A. in Literature and M.A. in South Asian Literature from U.C. Riverside. She is an alumni of VONA, Voices of Our Ancestors Writing Workshop and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She teaches at Mills College and at the Ashland University low-residency MFA Program. She holds writing workshops in Sri Lanka through a program called Write to Reconcile in which she co-teaches with legendary Sri Lankan writer, Shyam Selvadurai. Their aim is to use creative writing as a tool of reconciliation and healing for both Tamil and Sinhala survivors of the civil war. Read more about Nayomi Munaweera and her work on Medium.

The Way of Wanderlust Don George 

Don George in 2018

Teaching Spring Course
ENGL 242, Non-Fiction Writing Workshop

National Geographic has called Don George “a legendary travel writer and editor.” Don’s new book is The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George. He also wrote the book on travel writing, Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing, which is the bestselling travel writing guide in the world. In addition, Don has edited ten award-winning literary travel anthologies, including An Innocent Abroad, Better Than Fiction, and The Kindness of Strangers. Don has been Travel Editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, founder and editor of’s Wanderlust travel site, and Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet. He is currently the editor at large for National Geographic Traveler, special features editor for BBC Travel, and editor of Geographic Expedition’s literary blog, Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler.

Vendela Vida The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty

Vendela Vida in 2017

Teaching Spring Course
ENGL 241, Fiction Writing Workshop

Vendela Vida is the author of five books, including Girls on the Verge, a nonfiction exploration of how young women from a myriad of cultures come of age in modern America; And Now You Can Go, which The New York Review of Books describes as “a thriller about how we love and how we forgive and when and how we have to choose to do so”; and finally, Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, a 2007 New York Times Notable Book of the Year that evokes a culture on the cusp of extinction. Her most recent novel, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, recounts a tale that investigates the frailty of identity.

King of Cuba cover

Cristina García in 2016

Teaching Spring Course
ENGL 241, Fiction Writing Workshop

Cristina García is the author of six novels, including: Dreaming in CubanThe Agüero SistersMonkey HuntingA Handbook to Luck, and The Lady Matador’s Hotel. García has edited two anthologies, Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature. Two works for young readers, The Dog Who Loved the Moon, and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox were published in 2008 and a young adult novel, Dreams of Significant Girls, in 2011. A collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, was published in 2010.

Perfume Dreams

Andrew Lam in 2015

Teaching Spring Course 

ENGL 242, Non-Fiction Writing Workshop

AndrewLam is a senior editor and writer with New America Media, and is the author of two works of nonfiction: Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora and East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres. His latest book, Birds of Paradise Lost, a collection of short stories about Vietnamese-American newcomers struggling to remake their lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, was published in 2013. He frequently writes for the Huffington Post and has been a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. In 2004 he was the subject for a segment of the PBS documentary film My Journey Home. In the documentary he returns to Vietnam and visits his mother’s ancestral village.

  Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer in 2014

Teaching Spring Course
ENGL 241, Fiction Writing Workshop

Andrew Sean Greer is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. Greer has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a TODAY show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Jimmy & Rita

Kim Addonizio in 2013

Teaching Spring Course
ENGL 240, Poetry Writing Workshop

From her website's bio:
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, California, and online, and often incorporates her love of blues harmonica into her readings.

 Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres

Julia Scheeres in 2012

 At Night We Walk in Circles

Daniel Alarcón in 2011

Road Fever by Tim Cahill 

Tim Cahill in 2010


Sandra Gilbert in 2009


Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

ZZ Packer in 2008


How Late it Was, How Late

James Kelman in 2007

Snow Mountain Passage

James D. Houston in 2006

 Conjure by Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed in 2005

The Professor and the Madman

Simon Winchester in 2004

Iron Shoes

Molly Giles in 2003

Mingus Mingus

Al Young in 2002

Harping On

Carolyn Kizer in 2001


Ursula K. le Guin , first Lurie chair in 2000