Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series

The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series is an annual program in which local and nationally renowned writers visit UAF to present craft lectures and public readings. The first events were held in the early 1970s, and over the years, many of the most prestigious names in literature—Robert Pinsky, Lucille Clifton, Scott Russell Sanders, Mark Doty, Camille Dungy, and Terry Tempest Williams, to name a few—have made appearances in Fairbanks. All events are free, and they're open to university students, stakeholders and community members.

The series also hosts the Dead Writers reading during the Halloween season, a longstanding beloved MFA event—originating in 1990—that raises additional funds to bring our writers to Fairbanks. Readers from all over Fairbanks don costumes and perform the works of their favorite deceased authors. 
Due to the global pandemic, most of our events for the 2021–22 academic year will take place virtually. You can visit the MFA Community page to view our partial archive of past Midnight Sun Visiting Writers.

odonnellSeptember 24

Nicole Stellon O'Donnell is the author of three collections of poetry, including Everything Never Comes Your Way (2021, Boreal Books). Her second book, You Are No Longer in Trouble, was the 2019 open submission winner of the Marie Alexander Series in Prose Poetry. Her writing has won an Alaska Literary Award, a Boochever Fellowship, and an Artist Fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, Zyzzyva, Redivider, and other literary journals. Her work as a teacher has been recognized with a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. 



passarelloOctober 8
Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her first collection, Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012), won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Her second collection, Animals Strike Curious Poses, is one of Literary Hub's top ten essay collections of the decade. The New York Times called Passarello, "a master of the essay form."
mcauliffeShena McAuliffe is an Assistant Professor at Union College. Her debut novel, The Good Echo, was published by Black Lawrence Press. Her essay collection, Glass Light Electricity, was chosen by Elena Passarello as the winner of the 2019 Permafrost book prize and published by U Alaska Press in 2020. Her stories have twice been named as notable in the Best American Short Stories anthologies (2008, 2010), and once in the Best American Nonrequired Reading series. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD from the University of Utah.





dead shakespeareOctober 29

Dead Writers is an annual fundraiser that benefits the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series. Participants deliver readings excerpted from, inspired by, or based on the work of their favorite dead writers. This year's event will take place online, featuring prizes for Best Performance and the Best Dressed, as well as raffle prizes. Participants are requested to sign up beforehand.  Please consider making a donation to benefit Dead Writers. You can email event organizer Michael Kay with any questions.