University of Idaho - I Banner

National Bestseller Leni Zumas Featured at Palouse Literary Festival

October 14, 2019

MOSCOW, Idaho — Oct. 14, 2019 —A lineup of nationally acclaimed authors and poets will be featured at events throughout downtown Moscow for the University of Idaho’s inaugural Palouse Literary Festival Oct. 17-19. Admission to all events is free.

Capping off three days of events will be a reading from Oregon author Leni Zumas. Her 2018 book, “Red Clocks,” is a national bestseller and was the 2019 winner of the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. It has been featured on the New York Times Editors’ Choice, Washington Post Notable Book of 2018 and the Best Books of 2018 lists for The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Goodreads, TIME Magazine and more.

"Leni Zumas’s fiction explores conflict surrounding women’s reproductive rights and other timely issues,"said Sean Stewart, a graduate student in U of I’s Department of English and one of the event organizers. "‘Red Clocks' is full of heart and reasserts the importance of fiction as a tool for social indictment. Her reading in Moscow is a rare chance for the community to directly ask questions of a high-profile voice in the contemporary dialog."

A complete schedule of the 2019 Palouse Literary Festival is as follows:

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17: Reading and Craft Talk with Debra Gwartney, BookPeople of Moscow – Gwartney will offer a glimpse behind the scenes of her writing practice and books, specifically her newest book, “I Am a Stranger Here Myself.” Gwartney, a fifth generation Idahoan, has published two memoirs – “I Am a Stranger Here Myself” in 2019 and “Live Through This” in 2009.
  • 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18: U of I/EWU Crossover Reading, One World Café – Six writers, three Master of Fine Arts in creative writing candidates from U of I and three from Eastern Washington University, will read their work, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
  • 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18: Sam Roxas-Chua Reading and Gallery Exhibition, Prichard Art Gallery – Roxas-Chua is a poet and visual artist. He has published three collections of poems including “Fawn Language,” “Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater” and “Echolalia In Script – A Collection of Asemic Writing.” Roxas-Chua will read his work while immersing the audience in his art.
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19: Pop-Up Prose, Palouse Books – Listen to an assortment of readers from U of I and the greater Moscow community.
  • 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19: John Sibley Williams Reading, One World Café – Williams, a Portland, Oregon-based poet, will be reading from his latest collection “As One Fire Consumes Another,” the winner of the 2019 Orison Poetry Prize.
  • 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19: Leni Zumas Reading, BookPeople – Enjoy a reading from Zumas, an Oregon author, whose published works include “Farewell Navigator,” “The Listeners” and the national bestseller “Red Clocks.”

“The opportunity to see such prestigious authors here in Moscow is rare,” Stewart said. “Given the rising star nature of these writers, literary fans will not want to miss these events.”

The Palouse Literary Festival is presented by the U of I’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Master of Arts in English graduate programs, with special funding from the Idaho Humanities Council.

Media Contact

Sean Stewart
Department of English

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at