NILA Series Fifth Episode Five Voices


WhidbeyAir is proud to, once again, offer you fine literary listening from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts MFA program faculty and students in this fifth of the WhidbeyAir NILA Series.

In the full podcast you’ll hear visiting faculty members Kirby Larson, Tananarive Due, Elena Passarello and Nancy Rawles, followed by program by founder and director Wayne Ude.

This audio was gathered during the January 2015 writers residency at Captain Whidbey’s Inn on Whidbey Island.

Listen & Download each audio file by clicking on their media linked titles. NOTE: Pending your internet service please allow time for loading.  

>Full Podcast NILA MFA January 2015 Residency: 4 Visiting Faculty and Founding Director Wayne Ude.  – 58:17 seconds long

NILA MFA January 2015 Residency Features 

NILA Tananarive DueTananarive Due.  Tanananrive is a former Cosby Chair in the Humanities at Spelman College (2012-2014), where she taught screenwriting, creative writing and journalism.  She also teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles. The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir.  In 2010, she was inducted into the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University.

Segment Audio with Tananarive Due: Length 8:34

Due has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Leeds, England, where she specialized in Nigerian literature as a Rotary Foundation Scholar.  In addition to VONA, Due has taught at the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s Writers’ Week and the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.  As a screenwriter, she is a member of the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).


NILA Kirby LarsonKirby Larson. Kirby is frequent speaker and has presented at more than 200 schools, workshops, and seminars in over twenty states and as far away as Qatar, Lebanon and Guam.

Segment Audio Kirby Larson: Length 10:35

Kirby is the acclaimed author of the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, Hattie Big Sky, a young adult historical novel she wrote inspired by her great-grandmother, Hattie Inez Brooks Wright, who homesteaded by herself in eastern Montana as a young woman. That book, and encouragement from her mentor, Karen Cushman, gave Kirby the confidence to embrace her passion for historical fiction; in 2015, her book Dashwon the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Prize.

NILA Elena PassarelloElena Passarello: Elena teaches courses on writing and reading the nonfiction essay.  A recipient of fellowships from Oregon State University’s Center for the Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, she is currently developing her second book, a bestiary of celebrity animals.  Her own essays discussing pop culture, music, the performing arts, and the natural world have appeared in Oxford American, SlateCreative Nonfiction, Normal School, Ninth Letter, Iowa Review, and the music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart (Duke University Press, 2012).

Segment Audio Elena Passarello: Length 6:30

Her book Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012) won the gold IPPY medal for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. More essays are forthcoming in the anthologies After Montaigne (U. of Georgia Press, 2015) and I’ll Tell You Mine: 30 Years of Nonfiction from the University of Iowa (U. of Chicago Press, 2015), as well as in a collection of criticism and literary essays on cat videos, Cat is Art Spelled Wrong (Walker Art Center/ Coffeehouse Press, 2015).


NILA Nancy RawlesNancy Rawles: Nancy has worked as a journalist, playwright and novelist. The New York Times called her novel My Jim “as heart-wrenching a personal history as any recorded in American literature.”

Rawles has received many awards for her writing, including an Alex Award from the American Library Association, an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and a Legacy Award from the Hurston/Wright Foundation. My Jim was selected by the Seattle Public Library for its popular Seattle Reads Program.

Segment Audio Nancy Rawles: Length 17:13

Rawles grew up in Los Angeles, studied in Chicago, and makes her home in Seattle. She currently teaches writing at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington.


NILA Wayne UdeWayne Ude: Wayne earned an MFA in creative writing, from UMass-Amherst and later taught and served as program director at Colorado State and Old Dominion Universities. He’s the founding director of the NILA Whidbey Writers Workshop low-residency MFA program in creative writing at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, where he’s been the program director since 2004.

Segment Audio Wayne Ude: Length 12:40


Wayne is the author of a novel, three collections of stories, and is currently working on a fantasy novel.


Our thanks to NILA alums Stephanie Barbe’ Hammer and Janet Buttenweiser for their development of this series for WhidbeyAir.

We also extend our gratitude to NILA’s administration, permanent and visiting faculty, and students for their generous gifts of time, and inspiration.


bouncingballs.gifWhidbeyAir is an all volunteer streaming radio station from Whidbey Island, Washington, in the United States.  WhidbeyAir maintains a public access studio and music licensing fees for it’s community generated content and music.  To support WhidbeyAir visit our support page.   WhidbeyAir operates with the support of sponsors and listeners, your support is appreciated. 

Editing and production provided by WhidbeyAir volunteers.


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