Every semester Mount Mercy University hosts at least one Visiting Writer. During each visit, there is a Q&A — your time to ask the writers questions — and an evening reading — the writers' time to share their most recent work with you. You'll also have the chance to chat with the visiting writers over dinner or while they are signing your book.
Past visiting writers include poet laureates, award-winning journalists, best-selling novelists, and Oprah-picks.
Cristina Henríquez has authored three books of fiction, including The Book of Unknown Americans. This widely acclaimed novel brings to life the varied human stories behind the ongoing debate about immigration through the eyes of characters from all over Latin America. Henriquez's stories have been published in The New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and AGNI, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Oxford American, and Preservation. She was featured in Virginia Quarterly Review as one of “Fiction’s New Luminaries,” and is a recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award, a grant started by Sandra Cisneros in honor of her father.
She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives with her husband in Chicago.
Past Visiting Writers
Mount Mercy University has proudly hosted poet laureates; best-selling novelists; and writers who have won the National Book Award, the Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize.
Sandra Benitez, Chris Bohjalian, Charles Baxter, Ethan Canin, Ana Castillo, Lan Samantha Chang, K. L. Cook, Stuart Dybek, Larry Heinemann, Khaled Hosseini, Bharati Mukherjee, Thisbe Nissen, ZZ Packer, Josef Skvorecky, Barry Unsworth, Mary Helen Stefaniak, Benjamin Percy, Samrat Upadhyay, Daniel Orozco, Karen Russell
Creative Nonfiction Writers and Journalists
Amy Butcher, Anne-Marie Cusac, Joy Castro, Matt Freedman, Patricia Hampl, Alex Kotlowitz, John T. Price, Scott Russell Sanders, Patricia Foster
Jorie Graham, Joy Harjo, Robert Haas, Ted Kooser, Li-Young Lee, Heather McHugh, Czeslaw Milosz, Naomi Shihab Nye, Susan Power, Gary Soto, William Stafford, Camille Dungy, Michael Sowder, Frank X Walker
"Visiting writers ...let you see and know the process of a professional." — Casey Birkecht '13
"The joy of the Visiting Writers Program is always about connecting to a kindred soul. Aspiring writers are able to discuss their own fears and doubts with someone who has experienced the journey." — Kim Flugga-Ciha ’11