Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is not a 2020-2021 Trias Writer in Residence.

The Peter Trias Residency at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is designed to give distinguished poets and fiction writers time to write. Academic expectations allow for sustained interaction with our best students while providing the freedom necessary to produce new work. Residents are active, working artists whose presence contributes to intellectual environment of the Colleges and the town of Geneva. The residency offers a generous salary.


Lidia Yuknavitch

Award-winning American memoirist and fiction writer Lidia Yuknavitch is the 2019-2020 Trias Writer in Residence. Based in Oregon, where she is a teacher, Yuknavitch is the author of the novels Dora: A HeadcaseThe Small Backs of Children and others. Slated for release in February 2020 is her short story collection Verge. Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader’s Choice. The Small Backs of Children, published in 2015, was called “a brave and affecting novel” by Kirkus Reviews and received the Oregon Book Award’s Ken Kesey Award for Fiction.

Yuknavich’s latest work, The Book of Joan, is a riveting dystopian epic that features a loose retelling of the Joan of Arc story. Yuknavitch has also published shorter literary works in GuernicaMs.The Iowa Review and The Sun, among others. The Misfit’s Manifesto, published in 2017, is based on a popular TED talk she gave the year before titled “The Beauty of Being a Misfit.”

The founder of the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland, she teaches in person and online. The series features workshops and classes that focus on exploring the realm of the creative genres.

In her youth, Yuknavitch was a competitive swimmer who had hopes of qualifying for the U.S. Olympics team; the boycott of the 1980 games in Moscow led to the end of her competitive career. She moved to Eugene, Ore., and enrolled at the University of Oregon, from which she received her doctorate in English literature. Her first published work, Caverns, was co-written by Yuknavitch and her colleagues in a novel-writing class taught by Ken Kesey.

Trias Reading Series 2019-2020

Lance Olsen

Lance Olsen

Mar. 10, 7:30 p.m. in Bartlett Theatre

Lance Olsen is author of more than 25 books of and about innovative writing, including, most recently, the novels Dreamlives of Debris (Dzanc, 2017) and My Red Heaven (Dzanc, forthcoming 2020). His short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, such as Conjunctions, Black Warrior Review, Fiction International, Village Voice, BOMB, McSweeney’s, and Best American Non-Required Reading. A Guggenheim, Berlin Prize, D.A.A.D. Artist-in-Berlin Residency, Pushcart Prize, and two-time N.E.A. Fellowship recipient, as well as a Fulbright Scholar (Finland), he teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah. (Photo credit: Andi Olsen)

Terese Mailhot

Terese Mailhot

Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. in Bartlett Theatre

Terese Mailhot is from Seabird Island Band. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Pacific Standard, Granta, Mother Jones, Medium, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Heart Berries: A Memoir. Her book was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for English-Language Nonfiction, and was selected by Emma Watson as the Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick for March/April 2018. Heart Berries was also listed as an NPR Best Book of the Year, a Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a New York Public Library Best Book of the Year, a Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year, and was one of Harper's Bazaar's Best Books of 2018.

She is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award, the Electra Quinney Award for Published Stories, a Clara Johnson Award, and she is also the recipient of the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature. She teaches creative writing at Purdue University.

Janice Lee

Janice Lee

Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m. in Bartlett Theatre

Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, editor, publisher, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 3 books of fiction: KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), and 2 books of creative nonfiction: Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015) and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She writes about interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the filmic long take, slowness, the apocalypse, architectural spaces, plant & animal medicine, inherited trauma, and the concept of han in Korean culture, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Contributing Editor at Fanzine, and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, OR where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University.


For more information, contact:

Melanie Hamilton, Director of Trias and Professor of English


The Trias Residency for Writers is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing. This valuable fund was established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias '70.


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