Welcome to the 6th Annual Ashland Literary Arts Festival! This year’s event focuses on independent story and thought throughout the entire Cascadia region, celebrating not only books, but all forms of expression: literature, poetry, journalism, art, lyrics, comics, film, and documentary. We invite you to come on in, explore the festival schedule, and find the stories that speak to you!

Melissa Matthewson

Southern Oregon University
Author, Adjunct Faculty
Applegate Valley, Oregon
Melissa Matthewson is an essayist, teacher, and farmer residing in the Applegate Valley of southwestern Oregon. She holds degrees from the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA), University of Montana (MS), and Vermont College of Fine Arts (MFA). Her essays have appeared in Guernica, Mid-American Review, Bellingham Review, River Teeth, Sweet, Split Lip, Essay Daily, New Delta Review, Numero Cinq, Terrain.org, Wildness, VIDA Review, and Hobart among other publications. Her work has earned an AWP Intro Journals Award in creative nonfiction as well as a notable mention in the 2016 Best American Essays anthology. She is a 2017 Artsmith Fellow and was awarded a residency at PLAYA for August of this year. She has just finished her first book manuscript, Tracing the Desire Line, which is a memoir-in-essays exploring threads of identity, desire, marriage, and farming. She's working on a second book, which is a lyric exploration of the Eastern Sierra, wildness, the feminine, and beauty, all in conversation with notable author and activist Mary Austin (The Land of Little Rain). She currently teaches writing at Southern Oregon University and runs an organic vegetable farm.