Michael Spooner

An eclectic writer, Michael is the author of three novels for YA readers, two books for young readers, and dozens of scholarly articles, book chapters, and conference papers. His fiction and poetry have been praised in Kirkus, Goodreads, Booklist, School Library Journal, and many other review venues; his novels have won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and the Spur Finalist Award; his books have been taught in various Utah elementary classrooms, secondary English classrooms, and university YA lit classrooms. 

Michael left his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, at age 17 to attend college in the Lower 48. He has lived in Utah since 1993, when he accepted the directorship of the Utah State University Press. Under his leadership, the USU Press became a nationally renowned publisher of research in writing studies, folkloristics, Western history, natural history, and poetry. He established the May Swenson Poetry Award at USU Press—a twenty-volume series of poetry books by emerging poets across the United States. 

As a novelist, Michael creates character-driven narratives, where "diverse" characters always appear in central roles. His YA characters tend to struggle with their own naivete or innocence; they are intelligent, often humorous, and they find themselves in situations that deeply challenge their beliefs about identity, adulthood, and their own ethical center. Whether serious or more comic, his fiction will make you smile while illuminating something serious about humanity.

Michael’s many refereed research articles, book chapters, and conference papers address the fields of writing theory, second-language learning, scholarly publishing, poetry, and education. On his retirement, Michael was featured as the subject of a special tribute in the international Writing Center Journal for the scholarly impact of his three decades of publishing, writing, and editorial work. 




Entr@pment: A Comedy, McElderry/Simon & Schuster, New York, 2009

Last Child, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 2005

Daniel’s Walk, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 2001

Old Meshikee & the Little Crabs, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1996

A Moon in Your Lunch Box: Poems, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1993 



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