Iris Graville is a creative nonfiction writer from Lopez Island, WA. She holds an MFA in writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, is the publisher of SHARK REEF Literary Magazine (http://sharkreef.org), and a former board member for the Orcas Island Literary Festival (oilf.org).
As a writer, Iris strives to give voice to the untold stories of ordinary people. She had her first taste of the thrill of helping people tell their stories as a feature writer for her high school newspaper in a small town in southern Illinois. Years later, as a nurse in Indiana and Washington, she listened to people’s stories in hospital rooms, exam rooms, and homes and experienced an uncommon intimacy as they shared their fears, hopes, grief, and pain. She’s written about homesteaders in Mexico, hurricane survivors in Nicaragua, senior citizens in her rural community, and life in a remote mountain village.
Her profiles and personal essays have been published in national and regional journals and magazines. She also blogs regularly at https://irisgraville.wordpress.com.
Iris’s first book, “Hands at Work—Portraits and Profiles of People Who Work with Their Hands,” received numerous awards including a Nautilus Book Award, Independent Publishers Award, and an Indie Next Generation Book Award. The hardbound coffee table book was inspired by a showing of Summer Moon Scriver’s black-and-white photographs of hands. Scriver’s images of strong, weathered, soiled, muscled hands digging potatoes, knitting, kneading dough, and spinning wool suggested a passion for the kinds of work that have become rare for many Americans.
Iris’s second book, “BOUNTY: Lopez Island Farmers, Food, and Community,” combines photographs, profiles, and recipes to present an intimate, behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to bring food from earth to table on Lopez Island, WA. Photography is by Steve Horn, Summer Moon Scriver, and Robert S. Harrison; profiles by Iris Graville; recipes created by Chef Kim Bast.
Her memoir, “Hiking Naked—A Quaker Woman’s Search for Balance,” (Homebound Publications, 2017) is a personal narrative of what she learned in the remote mountain village of Stehekin, WA about work, community, and leadings of the Spirit (as well as dealing with six feet of snow in the winter, ordering groceries by mail, and living without a telephone).