Iris Graville is a writer and retired nurse from Lopez Island, WA. Her profiles and personal essays have been published in national and regional journals and magazines. She holds a Master of Nursing degree from the University of Washington and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts where she served as nonfiction editor for Soundings Review. Iris is also the publisher of SHARK REEF online literary magazine. She blogs regularly about writing and spiritual matters. In August 2018, Iris was named the first writer-in-residence with the Washington State Ferries. You can follow her progress there at https://writingtheinterisland.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 patients in hospital rooms, exam rooms, homes, and schools and experienced an uncommon intimacy as they shared their fears, hopes, grief, and pain.
Her first book, Hands at Work—Portraits and Profiles of People Who Work with Their Hands, received numerous accolades including a Nautilus Book Gold Award, Independent Publishers Award, and an Indie Next Generation Book Award.
Hands at Work 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 combines photographs, profiles by Iris, and recipes to present an intimate, behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to bring food from earth to table on Lopez Island. Photography by Steve Horn, Summer Moon Scriver, and Robert S. Harrison; recipes created by Chef Kim Bast. Available at Lopez Bookshop.
Iris’s memoir, Hiking Naked—A Quaker Woman’s Search for Balance, 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). Hiking Naked was named a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Nancy Pearl Contest and received a Nautilus Book Award.