Samuel Ligon

"Keening and cacophonous, raucous and ecstatic." The Brooklyn Rail

"Ligon’s spare, elegant prose allows each person and place to be revealed in simple, truthful detail, without getting bogged down by the excesses that trap so many lesser authors." Long Island Press

"This debut novel instantly seizes and holds the imagination.... Few Readers will remain unconvinced by the agonizing questions that drive this story, and the tragedy with which the book begins and ends." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Ligon is firmly in control, laying out the elements of the story like the pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle." New York Times Book Review

Photo, Steven Walker
SAMUEL LIGON is the author of DRIFT AND SWERVE, a collection of stories, and SAFE IN HEAVEN DEAD, a novel. His new novel, AMONG THE DEAD AND DREAMING, is forthcoming in 2016. His stories have appeared in The Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, StoryQuarterly, New England Review, Post Road, Keyhole, Sleepingfish, Hobart, Gulf Coast, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. His essays appear monthly in the Inlander. He teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, and is the editor of WILLOW SPRINGS.

Pie & Whiskey, a story in Prairie Schooner.

"Providence," one of the four Nikki stories in DRIFT AND SWERVE.

Is there anything more adorable than a drunk toddler? A whiskey bosom story at Hobart.

"Wonderland," a story of bearded lady love

"Time Traveling." Waiting, humiliation, and birds crapping on domestic travelers. A Denver airport odyssey.

"Outlandish Questions." Is it legal weed or the prospect of legal weed, that makes us long for prohibition?

"One Night in a Bar," booze writing about money and luck and growing up irresponsibly in America.

"Spirit Matters," a meditation on drunk yoga.

"The Taste of Here," an ode to drinking local.

"Old, New, and the Commodity of Seattle Cool," a rant.

All my Distilled writing in the Inlander.

A short reading in Port Townsend.

Music and spoken word with Kim Addonizio and Gary Copeland Lilley

Music and spoken word with Kim Addonizio, Gary Copeland Lilley, and Jane Ligon

An interview with Katrina Hays, at Soundings.

An excerpt from the title story in DRIFT AND SWERVE. Plus a note on its origins.

An interview at The Faster Times, conducted by Michael Kimball.

An interview at HTMLGIANT, conducted by Blake Butler.

An interview at Word Riot, conducted by Robert Lopez.

An interview with The Short Review.

A review of DRIFT AND SWERVE in The Brooklyn Rail


My "life story" at Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a post card).

"What I Am Fine Means is Please Stop Talking," an essay on Robert Lopez's novel, KAMBY BOLONGO MEAN RIVER, at The Lit Pub

A review of DRIFT AND SWERVE in Long Island Press

A review of DRIFT AND SWERVE at NewPages.

A review of DRIFT AND SWERVE in The Short Review

A review of DRIFT AND SWERVE at the Centrum Writers

A review of DRIFT AND SWERVE at Bookmunch

An excerpt from SAFE IN HEAVEN DEAD.


NOISE: FICTION INSPIRED BY SONIC YOUTH is a cool anthology, with stories by Mary Gaitskill, J. Robert Lennon, Kevin Sampsell, Jess Walter, Peter Wild, Katherine Dunn, and many others. One of my stories from DRIFT AND SWERVE, "Dirty Boots," is included.

WILLOW SPRINGS publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as interviews with notable authors, including Marilynne Robinson, Stuart Dybek, Aimee Bender, and Robert Bly, to name a few. Founded in 1977 and published twice yearly, Willow Springs features two interviews per issue, as well as arresting essays, fiction, and poetry by a diverse variety of writers—from the unknown and up and coming, to U.S. Poet Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners. Check out the latest issue, back issues, and the complete interview archive here.