Tal, Greg, Caridwen, Angus -- at Tal's HS graduation

Another cruise to Alaska (with the Jaybirds), 2006

Caridwen finishing the last layer of adobe on the rice hull studio floor.

Angus, looking sharp for cousin Ben's wedding.

Tal looking sharp for...welding class.

Tal and Angus and a very big tire

Angus and Tal, a long time ago.

Angus and Caridwen, a long time ago....

Angus bringing cake to Milton Spatz, Greg's grandfather.

Our pet bag playing with the cat.


Born in New York City, Spatz holds degrees from Haverford College, University of New Hampshire, and The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He now lives in Spokane, Washington, where he teaches in the MFA program at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, Eastern Washington University. Spatz spent his youth in New England, mostly in the Berkshires.

He begged for violin lessons and began playing at six years old; he still plays fiddle professionally with John Reischman and the Jaybirds, a bluegrass band, and bouzouki with the old-time world-folk stringband Mighty Squirrel. "When I was five or six, my parents were reading aloud to me from J.R.R. Tolkien," Spatz says. "Pretty much simultaneously, I heard the Mendelssohn violin concerto. I could not believe or understand how these two artistic expressions weren't one and same thing--the lyrical, soaring violin and the narrative. Ever since, music and stories have been intertwined and at the center of my life." His playing can be heard on all of the Jaybirds recordings, as well as Mighty Squirrel and he has a solo CD as well, Fiddler's Dream.

He is the author of novels Inukshuk, Fiddler's Dream and No One But Us, as well as short story collections, Half as Happy and Wonderful Tricks. His short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as Glimmer Train Stories, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Epoch, Santa Monica Review, The New Yorker, etc., and he has published numerous book and music reviews for The Oxford American. He's won numerous grants from the Washington State Artist Trust, as well as a Washington State Book Award, and in 2011 he was named Individual Artist of the Year by the Spokane Arts Commission. He is also the recipient of a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship.

When not on the road with the Jaybirds or Mighty Squirrel, or busy at work teaching and writing, he enjoys playing music with his wife, Caridwen, also a fiddler, and being a step-dad to her two sons Tal and Angus.

Photo by Mike Melnyk...and the ones below, too.


Short Stories
“Each story moves and unfolds, deepens and develops beautifully complex textures and moods, not unlike beautiful pieces of music. Spatz has a pitch-perfect ear for the language and an uncanny ability to mine the substance of his characters’ rich lives. These stories are both funny and sad, in the true and inescapable way of real life, full of elegiac beauty. A masterful collection.” —Brad Watson, author of Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives and The Heaven of Mercury
Stories originally published in "The New Yorker," "Glimmer Train Stories," "Epoch," "Shenandoah," "New England Review," and elsewhere. WA State Book Award. MidList First Series Award. Glasgow Prize Runner-up.
”At its heart Inukshuk is about family. But Spatz has transfigured this beautifully told, wise story with history and myth, poetry and magic into something rarer, stranger, and altogether amazing. A book that points unerringly true north.” —Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club and Wit’s End
“Gregory Spatz writes about the experience of playing music with more truth and beauty than it has ever been written about before.”—David Huddle, author of La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl
"Coolly detached first-person tale of forbidden love, family breakdown and growing up." Publisher's Weekly