Nov. 7-8: ‘Lyrical,’ ‘insightful’ author talks about Web, print

Scott-Olsen-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Risky experiences flying a single-engine airplane across remote landscapes, tracking the lives of wildland firefighters and more will be discussed in a free, public presentation by author W. Scott Olsen at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Museum of Art at Washington State University.

Olsen also will participate in a free, public roundtable on publishing and editing across print and the Web at noon Friday, Nov. 8, in the Avery Hall Bundy Reading Room.

“There is nothing older, or more sacred in the history of humanity, than the ability to tell a story,” said Olsen, professor at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. “Stories, no matter what their form, are what connect us to the past and each other.”

“No matter what your discipline or academic specialty, having the tools to write about it for a wide audience is something we all want to know more about,” said Debbie Lee, professor of English and co-director of the Visiting Writer Series (, which is sponsoring the free, public event.

Scott-Olsen-250Olsen’s most recent book, “Prairie Sky: A Pilot’s Reflections on Flying and the Grace of Altitude,” has won praise for prose that is “full of grace, style, lyricism and sharp cloud-level insight.” He explores how investigating the skies, and what the earth is like from the sky, creates a change in one’s physical and personal viewpoint.

Author of more than 10 books, Olsen also edits the literary journal Ascent. His work has appeared on the notables list of “The Best American Essays” seven times. Among the writers whose careers he helped nurture is Edith Pearlman, whose story collections have won the National Book Critics Circle Award; she was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012.

The roundtable will include panelists Rita Rud, a faculty member in the WSU Honors College and faculty advisor for its arts and literary journal Palouse Review; Bryan Fry, associate editor at the online arts and literary journal Blood Orange Review, who runs an internship program for it at WSU; and Jana Argersinger, who edits the journal Poe Studies (about Edgar Allen Poe) at WSU.




Debbie Lee, WSU English department,  509-335-6812

Adrian Aumen, WSU College of Arts and Sciences,, 509-335-5671