Feb. 20: Writer series welcomes award-winning author

Rebecca-Brown-140PULLMAN, Wash. – A widely acclaimed writer of diverse literature and winner of the Washington State Book Award, Rebecca Brown will read from her work and answer questions at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Museum of Art at Washington State University Pullman.

The free, public presentation, “‘American Romances’ and Other Work,” is part of the 2013-14 WSU Visiting Writer Series (http://libarts.wsu.edu/english/visitingwriterseries.html) sponsored by the Department of English.

Brown’s work ranges from novels, essays and plays to an opera libretto and collaborations with visual artists. She has written 12 books, most recently “American Romances,” a collection of dynamic essays that blend pop culture, literary history and autobiography. Her many honors include the Lambda Literary Award, the Boston Book Review Award for fiction and the Genius Award from Seattle’s The Stranger.

“An award-winning prose writer who also has a stellar record in teaching creative writing is a perfect fit for the Visiting Writer Series,” said Linda Russo, WSU assistant professor of English and series co-chair. “She will bring new ideas and help our students stretch and try new things.”

While on campus, Brown will teach a weeklong workshop for students in English and fine arts. She will apply personal insights from an earlier project that united writers with visual art at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle.

“We’re providing a similar opportunity for WSU students to draw inspiration from the work now on display in the WSU Museum of Art (http://museum.wsu.edu/),” Russo said.

Brown will lead the students in writing exercises based on the exhibit “Outsider Art (https://archive.news.wsu.edu/2014/01/15/jan-23-april-5-traveling-show-of-outsider-art-on-exhibit/#.UvPKBpWYafB),” a collection by artists whose talents developed outside the mainstream art world without institutional training and structure.

“It will be especially valuable for students from these two disciplines to come together to share what they see,” Russo said.

WSU to welcome environmental historian William Cronon

On March 26-27, the Visiting Writer Series will host William Cronon, one of the country’s leading environmental writers and thinkers, with public events at WSU Pullman and the University of Idaho in Moscow.

Cronon is past-president of the American Historical Association and a distinguished research professor of history, geography and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His book, “Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West” (1991), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and awarded both the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize and the Bancroft Prize.

More about Rebecca Brown

A resident of Seattle, Brown is a writer-in-residence at the University of Washington and a senior member of the master of fine arts faculty at Goddard College in Vermont. She was the first writer-in-residence at Richard Hugo House, co-founder of the Jack Straw Writers Program and creative director of literature at Centrum in Port Townsend, Wash.

She has taught numerous courses and workshops across the United States and frequently teaches at the Summer Writing Program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colo.

Her diverse oeuvre includes short stories, a fictionalized autobiography, a play, a modern bestiary, a memoir disguised as a medical dictionary and various types of fantasy. She describes her book “American Romances” as “a collection of gonzo essays that put Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys) and Hawthorne on the same page and reveal the secret sex life of H. G. Wells’ Invisible Man.”



Linda Russo, WSU Department of English, lrusso@wsu.edu, 509-335-2581

Adrian Aumen, WSU College of Arts and Sciences, adriana@wsu.edu, 509-335-5671