An award-winning poet will read from his collection of verse and teach the writing craft to some aspiring authors later this month as a writer-in-residence at West Virginia University.
William Olsen, the 2008 Virginia Butts Sturm Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English, will give a reading at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20, in the Mountainlair Gold Ballroom. A book signing will follow the event, which is free and open to the public.
Olsen, professor of English at Western Michigan University, will also conduct a series of evening workshops Oct. 20-24 for 12 WVU students selected from a campuswide, creative writing competition.
Its a pleasure to have such a fine poet and teacher on campus working with our best student poets,said Mark Brazaitis, director of the creative writing program at WVU .I expect that his workshops will radiate with creative energy, and it will be an intense, productive week for all parties.
Olsen is the author of four collections of poetry:Avenue of Vanishing,Trouble Lights,Vision of a Storm CloudandThe Hand of God and a Few Bright Flowers.Published in 1988,The Hand of God and a Few Bright Flowerswon the National Poetry Series, the Texas Poetry Award and the Missouri Breakthrough Prize and was reissued as part of the 2003 Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary Series. His poems and essays have also appeared in various publications.
Olsen is the recipient of the 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, Nation/Discovery Award, Texas Institute of Arts Award, Breadloaf Fellowship and several awards from Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse.
He was co-editor ofPlanet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life,a critically acclaimed anthology that brings together essays by nationally and internationally established poets on reading as a creative and critical activity. Currently, he is editor of WMU s New Issues Press and teaches creative writing and literature at Vermont College.
The Virginia Butts Sturm Writer-in-Residence program brings a nationally renowned writer to campus each fall to give a public reading and provide guidance to students aspiring to be authors. The program is made possible through an endowment from the late Albert Lee and Virginia Butts Sturm.