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Visiting Writer Seminars

The opportunity to hear from and talk with important contemporary writers has been a vital part of an OBU education for many years. Beginning in 2010, the English Department Reading Series brought writers to campus, focusing on writers living in the area. The Visiting Writer Seminars then began as a way to make the reading series more ambitious and to widen its appeal by seeking to elevate the experience for students and the campus community.

The University’s first visiting writer, Tania Runyan, came to campus in March 2016. She read from her poems, lectured on writing poetry and consulted with students about their writing. Scott Cairns joined the University for the 2017 Visiting Writer Seminar, giving a poetry reading and teaching a masterclass on writing memoir. Gina Ochsner held a reading and a fiction writing master class in the Fall of 2017. Mark Jarman attended OBU in September 2018 as the Visiting Writer and keynote speaker for the Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Ron Hansen talked about writing and creativity in October 2019. Kirstin Valdez Quade taught a masterclass online via Zoom in 2022.

Upcoming Seminars

The 2022-23 Visiting Writer Seminar is scheduled for October 23-25 and will feature Aaron Belz. Belz has an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University and a Ph.D. in American Literature from Saint Louis University. He has published four full-length collections of poetry, most recently Soft Launch (Persea, 2019), and given readings at venues across the country, ranging from universities to comedy clubs.

Support the Visiting Writer Seminars

Funds are being raised through the Advancement office to bring excellent writers to OBU's campus.