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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.

Upcoming Seminars

The 2020-21 Visiting Writer Seminar is scheduled for March 3-4, 2021 and will feature novelist, poet and playwright Diane Glancy. Glancy is professor emerita at Macalester College.  Her 2020 poetry collection Island of the Innocent: A Consideration of the Book of Job (Turtle Point Press) was listed as New & Noteworthy in the New York Times. Forthcoming in 2021 are A Line of Driftwood: A Story of Ada Blackjack (Turtle Point) and Still Moving: How the Road, the Land and the Sacred Shape a Life (Broadleaf Books, Fortress Press). In 2020, Glancy received a Creative Artist Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society where she worked on a new collection, Quadrille, the Intersection of Christianity and the Native American. Her other books and awards are listed at

Public events include:

Seating will be socially distanced, and face coverings will be required for all audience members.

Support the Visiting Writer Seminars

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