OBU will welcome author Kirstin Valdez Quade as the guest author for the annual Visiting Writer Seminar April 8. The event was rescheduled from its original date in October 2021 and will be held online via Zoom.
The event will consist of a writing masterclass, titled “On Sentimentality.” The masterclass will be held Friday, April 8, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The link for the online masterclass may be found on the Visiting Writer Seminars page under “Upcoming Seminars.”
Kirstin Valdez Quade writes novels and short stories that wrestle with the bonds and obligations of family, faith and place. Her work has appeared in “The New Yorker,” “Best American Short Stories,” “Narrative,” “Guernica,” “The Southern Review” and “The O. Henry Prize Stories.” Her most recent book is the novel “The Five Wounds,” which Kirkus Reviews called “a brilliant meditation on love and redemption.” She is the author of the prize-winning short story collection “Night at the Fiestas,” which won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, received a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and was named a best book of 2015 by both the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Library Association. Quade is also the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. She has received fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, as well as a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation.
When asked about the role faith plays in her fiction, Quade responded, “I think one of the reasons I’m interested in faith is that faith is so much about longing. It’s about longing for transcendence, it’s longing to be closer to the infinite and longing to connect with others; it’s about empathy. And I think that’s also the project of fiction. Fiction is about longing and empathy.”
Quade earned a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Oregon. She was also a Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote Fellow and a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University, where she taught fiction and creative non-fiction. In 2014-15, she was the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in New Jersey and serves as assistant professor of creative writing at Princeton University.
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 masterclass in fall 2017. Mark Jarman came to campus in September 2018 as the visiting writer and keynote speaker for the Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Ron Hansen discussed writing and creativity in October 2019 and Diane Glancy, renowned author of Cherokee descent, gifted in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and playwriting, visited campus in March 2021.
Find out more about the Visiting Writer Seminars at OBU.