On November 1, the English Department hosted the inaugural reading of the Claire Gilbert Marty Visiting Writers Series – which was created to honor the memory of St. Olaf English alumna and creative writer Claire Gilbert Marty (’10). The series brings to St. Olaf prominent writers of fiction and creative nonfiction whose work compliments Claire’s fascination with life and does so with wit, humor, and complexity. Our first author in the series was Ramona Ausubel, author of several books, including No One is Here Except All of Us and Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty. Ramona began the day with a creative writing workshop for students and finished with a reading of a story likely to appear in her upcoming collection of short stories. The event was well attended by St. Olaf students, faculty and friends and family of Claire.
Ramona Ausubel with Claire’s parents Mark and Sabina Gilbert
On September 25, 2017, the English Department welcomed back three recent alums who have distinguished themselves in the field of contemporary poetry. Clair Dunlap ’15 is the author of In the Plum Dark Belly (Beard Poetry 2016) and works as social media director for Vagabond City Literary Journal. Timothy Otte ’10, who works at Coffee House Press, has published widely in poetry journals and was the 2014-15 Loft Mentor Series Winner. Sagirah Shahid ’11 was the 2015-16 Loft Mentor Series Award as well as a 2017 recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board grant.
Hosted by junior Anders Mattson of the Quarry editorial board, the event included readings by Clair, Timothy, and Sagirah, followed by a Q&A session in which the alumni poets shared their experiences about writing, getting their work published, and making contacts within the broader poetry community.
May 16th was the last day of classes which means the English faculty hosted the English majors to a pizza party outside on the courtyard of Rølvaag Library! Check out the pictures!!
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