Welcoming GlancyGAMBIER, Ohio (January 8. 2008) This semester the English department welcomes Diane Glancy as holder of the 2008 Richard L. Thomas chair in creative writing. Kenyon students have the opportunity to study creative nonfiction writing or take a seminar on "The Essay as Literature" with this multi-talented writer of poetry, plays, essays, and fiction, which have won for her numerous literary awards, including an American Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, the Native American Prose Award, and a Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship.
Recognized for the quality of her mentorship, Glancy has spoken of the reciprocal nature of both writing and teaching. "Writing is a conversation," she has observed. "My students and I come together to take risks and reach new frontiers."
Glancy, a writer of Cherokee and English/German descent, frequently explores in her work the tension between the two strains of her heritage. Her nine novels, including Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears and Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea, and four short story collections incorporate Native oral traditions and multiple narrative voices to juxtapose traditional ways of life with those of modern America.. "I write with a split voice, often experimenting with language until the parts equal some sort of whole," she has noted.
Glancy has been a tremendously prolific writer across varied genres. Her more than twenty volumes of poetry have been honored with the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and the Stevens Poetry Prize. She has published twenty books of prose and prose fiction; four collections of short stories; and two books of plays. She has twice won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, once from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has held a Lannan Foundation fellowship as well. Glancy will return to Kenyon in Spring 2009, again as holder of the Thomas Chair.
Glancy taught creative writing for nearly two decades at Macalester College. Previously she held the title of artist in residence for the State Arts Council of Oklahoma for nearly ten years, and has taught at the Bread Loaf School of English M.A. program on the campus of the Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, New Mexico; at the University of Minnesota as the Edlestein-Keller Minnesota Writer of Distinction; and at The Loft in Minneapolis, where she was the Native American Inroads Mentor. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri, a master's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop.
The Richard L. Thomas Chair in Creative Writing brings internationally-recognized poets and fiction writers to Kenyon for one semester each academic year to teach creative writing workshops and literature courses in the English department. Some recent occupants of the Thomas Chair include fiction writer and poet Fanny Howe, novelists Barry Unsworth and Claire Messud, and poets Alan Shapiro and John Kinsella. The permanent fall-semester occupant of the chair is Lewis Hyde.