Eric W. Gnezda

Lecturer, Public Speaking


B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University
M.F.A. Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University


Eric Gnezda is the creator and host of the American Public Television series, Songs at the Center, featuring accomplished singer-songwriters performing “in the round” before a live audience. The weekly, half-hour program showcases three-to-four artists, and includes interviews and short features.

An award-winning songwriter and Emmy-nominated television journalist, Eric and his work have been featured on media around the world. He is a recipient of the Ohioana Citation for Music Composition, joining Michael Feinstein (American Songbook), Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane), and Chip Davis (Mannheim Steamroller). Eric’s work embraces expansive subjects and tones, from inspiring anthems to humor. He has been commissioned to write theme songs by numerous organizations and companies, including Nationwide Insurance, Special Olympics, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Also a keynote speaker and memoirist, Eric performs for audiences across the country, from convention centers, to concert halls, to small clubs, including regular appearances at Nashville’s iconic venue for songwriters, The Bluebird Café. He is currently adapting his memoir, The Safe Life, into a one-person stage show. He has released four CDs, including his latest, Songs of Hope in a Changing World.

Eric has contributed commentaries to NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the ABC Radio Network, and was a columnist for The Columbus Dispatch. As a television journalist, He earned an Emmy nomination for his retrospective on the Munich Olympic massacre, produced in Europe for American television.

Eric received his M.F.A. in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, where he was mentored by Judith Kitchen, Robin Hemley, Brenda Miller, Gary Ferguson, and Stephen Kuusisto.

Areas of Expertise

  • Public speaking, presentation and performing skills
  • Writing (creative nonfiction, public relations, journalism, humor)
  • Songwriting
  • Speechwriting
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Entrepreneurship