Press Release

Essayist, Creative Writer to Read Works, Host Workshop

February 8, 2017 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

John D' Agata, M.F.A.

John D’Agata to Present Feb. 21 at Ohio Wesleyan University 

DELAWARE, Ohio – Essayist and creative writing professor John D’Agata describes the essay as “an art form that tracks the evolution of consciousness as it rolls over the folds of a new idea, memory, or emotion.”

D’Agata, M.F.A., of the University of Iowa, will present two free events Feb. 21 at Ohio Wesleyan University: a writing salon at 12:10 p.m. in Sturges Hall, 85 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, and a reading from his works at 4:10 p.m. in Room 301 of Merrick Hall, 65 S. Sandusky St.

In discussing the essay with Susan Steinberg of, D’Agata states: “What I’ve always appreciated about the essay is the feeling that it gives me that it’s capturing that activity of human thought in real time. I think that feeling is what we all respond to in essays: the sense of intimacy that essays give us when we’re made to feel privy to another human being’s thought process.”

D’Agata is the author of Halls of Fame, About a Mountain, and The Lifespan of a Fact, as well as the editor of the three-volume series A New History of the Essay, which includes the anthologies The Next American Essay, The Making of the American Essay, and The Lost Origins of the Essay.

In the forward of A New History of the Essay, critic James Wood writes, “For well over a decade now, John D’Agata has been the renovator-in-chief of the American Essay.”

D’Agata is recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Lannan Foundation Fellowship. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hobart College and two Master of Fine Arts degrees from the University of Iowa, where he directs the graduate nonfiction writing program. Learn more about him at

D’Agata’s visit is sponsored by the OWU Poets & Writers Reading Series and the Department of English. Learn more about the department and its creative writing concentration at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at