Press Release

February 7, 2023 | By Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan's Department of English invites you to attend its free spring series of readings and lectures. (Photo by Reilly Wright ’20)

The Write Stuff

Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of English Announces Spring Readings, Lectures

DELAWARE, Ohio – You’re invited to join the Ohio Wesleyan University Department of English for six readings and lectures this semester.

All of the events are free, and many include an opportunity to purchase books and have them signed by the authors. All will begin at 4:15 p.m. and, unless otherwise noted, will be held in the Milligan Room on the first floor of OWU’s newly renovated Slocum Hall, 75 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The upcoming readings and lectures are:

  • Feb. 13 – Poet, essayist, songwriter, and performing musician Scott Minar presents a reading of his works. Minar is Ohio Wesleyan’s spring 2023 visiting assistant professor of English. He has collaborated with scholars and writers in the United States, Sweden, Syria, Israel, England, Norway, and elsewhere, and his work has been published in English, Arabic, Swedish, and Hebrew. He has earned The Joseph Stein Award, among other prizes for poetry and teaching, and his work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Joyce Carol Oates. Learn more at His presentation is co-sponsored by OWU’s Creative Writing Program.
  • Feb. 21 – Ohio Wesleyan professor Mark Allison, Ph.D., presents “The Peaceful Revolutionist: Josiah Warren and the Story of Utopia, Ohio,” in the Bayley Room inside Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware. A member of the OWU faculty since 2007, Allison specializes in the literature and culture of 19th-century Britain. His research interests include utopian literature and theory; socialism, working-class political culture, and Marxism; and the British novel. His recently published book, “Imagining Socialism: Aesthetics, Anti-politics, and Literature in Britain, 1817-1918,” explores the intersections of socialism and literature in the long 19th century, with special emphasis on their shared antipathy to institutional politics. Allison’s presentation is Ohio Wesleyan’s 2022-2023 Benjamin T. Spencer Lecture.
  • March 2 – Nigerian American novelist Chinelo Okparanta reads from her novel “Harry Sylvester Bird,” named a “Best Book of the Summer,” “Most Anticipated,” and “New and Noteworthy Book” by Esquire, Cosmopolitan, LitHub, Book Riot, Ms. Magazine, The Millions, Lambda Literary, Poets & Writers, and more. Okparanta also is the author of the short story collection “Happiness, Like Water” and the novel “Under the Udala Trees.” Learn more at A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow Okparanta’s reading. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Her presentation is Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Quinn Lecture, co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program.
  • March 20 – Novelist, essayist, and journalist Brendan Isaac Jones, whose writings draw attention to environmental issues concerning Tongass National Forest in Alaska, reads from his works, which include the young adult novel “Whispering Alaska” and novel “The Alaskan Laundry.” Jones is the winner of the 2022 Green Earth Book Award, and his writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Smithsonian, The Huffington Post, Narrative Magazine, the Anchorage Daily News, and NPR. He is a graduate of Oxford University and Stanford University, where he was awarded a Stegner Fellowship in fiction, and he is the recent recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in Russia. Learn more at A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the reading. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Jones’ presentation is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program.
  • April 6 – British literary scholar and critic Christopher Ricks, author of “Along Heroic Lines,” presents Ohio Wesleyan’s 2023 Katherine Kearney Carpenter Lecture. In “Along Heroic Lines,” Ricks writes essays that explore heroics and the heroic. Critics say his essays are “full of verbal fireworks, witty quick-changing tones, highly stimulating to say the least.” In addition, he has written numerous essays on the works of Tennyson, T.S. Eliot, Keats, Beckett, and even Bob Dylan. Ricks currently teaches at Boston University and formerly served as faculty at Bristol, Cambridge, and Oxford University. Attendees are requested to wear facial coverings for this event. Learn more at
  • April 25 – Elissa Washuta, nonfiction writer and member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, reads from her book, “White Magic,” a finalist for the PEN/Open Book Award, longlisted for the PEN/Jean Stein Award, and named among 2021’s best books by Time magazine, the New York Public Library, and NPR. According to its Kirkus Starred Review, “White Magic” is a “fascinating magic trick of a memoir that illuminates a woman’s search for meaning.” An assistant professor of creative writing at The Ohio State University, Washuta also is the author of “Starvation Mode” and “My Body Is a Book of Rules,” and she is co-editor of the anthology “Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers.” Her honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Creative Capital award, and the Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow her reading. Learn more about Washuta at

Learn more about OWU’s Department of English and Creative Writing Program 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 more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at