Visiting authors to share writing experiences with WSU students

Two visiting writers will discuss how they draw from nature

BLAINE ROSS, Evergreen reporter

Pam Houston and Greg Glazner are two writers fascinated by the natural world, a fixation that is quite evident in their work.

Houston has won several awards for her short stories, and Glazner has won multiple awards, including the prestigious “Walt Whitman Award.”

The two draw their inspiration from what isn’t man-made, from the air mankind breathes and the water it drinks.

Both authors said they are genuinely excited to be invited to WSU for the Visiting Writers Series.


Glazner said he is looking forward to seeing the Palouse scenery.

“I love the natural world, that’s a huge part of my writing,” he said. “I hike all the time. Your part of the country is pretty glorious, which really draws me here and it gives me the chance to teach.”

Houston said she got into writing early in her life as a means of catharsis.

“I was the only child of much older parents that drank and partied all the time, so I had an awesome baby sitter, whose name was


Martha Washington, coincidentally, and she taught me to read when I was two and a half,” Houston said. “So I told and wrote stories as a little kid. It’s been with me from the beginning, it’s the way I experience and process the natural world.”

Glazner’s story of his beginning is influenced heavy by music, as well as the natural world, he said.

“I started off being interested in music. I was trying to write songs and I wrote bad songs like the ones I heard on the radio,” he said. “I didn’t think there was such a thing as good music writing and then when I got to college I discovered there was such a thing as a living poem. I transferred over from being a songwriter to a poet because of reading poems in college.”

Both writers have a plethora of options to read from during their time here at WSU. Glazner said he may read from his older poetry, his newer content, or a “humorous essay about a mishap from a minor league baseball game … Something from that range.”

Houston will be explaining her concept of “glimmers” in writing and will most likely be reading from her newer works, she said.

Houston is a professor at University of California, Davis, and directs the non-profit Writing By Writers. Glazner also teaches at UC Davis and occasionally at Pacific Lutheran University in the low-residency Masters of Fine Arts program. He’s also an avid musician and has played gigs for 30 years and enjoys blues guitar, he said.

The writers will speak at 5 p.m. Monday at the Museum of Art/WSU. This event is free and open to the public.