CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has named Kathleen Dean Moore, a critically acclaimed essayist and noted educator, as its Writer Laureate.
OSU President Ed Ray announced the appointment of Moore, who is the founding director of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word. She carries the title of distinguished professor of philosophy.
Moore will present a reading to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education on Feb. 1.
In creating the position, Ray said, “It has become clear to me that personal narrative can express deep values of the community. Whether it's collective celebration or collective loss, sometimes the need arises for a story or poem to express our feelings.”
“I am pleased that Kathy has agreed to serve as the University Writer Laureate. It is a privilege to recognize and honor someone so special. She continues to speak for us with an uncommon voice. For instance her essay, delivered at the June 2006 Commencement, was deeply moving and resonated with all who attended.”
Moore has garnered many awards for her collections of personal essays on environmental ethics, philosophy and nature. She won an Oregon Book Award in 2005 for "The Pine Island Paradox” (Milkweed Editions, 2004). A previous collection, “Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World” (Lyons Press, 1999, 2004) won the 2000 Sigurd Olson Natural Writing Award. For “Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water” (Harcourt Brace, 1996), Moore received a 1996 Northwest Booksellers Award. In addition, she has written and co-edited textbooks.
Her work has been featured in diverse scholarly journals, as well as popular media including the New York Times Magazine, Orion, Discover, Field and Stream, Audubon, and the North American Review.
“I feel deeply honored to serve as Oregon State University’s Writer Laureate,” Moore said. “The creation of this position says something important about the university and about President Ray's vision. It recognizes the necessity of the arts in a university, especially one that emphasizes science and technology. It honors the power of the arts to explore the human meaning of events and to create a community of shared values.”
Moore’s 2006 OSU commencement address is available at http://oregonstate.edu/research/news/update/moore07.htm.
She is co-editor of two forthcoming books: “HOW IT IS: The Native American Philosophy of V.F. Cordova,” and also “Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge.”