college of liberal arts

Visiting poet to read from her work on Feb. 15

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Visiting poet Paisley Rekdal will read from her work at Oregon State University’s Memorial Union Journey Room on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 pm, with a book signing to follow.

Rekdal is the author of the poetry collections “A Crash of Rhinos”, “Six Girls Without Pants”, and “The Invention of the Kaleidoscope,” as well as the book of essays “The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee: Observations on Not Fitting In”.

In reviewing “The Invention of the Kaleidoscope” for Barn Owl Review, Jay Robinson observed that it’s “the razor’s edge that always accompanies eros that makes the poems of Paisley Rekdal fresh, intense and ultimately irresistible.” Rekdal’s work grapples with issues of race, sexuality, myth, and identity while often referencing contemporary culture.

Rekdal has been honored with a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, a Village Voice Writers on the Verge Award, and a Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea. Her work has been included in numerous anthologies, including Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century and the 2010 Pushcart Prize Anthology.

The Visiting Writers Series brings six nationally-known writers to campus each year and is made possible by support from The Valley Library, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and the OSU Beaver Store.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

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Paisley Rekdal

Three Sisters opens Feb. 14 at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Anton Chekhov’s classic family drama “Three Sisters” will be shown in February as part of Oregon State University Theatre’s 2012-2013 Season of Style.

The play will be performed Feb. 14-16 and 22-23 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 24 at 2 p.m., on the Withycombe Hall main stage, 30th and Campus Way in Corvallis.

Tickets are $12 general, $10 senior, $8 youth/student, and $5 for OSU students. They are available through the OSU Theatre Box Office by calling 541-737-2784 or online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre/.

Originally premiering in 1901, this poignant tale of love, life, and unfulfilled dreams follows the Prozorov siblings, Andrei and his three sisters Olga, Masha, and Irina. A year after their father dies, the young adults find themselves caught up in the challenges of growing up and taking responsibility for their own futures.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with such richly dense, character-driven material,” said director Elizabeth Helman. “Chekhov has such a unique sensitivity to human nature and is so amazing at revealing the best and worst about people, but always with humor and heart.”

This production will be set in 1909-1911, just before the Russian Revolution and the abdication of Czar Nicholas II.

“I feel that placing the story during those years adds more weight to some philosophical concepts addressed in the play,” Helman said. “There’s a greater sense of immediacy, an almost prophetic quality, when you realize that their world will be utterly transformed in a matter of months.”

The cast features OSU students Michael Beaton as Andrei, Sarah Clausen as Natasha, Megan Grassl as Olga, Austin Hodaie as Fedotik, Richelle Jean-Bart as Irina, Davey Kashuba as Kulygin, J. Garrett Luna as Rodet, Anna Elise Mahaffey as Masha, and Chris Peterman as Solyony. The cast also includes Corvallis community members Andrew Beck as Vershinin, Vreneli Farber as Anfisa, Alex Johnston as Tuzenbach, Rick Wallace as Chebutykin, and Calvin Ward as Ferapont.

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$5 million gift to advance OSU performing arts

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University has received a $5 million gift commitment to advance its performing arts programs and its emerging leadership in digital arts, performance technology and communication. The gift launches a major effort to elevate support for OSU’s School of Arts and Communication.

The gift from an anonymous donor is the largest the university has ever received for the arts.

One hundred percent is dedicated to endowments, providing a permanent source of funding.

“This cornerstone investment in the arts is vital to our mission because great arts and sciences programs are at the core of every great research university,” said OSU President Edward Ray. “The arts provide the context and inspiration – they drive the culture of creativity, innovation and diversity that is essential to a thriving research environment. Excellence in the arts supports OSU’s growing impact and influence in all arenas.”

A portion of the gift comes as a challenge, with $1 million of the commitment contingent upon the university securing an additional $1 million in private support for the School of Arts and Communication. Any gift or pledge of $25,000 or more to the school qualifies for this challenge.

The anonymous gift establishes endowments for four faculty and staff positions, including support for the head of the School of Arts and Communication and two professors. The fourth endowment will support a new position at the university:  a director of the performing arts who will promote arts offerings at OSU and connect with arts programs in the area.

“We are excited about strengthening our partnership with the arts organizations and venues throughout our community, and all will benefit from this coordinator position,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Sabah Randhawa. “It’s a development very much in keeping with the university’s goal of elevating the arts and the humanities and enriching our state through excellent programs in music, theatre and fine arts.”

The donor’s gift also creates endowed scholarship, graduate fellowship and program funds in the performing arts.

“The job of the liberal arts, of the performing and visual arts particularly, is to help students think broadly and clearly about the world, and to inspire their passion and curiosity,” said Larry Rodgers, executive dean of the Division of Arts and Sciences. “A dynamic arts environment is critical for the education and life preparation of all our students. We look forward to building on OSU’s rich heritage and are determined to make elevating the arts the university’s next great accomplishment.”

In accordance with its strategic plan, OSU has reorganized its academic structures over the last few years to increase multidisciplinary collaboration, innovation and operational efficiencies. As part of this process, the College of Liberal Arts has restructured to elevate the arts, technology and communications. This led to the creation of the School of Arts and Communication in June 2012, which includes five programs: art, music, new media communications, speech communication and theatre.

Increasing support for the school is among the College of Liberal Arts’ highest priorities for the final stage of The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, donors have provided $900 million toward the campaign’s overall $1 billion goal.

The anonymous gift leverages the Provost’s Faculty Match Program, which was designed to encourage donors to endow faculty positions that support priorities identified in the university’s strategic plan. Through the match, the Provost’s Office will provide an additional $900,000 over five years to support the arts at Oregon State.


Larry Rodgers, 541-737-4582

OSU faculty member and poet to read from her work on Feb. 1

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Pacific Northwest poet Karen Holmberg will read from her most recent collection of poetry, “Axis Mundi,” on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Valley Library on the Oregon State University campus, with a book signing to follow.

Holmberg’s first collection, “The Perseids,” won the Vassar Miller prize and was published in 2001. Her second book is the latest winner of the John Ciardi prize, and is out now from BkMk Press.

Poet and contest judge Sherod Santos said of Holmber’s work, “It is a rare pleasure to encounter these days a young poet so thoroughly at home in the natural world.” “Axis Mundi” recently won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry.

Holmberg’s poems and essays have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Slate, The Nation, New England Review, and elsewhere. Influenced by a biologist father, she is interested in science, medicine, and the natural world. She received her doctorate in English and poetry at the University of Missouri, and now directs the master of fine arts program at OSU.

The Literary Northwest Series is co-sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, and celebrates regional literary achievement.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

Northwest poets to read from their work on Jan. 18 at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Northwest poets Clemens Starck and John Daniel will read from their collections on Friday, Jan.18, at 7:30 p.m., in the rotunda of the Valley Library on the Oregon State University campus, with a book signing to follow.

Daniel’s newest poetry collection “Of Earth: New and Selected Poems,” was published in Sept. 2012 by Lost Horse Press. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, “Common Ground” and “All Things Touched by Wind,” and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University in the 1980s.

Daniel’s collection of personal essays, “The Far Corner: Northwestern Views on Land, Life, and Literature,” won the 2011 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. Kyoko Mori, professor of English at George Mason University, said of the book, “They inform us about the natural history of rivers and forests, the literary history of the Northwest, and the personal history of a writer, hiker, naturalist, son, teacher, student, husband, and citizen.”

Starck has worked mostly as a carpenter and construction foreman on the West Coast. His first book of poems, “Journeyman’s Wages,” received the 1996 Oregon Book Award as well as the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. A new book of poems, “Rembrandt, Chainsaw,” was published in the fall of 2011. He lives in the country outside of Dallas, Ore.

The readings are free and open to the public. The Literary Northwest Series is sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, and celebrates regional literary achievement.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

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John Daniel

New innovative book examines the ‘Essential Cinema’

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University film historian Jon Lewis has written and developed an innovative new book on film analysis and movie-making that creatively uses pictures, moving images, and even voice-over narration to make learning about films visual.

Essential Cinema” features an e-reader edition that includes more than 1,000 video clips and images to visually demonstrate, for instance, the difference between a jump cut edit and continuity editing in a movie.

“There are a lot of very good books written for introductory film classes,” Lewis said, pointing to David Bordwell’s “Film Art” as one popular text. “So I only agreed to do this project if we could take a radically different approach and make it different from anything else on the market.”

Despite the fact that movies are a visual art form, Lewis said most introductory film analysis books are heavy with textual information and tend to focus on thousands of movies, many of them obscure. His approach was to be much more visual, and to include more modern films that young people may recognize, such as “Jurassic Park,” “Run Lola Run,” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.”

“The book and e-reader covers the basics, what everyone should know,” Lewis said. “It has a basic overview, how movies are made, and the different stages of film production. What I think makes this project exciting is the interviews with film practitioners.”

Lewis, who is a professor in OSU’s School of Writing, Literature, and Film, conducted six interviews with professionals who are in the business of making movies, from Carol Littleton, editor of the blockbuster, “E.T,” to Ken Wannberg, a music editor who lives in Florence, Ore., and has worked on movies ranging from “Saving Private Ryan” to “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” The interviews are part of the extensive online component to the electronic edition of the book.

“I think it is unusual to get the perspectives of the people who actually make movies, especially in a beginning film class,” Lewis said. “These people are so smart and so articulate. It helps you really appreciate how hard it is – and how many talented people it takes – to make a good movie.”

“Essential Cinema: An Introduction to Film Analysis” is available now.

Media Contact: 

Jon Lewis, 541-737-1647

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"Essential Cinema"

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis

Poets David Biespiel and Wendy Willis to read at OSU Jan. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – David Biespiel and Wendy Willis will read from their most recent poetry collections on Friday, Jan. 11, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Valley Library at Oregon State University. A book signing will follow.

Published by Press53 in 2012, Willis’ debut collection, “Blood Sisters of the Republic,” was described as both personal and broadly American. Greg Glazner, author of “Opening the World,” calls Willis “a full-out 21st-century poet – wrangler with history, domestic confidante, disrupter of narratives, down-home story teller, linguistic fire breather.”

Biespiel’s fourth collection, “The Book of Men and Women,” received the Oregon Book Award in 2009. His book of prose, “A Thousand Faces,” will be published in 2013. The University of Washington Press describes Bielspiel as “master of the long line, his words strung across its reach as tightly as beads.” Former U. S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky once hailed Biespiel as a writer who has "mastered his own grand style."

Biespiel teaches creative writing and English at OSU and is president of Portland-based Attic Institute where Willis is an associate fellow. The Attic Institute is a private literary studio and haven for independent writers.

The readings are free and open to the public. The Literary Northwest Series is sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, and celebrates regional literary achievement.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

The Last Supper exhibit comes to Corvallis Jan. 8 through Feb. 16

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Last Supper, a thought-provoking series of painted plates illustrating final meal requests of death row inmates in the United States, will be exhibited in Corvallis starting Tuesday, Jan. 8.

The Last Supper installation project now consists of 500 plates. Artist Julie Green, an associate professor of art at Oregon State University, started the series in the early 2000s and intends to paint about 50 plates annually until the death penalty is abolished.

All 500 plates of The Last Supper will be on exhibit from Jan. 8 through Feb. 16 at The Arts Center, 700 S.W. Madison Ave., Corvallis.

Green is a nationally renowned artist and recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painter and Sculptors Award. Her work was featured in OSU’s Terra Magazine, and the project has received national media attention in outlets as diverse as National Public Radio and magazines Ceramic Monthly and Gastronomica.

Green said she sees the plates as a way to humanize individual inmates, and to bring home the gravity of the death penalty issue by the sheer number of plates she has created. She uses cobalt blue mineral paint on found and vintage tableware.

“I grew up in a family of wonderful cooks, and there was a lot of tradition with meals passed down through generations,” Green said in Terra. “And the idea of a meal whose purpose is not to sustain life, or be shared, but seems to have this other symbolic meaning, just compelled me.”

An artist’s reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Green will give a brown bag talk at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Both events will be at The Arts Center. A full, color catalogue of the 500 plates will also be available for the first time.

After leaving The Arts Center in Corvallis, The Last Supper exhibit will be showcased at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art from March 1 to April 7.

At Oregon State, Green teaches painting, drawing and contemporary issues in art. In 2011, she received grant support from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Its prestigious award is given to only 25 contemporary artists a year to acknowledge painters and sculptors nationwide who create work of exceptional quality.

Green’s work has been included in 25 solo exhibitions in this country and abroad. She lives in Corvallis with her husband, quilter Clay Lohmann. She has a Masters in Fine Art from University of Kansas and has been at OSU since 2000.

Media Contact: 

Julie Green, 541-737-5012

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Julie Green. (photo:Ha Lam, Whole Foods Market)

An example of plates from OSU faculty member Julie Green's The Last Supper project, which documents the final meal requests of death row inmates. Image: Julie Green

A wall of painted plates from OSU faculty member Julie Green's The Last Supper project, which documents the final meal requests of death row inmates

OSU Forensics takes medals at recent tournament

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s forensics team attended the 3rd Annual Iverson/Vickrey Memorial Tournament at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., last weekend.

The tournament, honoring the memory of two inspiring Northwest coaches, featured 11 schools from region, including Boise State University, Lewis and Clark College, and Pacific University in Forest Grove.

The team started off with wins in debate. Mike Springer of Rockaway Beach took a gold medal in novice debate. Brytann Busick of Ferndale, Calif., received a silver medal in novice debate and ranked as fourth best speaker. Cody Connolly of Salem was recognized as third best speaker in open international public debate.

The team also placed well in individual events. Springer received a first place in open dramatic interpretation, second in open program oral interpretation, and fourth in open prose interpretation. Busick received third place in novice impromptu speaking. Connolly took fourth in open impromptu speaking. Saul Boulanger of Corvallis took fourth place in open persuasive speaking and fourth in novice impromptu speaking.

Celebrating its 120th season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus. The team is open to all students in good academic standing regardless of experience or academic background.

Media Contact: 

Mark Porrovecchio, 541-737-8230

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OSU Forensics

Elena Passarello to read from “Let Me Clear My Throat” on Nov. 30

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Acclaimed essayist and new Oregon State University faculty member Elena Passarello will read from her debut collection, “Let Me Clear My Throat,” on Friday, Nov. 30.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Journey Room on the OSU campus. A book signing will follow.

From Farinelli, the 18-century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of “Johnny B. Goode” affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, “Let Me Clear My Throat” explores unforgettable moments in the history of the human voice. It is published by Sarabande Books.

John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of “Pulphead,” said “The beauty of Elena Passarello’s voice is that it's so confidently its own. She’s not selling her subjects. She writes with the kind of calm assumption of interest you make in a good friend (if a good listener) over dinner.”

Passarello’s writing on music, performance, pop culture, and the natural world has appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, the Normal School, Ninth Letter, the Iowa Review, and the 2012 music writing anthology “Pop When the World Falls Apart.”

For the past decade, Passarello has spent time acting, teaching, and claimed first prize in the 2011 Stella! Shout Out screaming contest in New Orleans.

A graduate of the writing programs at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Iowa, Passarello was born in Charleston, S.C., and grew up in a small town in Georgia called Snellville (official motto: “Where Everybody’s Somebody”). She now lives in Corvallis, where she is an assistant professor of English.

The Literary Northwest Series is co-sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, and celebrates regional literary achievement.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

Multimedia Downloads


Elena Passarello

Passarello cover-Large

Acclaimed essayist and new Oregon State University faculty member Elena Passarello will read from her debut collection, “Let Me Clear My Throat” on Friday, Nov. 30.