Erin Flanagan, Ph.D., an award-winning author and professor of English at Wright State University, will discuss how creativity provides tools to process the world at the Friends of the Libraries’ Annual Luncheon.
The luncheon takes place Wednesday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Berry Room of the Wright State University Nutter Center.
Registration is required. The deadline to register is April 19.
The luncheon costs $30 for Friends of the Libraries members, $35 for non-members and $50 for patron-level tickets, which support the Friends of the Libraries. Lunch is included. Attendees who need accommodations should call 937-775-2380 five business days in advance of the event.
In her talk, Flanagan will discuss the importance of creativity as a way of thinking about our lives and the world.
“Fiction writing has taught me so much about problem-solving, risk-taking, curiosity and resilience, and I think the same thing can be said of other creative endeavors,” she said. “In our society, we focus so much on the end result of creativity — is the story or movie or song or painting any good? — rather than how the creation of art affects the artist and the tools it gives them to make sense of their lives and grow as a person.”
Flanagan will examine this concept not just as a writer but also as a teacher. While writing can be a lifelong obsession, Flanagan said that as a faculty member, she only works with her students for a short window of time.
“I’ll discuss how I’ve changed my pedagogy over the years to foster students rather than just focusing on the stories they write, in hopes of setting them up for a lifetime of creativity,” she said.
Flanagan won the 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author for “Deer Season.” Presented by the Mystery Writers of America, the Edgar Awards celebrate the best mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published or produced each year.
“Deer Season” was also named a finalist for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery and the Midwest Book Award in Fiction in the Literary/Contemporary/Historical category.
Flanagan published her second novel, “Blackout,” last year, and her next thriller, “Come with Me,” will be released on Aug. 22.
She has also published two collections of short stories: “It’s Not Going to Kill You, and Other Stories” and “The Usual Mistakes.” Her stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, Colorado Review, The Southern Review and Prairie Schooner. She has held fellowships with Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, UCross, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences.
As a faculty member in the School of Humanities and Cultural Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, Flanagan teaches Introduction to Fiction Writing and Advanced Fiction Writing and special topic courses that include novel writing, narrative time and fiction, and creative nonfiction.
She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and her Ph.D. in English with a specialization in creative writing from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Copies of “Blackout” will be available for purchase at the Friends of the Libraries’ Luncheon. The first 25 people who sign up or renew their Friends of the Library membership will receive a free copy of “Deer Season.”
The Friends of the Libraries supports the mission of the Wright State University Libraries to provide quality research services, materials and library spaces for students, faculty, staff and the Miami Valley community. Learn more at libraries.wright.edu/friends.