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Acclaimed Writer Rick Bass Coming to DePauw as Distinguished University Professor of Creative Writing

December 21, 2014

Rick Bass, the award-winning author of over 30 books and described as "one of this country’s most intelligent and sensitive short story writers" by the New York Times, will come to DePauw University in the spring 2015 semester as the Mary Rogers Field and Mary Rogers Field and Marion Field-McKenna Distinguished University Professor of Creative Writing. His duties will include teaching an upper level creative nonfiction workshop, working with students, and taking part in public events on campus.

An endowment gift by J. David Field, professor emeritus of English at DePauw University, created the professorship in 2007. Appointments to this chair bring nationally recognized and practicing writers to DePauw as visiting and/or permanent members of the faculty.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, and the son of a geologist, Bass started writing short stories on his lunch breaks while working as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. His most recent book, the novel All the Land to Hold Us, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt last year. Short stories and essays by Bass have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best Spiritual Writing, Best American Science Writing, Best American Travel Writing, and numerous other anthologies.

His books have been nominated for or received The Story Prize, the PEN/Nelson Algren Award for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the John Burroughs Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He has received fellowships from the national Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lyndhurst Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. 

The Chicago Tribune declared, "What’s exhilarating about Rick Bass’s stories is that they show every hallmark of ‘the natural’ -- that lucid, free-flowing, particularly American talent whose voice we can hear in Twain, David & Mary Field.jpgFitzgerald, and Hemingway."  The Dallas Morning News called him "a true master of the short story," while People magazine noted, "Bass captures quiet human truths amidst his astonishing portraits of life in the wilderness."

Bass has taught creative writing at the University of Montana, the University of Texas, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Iowa State University, and Beloit College. He lives in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley.

Mary Rogers Field, who was the wife of DePauw Professor David Field for 29 years, died in November 2005. Their daughter, Marion Field-McKenna, was a 2008 graduate of DePauw.  She died in 2014.

Learn more about the professorship in this previous story.

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