Lindsay Olson ’07

May 15th, 2018 § 0

Lindsay Olson (’07, English creative writing major) recently checked in with the department, catching us up on her considerable accomplishments. Upon graduation, Lindsay got a job right away as a children’s specialist in a small public library in Colorado Springs, CO. “For five years,” Lindsay reports, “I worked for the library in both the children’s and teen departments, and I loved every moment of it!”

But the publishing world called to Lindsay, so “when an opportunity to work for a small division of Penguin Random House came up, I jumped at the chance,” she says. “I worked in publicity and marketing for two imprints of PRH for several years before taking a chance on my own work and leaving my formal job to become a freelance editor and writer. My most exciting project was being asked to write reader discussion guides for new editions of classic spiritual writings by Madeleine L’Engle.”

In her spare time, Lindsay “probably wrote five or six novels—none of them any good. But, finally, I began work on a story that had been brewing for several years in my heart.” Two years later, that novel led to Lindsay’s first publishing contract.

Since then, Lindsay has quit her freelancing and focused exclusively on her writing life. “I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and am part of a team planning events at local bookstores in the Bay Area, where I now live,” she tells us.

Looking back on her time at SPU, Lindsay has recognized some things her alma mater, and the English Department in particular, offered her. “When I was a student, I used to chuckle whenever we heard the SPU motto (which was a lot): engaging the culture, changing the world. It was everywhere, and at the time seemed a little cheesy to me. But as I’ve moved through the last ten or eleven years, I’ve come to understand those words so differently. In the world of writing—and specifically in writing for children—the SPU motto is incredibly relevant.”

Lindsay adds that “SPU not only gave me the motto, it also taught me so much about the craft of my work.” She continues, “I’ll confess that, all these years later, I still have many of the text books I used during my time in the English Department, too. They sit on a shelf in my office, and continue to be resources of inspiration and education for me.”

In sum, Lindsay states, “I see traces of SPU just about everywhere I turn in my life!” We are glad to have served you well, Lindsay, and are proud to have helped make you a successful author.

“In the Image” Palestinian Film Studies

May 9th, 2018 § 0

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
7:00-8:30 pm
Weter 202

Come join Students for Middle East Peace for a film screening of “In the Image: Palestinian Women Capture the Occupation.” This is a great opportunity to learn for the first time or more about the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This film showcases the daily lives of Palestinian women living in the West Bank, using video as a form of nonviolent protest.

Craft Talk

April 30th, 2018 § 0

Wednesday, May 2nd
3:00 pm
Library Seminar Room

SPU Imaginative Writing instructor Sonya Bilocerkowycz will give a talk entitled “I Celebrate Spring With Apricot Jam: Translating Poetry from the Russia-Ukraine War.”

Before earning her MFA at The Ohio State University, Ms. Bilocerkowycz was a Fulbright Fellow in Belarus, an educational recruiter in the Republic of Georgia, and a visiting instructor at Ukrainian Catholic University. Her essays and poems have appeared in Guernica, Colorado Review, Southampton Review, Ninth Letter, Crab Orchard Review and elsewhere.

English Students Attend The Merchant of Venice

April 17th, 2018 § 0

Over the last few weeks, students in the senior-level Shakespeare course in the English Department attended Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare’s darker comedies. Is the anti-semitism on view in the play a comment by Shakespeare on the unfair treatment of a minority tolerated in Venice’s ghetto (the first of these horrid enclosures) for their role facilitating the city’s storied mercantilism? Is the play a comment on Christian hypocrisy, shown in the majority-Christian characters’shameful behavior toward the other in their midst, while thinking they are performing justice? Does their failure to sustain healthy bonds even among themselves question every human being’s capacity for fidelity?

Shakespeare asks, but does not answer, these questions. Students came to realize one thing for certain, in reading and then viewing The Merchant of Venice: Mercy is necessary but not sufficient to human flourishing. The bonds we create with one another are fragile, subject to anger, whim, or feelings of misplaced love. Forgiveness is hard but indispensable.

Panel: Using Your Voice to Make Change

April 17th, 2018 § 0

Panel Discussion and Q & A
Thursday, April 19th, 7:30-8:30
Emerson Lobby

All undergraduate women students are invited!

Using Your Voice to Make Change will introduce our students to two accomplished alumni (Shauna Casey, ’06 and Megan Chao, ‘09), who will talk about how they learned to “hear” their voice, the challenges of figuring out who they were, and how they used their voice to make change.

There will be a Q&A, and then the students will be invited to participate in this new endeavor.

The intent of the program is to provide inspiration and a desire to be part of this initiative, come fall.