Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2002

Whitworth College Endowed English Reading to Feature Essayist and Children's Author Scott Russell Sanders

Whitworth College is pleased to present novelist, essayist, children's author and scholar Scott Russell Sanders as its 2002 Endowed English Reader. Author of 18 books, including novels, collections of stories and essays, personal narratives and eight children's story books, Sanders serves as Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University, where he directs the Wells Scholars Program.

Sanders will read from his nonfiction works Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. and will share from his collection of children's books in a reading for children and their parents on Saturday, March 2, at 9:30 a.m. The readings will take place in the Hixson Union Building at Whitworth College. A book sale and signing will follow both readings, which are free and open to the public. For additional information about the Friday or Saturday readings, please call (509) 777-4212.

Sanders, who graduated from Brown University in 1967 and completed his Ph.D. in English at Cambridge University in 1971, is especially concerned with humans' relation to nature, issues of social justice, the character of community, and the impact of science on our lives.

He explores these issues in seven works of fiction and in his award-winning books of personal nonfiction, including The Paradise of Bombs (1987), winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction and described by the Chicago Tribune's James Kaufman as "Rich in emotion, memory, and concern for the world we inhabit. . . . Harrowing and convincing."; Staying Put (1993), a celebration of the commitment to place, which won the Ohioana Book Award in 1994; and Writing from the Center (1995), a personal account of the quest for a meaningful and moral life, which won the 1996 Great Lakes Book Award.

Sanders' most recent books include Hunting for Hope (1998), an exploration of sources for healing and renewal, and The Force of Spirit (2000), a collection of essays about the search for the sacred in everyday life. The title essay from The Force of Spirit was included in The Best American Essays 2000 and is the fourth of Sanders' works to appear in this annual collection of outstanding nonfiction.

Sanders, who says that his parents taught him to make sense of life through stories and reading, uses the rich sounds of language in his story books for children to help young readers encounter the natural world.

For his collected nonfiction work, Sanders was honored in 1995 with a Lannan Literary Award. He is also the recipient of writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Lilly Endowment, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Sanders' work has also been selected for the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Excellence, the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and the John Burroughs Essay Award. His fiction and essays have appeared in publications including Harper's, Orion, Georgia Review, Utne Reader, and Audubon, where he is contributing editor, and they have been reprinted in The Norton Reader, The Art of the Personal Essay, The Dolphin Reader, The Harper & Row Reader, and other anthologies.

The English Readings Endowment was established to bring nationally recognized writers to the Whitworth College campus and the greater Spokane area. Visiting writers offer classroom visits, workshops, meetings with students and faculty, and literary readings during their time on campus and in the community.


Doug Sugano, professor of English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4212 or dsugano@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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