CORVALLIS, Ore. - A wide-ranging "Everybody Reads" program, celebrating the work of acclaimed American writer Joyce Carol Oates, will be held in Corvallis and on the Oregon coast throughout April and May.

The program will culminate in a public reading by Oates, who will visit Oregon May 9-10 to receive Oregon State University's inaugural Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, one of the largest prizes of its kind given by an American university.

The spectrum of events leading up to Oates' visit will range from book discussion groups to creative writing workshops inspired by the author's work. Each session will be led by a team of candidates from the OSU masters programs in creative writing and literature.

On Wednesday, May 9, Oates will appear at a free public lecture and book-signing on the OSU campus. She will be honored the following evening, Thursday, May 10, at a ticketed event at the Portland Art Museum. Tickets for the Portland event are available at:

In addition to conducting community-based book discussions and writing workshops, OSU graduate students will visit classes at Corvallis High School, Crescent Valley High School, Harding Alternative High School, Linn Benton Community College, and Toledo High School.

Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published more than 50 novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, literary criticism and essays. Her novel, "them," (1969) won the National Book Award, and her novels "Black Water" (1992), "What I Lived For" (1994), and "Blonde" (2000) were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2010, Oates received the National Humanities Medal. Her newest novel, the psychological thriller "Mudwoman," was just released in March.

OSU's biennial Stone Award is given to a major American author who has created a body of critically acclaimed work and who has been a dedicated mentor to young writers. The award was established in 2011 by Patrick and Vicki Stone to spotlight OSU's Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. The honorarium for the award is $20,000, making it one of the most substantial awards for lifetime literary achievement offered by any university in the country.

The "Everybody Reads" Program is sponsored by the OSU Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, and Grass Roots Books & Music.

The following events are free and open to the general public.

  • Wednesday, April 18, 6:30-8 p.m. - Public book club discussion: "We Were the Mulvaneys," Corvallis-Benton County Public Library board room;
  • Saturday, April 28, and Saturday, May 5 (two sessions). 2-4 p.m. - Creative writing workshop, Grass Roots Books & Music. Corvallis. For registration, call 541-754-7668 or email
  • Saturday, April 28, 7 to 9:30 p.m.  - Discussion of "Black Water", The Yachats Center for Lifelong Learning;
  • Sunday April 29, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Creative writing workshop, The Yachats Center for Lifelong Learning. For registration, contact Andrea Scharf or (541) 547-3092;
  • Tuesday, May 1, 6:30-8 p.m. - Public reading group: "A Widow's Story", Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis;
  • Wednesday, May 2, 2-3:30 p.m. - Teen book club: "Big Mouth and Ugly Girl", Youth Activity Room, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library;
  • Wednesday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. - Joyce Carol Oates, public reading and lecture, Oregon State University's CH2M HILL Alumni Center, Corvallis;
  • Saturday, May 12, 2-3:30 p.m. - Joyce Carol Oates discussion group, main meeting room, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

For more information about OSU's MFA program and the Stone Award, go to:

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Rebecca Olson, 541-737-1648