Poet and memoirist Mary Karr will lecture at Oregon State on April 13

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Mary Karr, award-winning poet and New York Times best-selling memoirist, will speak about alcoholism, recovery, and the art of memory April 13 as part of the Provost Lecture Series at the Oregon State University.

Karr, Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University, is the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed memoirsThe Liars Club”, “Cherry” and “Lit”. His latest books are “The Art of Memoir,” which debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times bestseller list, and a graduate book based on his 2015 Syracuse commencement speech. “Now Go Out There (and Get Curious)”.

“We are very pleased to welcome award-winning author and poet Mary Karr to Oregon State University,” said Edward Feser, provost and executive vice president of OSU. “Mary Karr is an extraordinary writer whose vivid memoirs and poetry engage readers through highly personal storytelling. Dr. Karr’s work and the insights she will share during her visit to Oregon State will inspire us to think differently about the challenges of life, family and friendships.

The free conference, open to the public, is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will be held remotely via Zoom. It’s called “Lit: Alcoholism, Recovery, and the Art of Memory.” After her talk, Karr will join Elena Passarello, associate professor in OSU’s School of Writing, Literature, and Film, for a moderated Q&A discussion. Registration for the Karr conference is mandatory. For more information and to register, click here.

The Provost Lecture Series is a partnership between the Provost’s Office and the OSU Foundation to bring renowned thinkers, writers, scientists, artists, and leaders to the State of Oregon to engage the community on topics of global importance. Recent speakers in the Provost Lecture Series include David Eagleman, Ibram X. Kendi, Mae Jemison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and W. Kamau Bell.

“The Liars’ Club” won Best First Non-Fiction from PEN America, the Texas Institute for Letters, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. It chronicled Karr’s difficult childhood in Texas and was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year. “Cherry,” her tale of a psychedelic adolescence and moving sexual coming of age, followed “The Liars’ Club” as another bestseller. “Lit” answers the question asked by thousands of fans: how did Karr manage to break out of this toxic upbringing to tell her own story?

His poetry scholarships include the Whiting Writer’s Award, an NEA, a Radcliffe Bunting Fellowship, and a Guggenheim. She has won awards for Best American Poetry as well as Pushcart Awards for Poetry and Essays. His four volumes of poetry are “Sinners Welcome”, “Viper Rum”, “The Devil’s Tour”, and “Abacus”.

Karr also recently added a songwriter to his pedigree with the release of “Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell.”

Angela C. Hale