Molly Gloss (and Koko)

Saint Martin’s University welcomes award-winning Portland, Oregon writer Molly Gloss to its annual Les Bailey Writers Series. She’ll meet with university students in English classrooms to discuss the craft of writing. That evening, in her public presentation, “Romancing the West: Rethinking and Rewriting the Great American Mythos,” Gloss will discuss her longtime passion for Western literature and history and how it shaped her writing. A book-signing afterward will include an opportunity to purchase copies of her books, get them signed and meet the author.

Gloss grew up reading Zane Grey and other popular Westerns. She’s called herself “a sucker for the cowboy myth and its romantic images.” Her works are about that love–but through her eyes, readers get a glimpse of the real old West, an often-harsh realm.

“This is Saint Martin’s University’s third year to bring a prizewinning writer to campus for a day and evening of presentations,” said English professor Olivia Archibald, an event organizer. “Having Molly Gloss be our fall presenter this year is indeed a special treat as we continue efforts at Saint Martin’s to honor Dr. Les Bailey’s memory by affirming the spirit of creativity and imagination.”

Gloss is the author of a string of bestselling novels, including The Jump-Off Creek, a tale about a widow struggling to homestead in Oregon’s Blue Mountains, a PEN/Faulkner finalist and winner of an Oregon Book Award and Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award; Wild Life, winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award; and her newest novel, Falling Off Horses, the story of a young ranch hand trying to break into a career as a Hollywood stunt rider during the heyday of Westerns. Her science fiction book The Dazzle of Day is the winner of a Pen Center West Fiction Prize. She is a past recipient of a Whiting Award, given to emerging writers who show great promise.

Theater arts professor and fellow author David Hlavsa, who will emcee the event, says of Wild Life: “Painstakingly researched and full of intriguing historical detail, the book is an extraordinary combination of the best of low and high literature, with an intrepid heroine, a dime-novel adventure plot and gorgeous lapidary prose.”

What: Molly Gloss

Where: Norman Worthington Conference Center,
Saint Martin’s University,
5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5

How much: free (donations welcome)

Learn more: 360-412-6126 |