Events Calendar

Creative Matters lecture: Tobias Wolff, writer

"His raw works of fiction examine themes of American identity and individual morality. With wit and compassion, Mr. Wolff’s work reflects the truths of our human experience." - National Endowment for the Arts


Born in Alabama in 1945, Tobias Wolff traveled the country with his peripatetic mother, finally settling in Washington State, where he grew up. As a scholarship student, he attended the Hill School in Pennsylvania until he was expelled for repeated failures in mathematics in his final year, whereupon he joined the Army. He spent four years as a paratrooper, including a tour in Vietnam. Following his discharge he attended Oxford University in England, where he received a First Class Honours degree in English in 1972. Returning to the United States, he worked variously as a reporter, a night watchman, a waiter and a high school teacher before receiving a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford University in 1975. He is the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor of English, Emeritus, at Stanford, where he lives with his wife Catherine. They have three children.

Tobias Wolff’s books include the memoirs This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War; the short novel The Barracks Thief; the novel Old School, and four collections of short stories, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, Back in the World, The Night in Question, and, most recently, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories. He has also edited several anthologies, among them Best American Short Stories 1994, A Doctor’s Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov, and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. . His work is translated widely and has received numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, both the PEN/Malamud and the Rea Award for Excellence in the Short Story, the Story Prize, and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 2015 he received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.



Creative Matters event

Tobias Wolff will deliver a reading, followed by an on-stage conversation with Christopher Merrill, Director of the UI International wriring Program, on September 14 at 5:30pm in 240 ABW. This event is free and open to the public.

Wolff's talk is part of the Creative Matters lecture series sponsored by the UI Office of Research and Economic Development in collaboration with the UI Arts Advancement Committee.

The Creative Matters lecture series, launched in fall 2015, seeks to demonstrate that creativity and innovation are not only at the core of all research and discovery, but also central to our human experience. Our lineup of speakers includes artists, thinkers, builders, and doers who challenge conventional thinking about creativity, science, and artistic expression, and borrow from a range of influences and disciplines in their work.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 5:30pm

Art Building West, 240
141 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City, Iowa

Event Type

Lecture/Discussion, Reading


Students, Parents, Alumni/Friends, Faculty/Staff, Everybody, Graduate Students, Community Members


Research & Economic Development

General Interest

After Class, Arts Iowa, Writing, Outreach Iowa, Humanities


writing, Creative Matters, OVPRED professional development






Contact Name

Leslie Revaux

Contact Email

Contact Phone Number



Recent Activity

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.