Stone Award for Literary Achievement Lecture with Lynda Barry
Thursday, April 29, 2021
7:30 p.m.
The LaSells Stewart Center, Austin Auditorium

Registration required*

*Reservations required. Seating may be limited. This program may be broadcast virtually, if in-person gatherings are too limited at the time of the event. The determination of in-person vs. remote will be made and announced to everyone with reservations on April 8.

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. The New York Times has described Barry as “among this country’s greatest conjoiners of words and images, known for plumbing all kinds of touchy subjects in cartoons, comic strips and novels, both graphic and illustrated.” She earned a degree from The Evergreen State College during its early experimental period (1974-78), studying with painter and writing teacher Marilyn Frasca. Frasca’s questions about the nature of images and the role they play in day-to-day living have guided Barry’s work ever since.

In 1979 while pursuing a career as a painter, Barry began drawing a weekly comic strip incorporating stories considered to be incompatible with comics at the time. Stories, as Barry puts it, “that had a lot of trouble in them.” Widely credited with expanding the literary, thematic and emotional range of American comics, Barry’s seminal comic strip, Ernie Pook’s Comeek, ran in alternative newspapers across North America for thirty years.

Barry has authored 21 books, worked as a commentator for NPR, and had a regular monthly feature in Esquire, Mother Jones Magazine, Mademoiselle, and Salon. She created an album-length spoken word collection of stories called The Lynda Barry Experience, and was a frequent guest on the Late Show with David Letterman.  She adapted her first novel, The Good Times are Killing Me, into a long running off-Broadway play, since published by Samuel French and performed throughout North America.  Her book One! Hundred! Demons! was chosen as the Freshman all-read title  at Stanford University.  Her novel Cruddy was called “a work of terrible beauty” by the New York Times, and has been translated into French, Italian, German, Catalan and Hebrew. Her new book which is about the creative process with a how-to for comics titled Making Comics (Drawn & Quarterly, September 10, 2019). More...

About the Stone Award for Literary Achievement:

OSU alum Patrick F. Stone ('74) and his wife, Vicki, established the prize to spotlight what they see as one of OSU's best kept secrets: the MFA Program in Creative Writing, which has a growing reputation for its emphasis on mentoring students, building community and reaching out to underserved populations - including at-risk youth and military veterans. The Stones' $600,000 commitment has allowed OSU to award prizes in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2019, and will continue to provide award funding through an endowment. The honorarium for the award is $20,000, making the Stone Prize one of the most substantial awards for lifetime literary achievement offered by any university in the country. The 2021 recipient is Lynda Barry.

Recipients of the Stone Literary Award give readings, master classes and lectures in both Corvallis and Portland, highlighting the value of creative communications in contemporary American culture. In conjunction with the prize, an "Everybody Reads" program features a selected book by the writer, with events at libraries, book clubs and independent bookstores.

Past Recipients of the Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement:

2019 - Colson Whitehead

2016 - Rita Dove

2014 - Tobias Wolff

2012 - Joyce Carol Oates