For Immediate Release
May 1, 2014
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BROCKPORT, N.Y. — “Ideas matter, they shape us as much as landscape.” So started the lecture given by Rick Bass, who on April 30 received the prestigious Art of Fact Award from The College at Brockport, State University of New York. The event was held at Temple B’rith Kodesh in Rochester.
Bass is an author and environmental activist who has published more than 20 books—short stories and novels, nonfiction, science writing, and journalism. Much of his work focuses on issues in and around the Yaak Valley, the remote section of northwest Montana where bass has lived more than 20 years. “All artists, I believe, belong in some way on the perimeter,” Bass said.
Ralph Black, PhdD, associate professor of English and co-director of The Writers Forum, introduced Bass and presented him with the award, which was created by Thomas Markusen, a metalsmith and designer who is an emeritus professor of art at Brockport. Bass then read his essay, “The Thinness of the Soil,” before answering questions from the audience.
Prior to the public lecture Bass met with a class of students from the College and discussed many aspects of his books and the writing process. When asked what genre he preferred working in, Bass responded, “Fiction is what is most gratifying. If I had all the time in the world that is what I’d work on.”
Bass is the recipient of numerous awards, prizes, and fellowships. A collection of stories, The Hermit’s Story, was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. The Lives of Rocks was a finalist for the Story Prize, and was named a best book of the year by the Rocky Mountain News. His most recent nonfiction book, Why I Came West, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
The Writers Forum, an annual reading series that brings prominent, award-winning writers to campus, presents the Art of Fact Award every spring to a non-fiction writer whose works contribute significantly to American culture. The event is co-sponsored by M&T Bank. Past recipients include Cheryl Strayed, Augusten Burroughs, Ruth Reichl, Ian Frazier, Susan Orlean, Wendell Berry, John McPhee, and Diane Ackerman.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu