Robert Wolf—January 2007

For the past sixteen years, Robert Wolf, Free River Press director, has roamed the American landscape, organizing writing workshops in cities and rural hamlets, in farmhouse dining rooms, church basements, schools, libraries, and colleges.

Beginning in 1989 with a workshop for the homeless in Nashville, Tennessee, Wolf has since worked with people from all walks of life, from Texas cowboys to Midwest farmers, from Southern sharecroppers to Manhattan and Chicago businessmen. Free River Press’ ultimate goal is to amass a body of writing that someday will resemble a collective autobiography of America. 

Wolf’s collection An American Mosaic: Prose and Poetry by Everyday Folk, published by Oxford University Press, is a grab-bag of stories from across the continent, a collection of syncopated rhythms as diverse as the rat-a-tat-tat of urban jackhammers, the thrum of prairie combines, and the rattle of freight trains. He is also the author of Jump Start: How to Write from Everyday Life, also from Oxford University Press, and The Triumph of Technique: The Industrialization of Agriculture and the Destruction of Rural America.

A former Chicago Tribune columnist, Wolf won the 1994 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for the year’s best radio editorial. In addition to leading writing workshops, Wolf directs seminars and regional economic development projects for Free River Press.


Thursday, January 11
7:30 p.m.: Olin 102
Lecture:  Listening to America: Publishing Voices from Everyday Life

Thursday, January 18
7:30 p.m.: Olin 102
Reading:  Listening to the Heartland

Friday, January 19
Noon, Farwell Lounge

Brown Bag seminar: Giving Voice to Rural America.