2019 Commencement Address, University of Maine at Farmington

Commencement / Graduation 2019. Saturday, May 11 2019 10:30am. Pulitzer-winning Maine author Elizabeth Strout was the keynote speaker and received an honorary degree at the University of Maine at Farmington's 2019 Commencement ceremony.

I’m a writer and so I spend a great deal of my time alone. And every decision I ultimately make on that page, I make alone. And then the work goes out into the world.... What I do (I have come to realize this) is an act of faith. And whatever you all will do will also be acts of faith.

You don’t have to be a teacher or a writer to understand that we are all connected and that what we do every day will ripple out in ways that we will never know.... But we don’t have to know. We just have to trust that whatever we do in the world will find its way to a person who needs it.
— 2019 Commencement Address, Univeristy of Maine at Farmington

OPB: “Why I think fiction matters”

Fiction is there to let us know we’re not alone. Whatever we’ve thought and felt has probably been thought and felt before.

As part of their ongoing series Literary Arts: The Archive Project, Oregon Public Broadcasting will be airing a talk of mine tonight, originally given in January 2011 at the Portland Arts & Lectures series in Portland, Oregon. It will also be posted to their website for future listening.

The Archive Project - Jan. 7, 2015
OPB | Jan. 07, 2015 9 p.m.

Episode 10 of Literary Arts: The Archive Project features author Elizabeth Strout. In her lecture “Why I think fiction matters,” Strout explores how reading magnifies our understanding of the human experience. 

Enjoy! And thank you, OBP and Portland Arts & Lectures.