Friday, March 30, 2012
Shannon Olson, associate professor of English, has been applying her unique wit and writing style to the “Last Word” essays on the last page of Minnesota Public Radio’s Minnesota Monthly magazine since May 2011. Olson, author of the sardonic semi-autobiographical novels “Welcome to My Planet” and “Children of God Go Bowling,” has been teaching English at St. Cloud State for 10 years.
Olson’s relationship with Minnesota Monthly began when editor Joel Hoekstra was seeking a writer to do a “Last Word” column for Mother’s Day. He and others on the magazine’s editorial staff thought of Olson, whose novels and other writings frequently include her mother, Flo. Olson’s family stories have drawn praise from many critics and writers, including Garrison Keillor, who referred to Flo as “one of the great moms of American fiction.”