Author of the supernatural shares insight


Brian Evenson answers questions on

Amie Birks


Nearly all the seats were occupied in the Dezember Reading Room as author Brian Evenson came to share his work on Tuesday, May 10.
Evenson read excerpts from a few of his short fiction books and paused in between to share context and insight into his writings.

“We end up being fascinated by things we don’t understand completely. There is so much about life, especially close to death, but also these kind of strange experiences that we just can’t get to the heart of,” said Evenson.
Evenson talked about the oddity of seeing four horses lying on the ground and being perplexed by the thought of them being dead or not. After viewing such a sight, Evenson said it just stuck with him and was inspired to write “A Collapse of Horses.”

Many of the pieces that Evenson shared dealt with misperceiving the world or trying to make sense of the world, which seemed to strike interest in a lot of students.

“I really liked that he writes about things that other authors really don’t write about,” said junior Aracely Ramirez, liberal studies major.
Toward the end of the event, Evenson happily answered questions as to what drives him to write about the supernatural and death, his religious upbringing and writing about controversial topics.
“A lot of my characters are trying to sort out something that they don’t know how to make sense of,” said Evenson.

Senior Jake Williams, English major, was fascinated with Evenson’s ability to write about things that are unexplainable to humans.

“When humans get to that point, that dead end sign, [it’s] a very interesting place to stop and rest at,” said Williams. “That rest stop is the end of what we know about something [which] is very interesting.”

While addressing a question, Evenson shared about a defining moment of his writing career when his first book “Altmann’s Tongue” was seen as being quite controversial and evil. Despite the opposition he faced, Evenson said it was a gift to have been given the opportunity to defend himself.

“It made me realize that what I was doing mattered even if it mattered because it made certain people really upset,” said Evenson.

Evenson explained how he began to question himself as to why he was interested in these rather darker moments of people’s lives, and why there is humor to be found in these moments.

Evenson was the fifth author to be welcomed as the 2016 Walter W. Stiern Library PG&E Writer in Residence. PG&E has partnered with the Walter Stiern Library for the past four years to bring talented authors on campus to read their work and to provide a writing workshop.

Evenson will offer a writing workshop to the community on June 30 with applications and details to be found at

James Chavez/The Runner Author Brian Evenson sharing his insight on Tuesday, May 10 at the Dezember Reading Room.
James Chavez/The Runner
Author Brian Evenson sharing his insight on Tuesday, May 10 at the Dezember Reading Room.
James Chavez/The Runner CSUB students and staff listening to author Brian Evenson read from one of his books.
James Chavez/The Runner
CSUB students and staff listen to author Brian Evenson read an excerpt from one of his books.