Faculty Profile: Dr. Robert Vivian
It doesn’t matter the genre — poetry, plays, nonfiction, novels or short-stories — Bob Vivian just loves to write.
“Teaching and writing are a kind of moveable feast for me,” says Vivian. "What I love about Alma is the opportunity to teach and learn on all kinds of different subjects without being pigeon-holed into just one.”
The associate professor of English came to Alma College in 2001 after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Nebraska in Omaha and his doctorate degree in creative writing at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
His research interests span from modern American literature to creative writing to mysticism and spirituality.
“I teach and am drawn to all kinds of subjects,” he says, “and I can't say I can claim any one of these as a field of expertise: to me they feed and inform each other, and I'd be loathe to champion one over the other.”
Vivian is currently working on a novel trilogy called The Tall Grass Trilogy. The first book, The Mover Of Bones, was published in 2006 and was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Award sponsored by Binghamton University.
“Just like the students I try to teach, I want to keep growing and changing--and working at Alma allows me to do that,” he says.
That growth is evidenced in both the amount of material he’s published and his many awards. His first book, Cold Snap As Yearning, won the Society of Midland Authors Award in Nonfiction as well as the Nebraska Center For the Book Award in 2002.
In addition, many of his monologues from plays have been published in the Best Men's and Women's Stage Monologues, and six of his essays have been listed as notable essays in The Best American Essays series.
Vivian’s short story "Apocalyptic Scars" won editor's choice award for Drunken Boat's First Annual Panliterary Award, and he wrote an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts that ran at Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y. in the winter of 2006.