Writer Odie Lindsey

Writer Odie Lindsey Visits Monmouth

Writer and military veteran Odie Lindsey read pieces from his most recent story collection, We Come to Our Senses, in front of a crowd of students, faculty, alumni and community members at Pollak Theatre as part of the school’s Visiting Writers Series last Wednesday, Oct. 4.

Lindsey is currently a professor of practice at the Center For Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.

The stories and pieces of polemic prose Lindsey shared with those in attendance included a selection from We Come to Our Senses titled “Colleen,” in which he offers a unique and daring, yet fresh war story on a female war veteran back at home, rather than the typical war story trope of a male serviceman in battle.

Like a modern William Faulkner, who was unafraid of sticking his fingers in particular wounds in American culture, Lindsey’s message and presence in Pollak Theatre focused on an in-depth discussion of what qualifies a story as a “war story.”

Some of the concepts include intersectionality among individuals, along with a necessary insight into how people audit the truth in order to trick others and, more often than anyone, themselves.

In an informal Q&A in Rechnitz Hall, Lindsey gave advice to inspiring writers.

The author said, “just sit down and try for 3 to 4 hours. And if you only write one word, or not any words at all, you’re still involved in that process. Which you have to love.”

But besides “Colleen,” We Come to Our Senses is filled with unique kinds of war stories focusing on the soldiers, military veterans, and heroes of all genders, race, and cultures whose stories don’t get the value or attention they deserve for the priceless sacrifice they make.

Other refreshing and insightful works by Lindsey to provide a possible new outlook on life include the stories “Bird (On Back),” “Hers,” and “Darla.”

Lindsey’s next story, a novel to be published by W. W. Norton, is forthcoming.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University