OHSU faculty member wins prestigious literary award

He’s published in scientific journals like PLoS ONE and Psychopharmacology, but now, Garet Lahvis, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine, will have a citation in a very different type of journal. Dr. Lahvis recently won first prize in the Curt Johnson Prose Award in Creative Nonfiction for his essay entitledNQR.His essay describes the obstacles to finding the cause for autism as he watches a young boy undergo a clinical evaluation. The essay will be published in the prominent literary journal december magazine.

“Science requires an objective eye. It requires a language written in a passive voice,” Dr. Lahvis said. “And somewhere along the path to a science career, my subjective ‘I’  – you know, me – lost the ability to voice my doubts, my excitement, and my wonder about the science that happens around me. By writing creative non-fiction, I can explore my research experiences and bypass conventional descriptors – the averages, p-values, and sample sizes – to find new ideas and different ways of thinking. And that’s exciting.”

december is known for publishing the early work of writers and artists, many of whom later become major literary figures, including Donald Barthelme, Marvin Bell, Stephen Berg, Rita Mae Brown, Raymond Carver, Stephen Dunn, Donald Hall, Michael Harper, Donald Justice, Ted Kooser, Philip Levine, Joyce Carol Oates, Marge Piercy, William Stafford, C.K. Williams, Charles Wright, and James Wright. december’s writers publishing their first or very early work in the journal include 5 U.S. Poets Laureate, 6 Pulitzer Prize winners
, 8 National Book Award winners
, 3 National Book Critics Circle Award winners
, and many others.

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