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Scholars at Work: Glenn Lester: Home

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About Scholars @ Work

Scholars @ Work is an initiative from the Faculty Center for Innovation designed to showcase the incredible and innovative research and scholarship from Park faculty members around the world. In addition to faculty profiles, Scholars @ Work hosts an annual fall reception and a roundtable panel discussion every semester giving faculty across disciplines an opportunity to collaboratively discuss a topic of timely importance to the University. For more information on Scholars @ Work, visit our web page!

Glenn Lester

Associate Professor of English

Parkville Campus, Copley-Thaw Hall, Office 310
(816) 584-6886

Scholarship Highlights from Glenn

Glenn's impressive career has included published scholarship on a wide variety of topics. Browse selected highlights from his research, and view his CV below.

Lester, Glenn, Taylor Lucas, Sydney Doyle, and Alison Overcash. "We Write Because We Care: Developing Your Writerly Identity." Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Vol. 5, 2023.

Many college students write for one reason and one reason only: to complete a class assignment. But students who subscribe to this view of writing -- writing as merely a means to an end, a tool to achieve a grade -- are seriously limiting themselves. In this chapter, a writing teacher and three recent Park University graduates argue that writing can be used as a tool to build personal agency, develop resilience, and achieve social goals, and invite students to take that first, radical step of calling themselves “real” writers.

Read the full article for free.

About Glenn

Glenn Lester is Associate Professor of English at Park University. He is located at the Parkville, Missouri campus. Glenn earned a B.A. in English at Hope College before continuing onto an M.F.A. in creative writing at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Glenn has taught Park University students since 2011, in classes like first-year writing, British and American literature surveys, creative writing, and more. Prior to coming to Park, Glenn taught students in an urban high school, a large state university, a small Catholic college, a community college, and a state prison.

As a fiction writer and essayist, Glenn has published work in The Masters Review, Barrelhouse, Revolver Reader, and The Rumpus; an essay on writerly identity that he co-authored with several Park graduates will appear in Writing Spaces soon. Glenn's professional and research interests include composition and creative writing pedagogies, response to student writers, ungrading, reader-response theory, narrative theory (especially point-of-view and free indirect discourse), online writing instruction, and contemporary American fiction. He also enjoys running, cooking, and playing music. Glenn lives in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, with his family and a great dog named Gus. 

Wise words from Glenn

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. As a teacher, my job is to help writers find and wield new tools for complex jobs."

Lester, Glenn. "I Was Offered A Kingdom." Barrelhouse, 2018.

If you were offered infinite power over a miniature land, how would you wield it? In this comic fable, an unwitting ruler faces attacking enemies, industrial pollution, a genius architect, a grieving mother, and, perhaps worst of all, political consultants.   

Read the full story for free.

Scholar Spotlight

Lester, Glenn. "Thumbtack." Revolver Reader, 24 Nov 2015.

Over the course of a humid and bug-clotted summer, two boys from opposite ends of town build a fishing platform, argue about video games, investigate the flammability of Doritos, navigate a chaotic Fourth of July celebration, and test whether the bonds of family and class are too strong for friendship to overcome.

Read the full story for free.

Lester, Glenn. "Take Warning: The Ballad of Sammy Slug." The Masters Review, 3 Oct 2022.

In this novel excerpt, teenager Andrew Steevers reckons with his father's complicated legacy and meets a funeral home employee who will change the course of his life. This excerpt was selected by novelist Dan Chaon from over 5000 entries as winner of the inaugural The Masters Review Novel Excerpt Contest.

Read the full excerpt for free.

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