One way the Spy thought it could best honor the late (and very great) George Merrill, our Sunday morning columnist for the past eight years, was to check in with Wilson Wyatt a few weeks ago to discuss a suitable successor. Wilson is the publisher and driving force behind one the region’s great literary gems, the Delmarva Review, and it was his kind recommendation that led us to George in 2014.
Back then, I was looking for a unique voice to anchor our Sunday edition. Eager to depart from our weekday pieces on politics and local matters, George’s spiritual, almost transcendental, subject matter was a perfect way for the Sunday edition of the Spy to challenge its readers with the unexpected musings from a creative writer rather than an opinion maker.
The Spy’s goal after George’ passing, which was shared by Wilson, was not to find someone who could replicate his themes or voice but to use this slower Sunday morning space to explore and celebrate writing itself. And on the top of his list was the author and writing teacher, Laura Oliver.
With that as background, the Spy is delighted to announce that Laura Oliver will be our Sunday columnist starting today.
Laura is an award-winning book editor and writing coach who has taught writing at the University of Maryland and St. John’s College. She is the author of The Story Within (Penguin Random House), named by “Poets and Writers Magazine” as one of the best writing books ever published. Oliver’s own fiction and essays are published in national newspapers, magazines, and top-tier literary reviews such as The Washington Post, Country Living Magazine, The Writer Magazine, The Sun Magazine, Baltimore Review and Glimmer Train.
A graduate of Washington College and with an MFA from Bennington College’s highly regarded writing program, Laura has called Annapolis her home for most of her adult life. I hope that the Spy’s readers will join me in welcoming her to her new virtual home every Sunday and enjoy her deeply engaging essays for many years to come.
Publisher and Executive Editor