The Write Place moves to Western Oregon University

MONMOUTH, Ore. – The Write Place, a nonprofit founded at Western Washington University in 2013 and dedicated to creating and supporting literary and artistic projects that inspire appreciation of humanity’s intimate relationship with the natural environment, is moving to Western Oregon University. 

The Write Place board approved WOU English professor Henry Hughes as its new executive director. “Henry Hughes is the right person for the job,” wrote founder and retired director John Purdy, an alumnus of WOU (class of ’78). “We are so happy that the organization will have a home at Western Oregon University.”

John Purdy, a professor of literature at Western Washington University, envisioned an organization that would braid his lifelong interests in literature and the environment. Purdy specializes in Native American literature. Write Place produced two documentary films, Writing Oregon (2019), and Bearheart: the Gerald Vizenor Chronicles (2020). Proceeds from these films helped fund new projects and contributed to the Western Rivers Conservancy and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association.  

Henry Hughes states “I want to continue the great work of John Purdy and the board, and maintain their commitment to the Pacific Northwest and Native American writers,” Hughes says. “But I’d also like to connect with more scientists and enlarge our scope to national and international interests.” 

The Write Place is hosting its first reading on May 30th, 2023. The author, Gordon Henry, will be reading and visiting with students. To learn more about this reading, visit

To learn more, visit

About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans, or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

Media Contact
Brittany Kima, Public Information Officer
503-838-8065 |

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