Remembering Wendell Mayo

Wendell Mayo at Jerome Library

It is with great sadness that the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English announce the passing of Wendell Mayo. Beloved by students and colleagues alike, Wendell taught at BGSU from 1996 until his retirement last year, and his contributions to the Creative Writing program were incalculable.

He leaves a legacy of published work—five books, most recently Survival House (2018) and more than one hundred stories in distinguished literary journals, including The Missouri Review, The Harvard Review, and New Letters. He received many honors and awards for his work, including the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Subito Press Award for Innovative Fiction, and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He also leaves a legacy for those who love the short story as an art form: the establishment of the Center for the Short Story at BGSU's Jerome Library.

But Wendell's most important legacy is the impact he had on literally thousands of students over the years. His students will no doubt continue to speak of how inspiring and energetic he was. He launched many talented young writers with his mentorship, and he contributed to their lives and work in ways that go far beyond the classroom. A dedicated, generous, and demanding teacher of writing and literature, Wendell gave 100% to everything he did for our community of writers, and contributed greatly to the content and spirit of our program.