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The Stevenson Society of America
Board Members

Trenton B. Olsen, President

Trenton B. Olsen, President, Stevenson Society of America

Trenton B. Olsen is the editor of The Complete Personal Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson—the first ever single-volume collection of all of Stevenson’s personal essays—some of the best of which were written at the cottage in Saranac Lake. Trent’s research in nineteenth-century British literature has been recognized with awards from the Idaho Humanities Council, The American Library Association, and the international George Eliot Fellowship. He earned his PhD in English Literature at the University of Minnesota. He works as an English professor in Idaho, volunteers year-round for the Stevenson Society, and looks forward to spending summers at the cottage museum in Saranac Lake.

Phillip Lopate, Honorary Board Member

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As Nobel laureate Louise Glück has written, “Phillip Lopate is one of the most brilliant and original essayists now working.” Lopate has played a central role in the revival of interest in memoir writing and the personal essay form. His books include Portrait Inside My Head, A Year and a Day: An Experiment in Essays, To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction, The Art of the Personal Essay, The Contemporary American Essay, and many more. He directed the non-fiction MFA program at Columbia University. He loves Stevenson, especially his nonfiction, and recently published a piece on Stevenson’s essays in The New York Review of Books.  

Carla Manfredi, Canadian Representative

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Carla Manfredi, PhD (Queen's University, 2014) is an associate professor of English at the University of Winnipeg and the author of multiple articles on Robert Louis Stevenson and the Pacific as well as the 2018 monograph: Robert Louis Stevenson's Pacific Impressions: Photography and Travel Writing, 1888-1894 (Palgrave Macmillan). Her current research focuses on the scientific, missionary, and literary engagement with Pacific atolls during the long nineteenth century. 

Timothy Holmes, Secretary

Tim Holmes, Vice President, Stevenson Society of America

Timothy Holmes has an M.A. in rural sociology, and relocated to Saranac Lake, NY in 1989. For 20 years he had a research & consulting firm where he managed over sixty projects focused in large part on tourism and economic development. Tim then had a 10-year career as a membership & development officer at the Wild Center Natural History Museum in Tupper Lake, NY.

Nicholas Rankin, British Representative

Nick Rankin, British Representative, Stevenson Society of America

Nicholas Rankin spent 20 years at BBC World Service. He won two UN awards for his work there and became Chief Producer. He is the author of six books from Faber and Faber. His first, Dead Man’s Chest, followed Robert Louis Stevenson’s trail from Scotland to Samoa. It’s a particular favorite at the cottage museum, which he first visited in 1984. He then wrote four books about warfare: Telegram from Guernica, Churchill’s Wizards, Ian Fleming’s Commandos and Defending the Rock. His sixth non-fiction book, Trapped in History: Kenya, Mau Mau and Me, is a personal memoir and a detailed study of a violent period in the 20th century decolonisation of Africa. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in London and Kent.

More board member announcements coming soon! If you’re interested in serving on our board, please get in touch.

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