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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“UA faculty poets to discuss teaching, poetry”

If you’ve ever wondered what writers think about their own field — or any part of a poet’s process — Friday’s your time to learn.

“”A Life in Letters,”” a panel moderated by Barbara Cully, will discuss poetry’s relevance at the UA’s Poetry Center Friday at 4 p.m. The panel members will talk about their growth as poets and teachers, and about their recently published books.

Poets Alison Deming, Jane Miller, Steve Orlen and Boyer Rickel have impressive biographies.

Deming, a creative nonfiction and poetry professor, is the author of three books of poetry, one of which won the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. Her personal Web site includes this excerpt: “”What it takes to dazzle us, masters of dazzle / all of us here together at the top of the world / is a night without neon or mercury lamps…””

Miller is a UA professor of poetry has published eight books of poetry. In an interview on the Electronic Poetry Review Web site, she said, “”Poetry begins in a powerful emotional seed.”” She also appreciates nostalgia for its ability to allow memories in without bemoaning loss. Miller has collaborated with visual artist Beverly Pepper, and won many awards and honors including a Guggenheim fellowship.

Orlen is a poetry professor at the UA and Warren Wilson College. He is the author of five collections of poetry, the most recent of which is titled “”This Particular Eternity.”” Ausable Press, the publisher, quotes him as saying of his poetry: “”If there’s an overarching question my poems bring to mind as I reread them, it’s this: Is it possible to be at home in the world?””

Rickel is a poetry lecturer whose most recent book of poetry, “”remanence,”” was published in 2008. He was the assistant director of the UA’s creative writing program for 13 years beginning in 1991. Of poetry, he says, “”I think it’s possible for the imagination — and the heart — to make meaningful connections out of more far-ranging material than we often challenge it to do.””

Deming, Miller, Orlen and Rickel have all won National Endowment for the Arts fellowships as well. The panel is an excellent opportunity to bring your questions – or just your interest – and learn what it’s like to live a life of letters and pursuit of all they form.

The “”Life in Letters”” panel will be held at the Poetry Center on Friday at 4 p.m. It is free to the public.


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