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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Professor dies from cancer

    Steve Orlen, an English and creative writing professor, died on Tuesday from cancer.

    On Nov. 6 his classes received an email saying he would not be returning for the remainder of the semester.

    “”Steve Orlen has been diagnosed with cancer, and it is in a very advanced stage,”” said Sean Rys, a graduate teaching assistant for creative writing, in the email. “”As a close friend of Steve’s this affects me greatly, as I’m sure it does you. The news, frankly, is devastating. I do hope, however, to continue out the remainder of the semester in whatever semblance of unity or coherence still possible.””

    Today students in the Department of English and Creative Writing received another email, letting them know that Orlen died.


    Below is the message professor Jerrold E. Hogle sent to students today.


        “”I am saddened to let you all know that one of our finest Creative Writing faculty members, Professor Steve Orlen, passed away this last Tuesday, November 16.  The speed at which severe illness overtook him was all too sudden — he was teaching classes this very semester — but he was very much at peace and at home with family when he died.  The tributes and visits he enjoyed from many colleagues, friends, and students over his last few weeks were only fitting.

    Professor Orlen was a superb and well-published poet, a devoted teacher of undergraduates and graduate students for decades, a much-appreciated counselor and supporter of students beyond his workshop classes, an innovator in our curriculum especially in Creative Writing, a national and international force in the writing profession, and a person of great warmth, delightful good humor, and undeniable charm.  We will all miss him — students, faculty, and staff alike — but will also remain deeply grateful to him for all that he has given us, on so many fronts and for so many good years, at the University of Arizona.

    An announcement of a public tribute will soon be forthcoming.””

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