Poet Dorianne Laux will read some of her work and conduct an information question-and-answer session at 11 a.m. today (Friday) in the Foley Center Teleconference Room at Gonzaga University. The event is part of a partnership with Eastern Washington University and GETLIT, its annual festival.
Laux’s visit is sponsored by The Live Poets (a GU student group) and Gonzaga’s office on intercultural relations.
Laux worked as a sanatorium cook, gas station manager, and as a maid before receiving a bachelor’s degree in English from Mills College in 1988. Shortly thereafter, the publication of “Awake” (BOA Editions, 1990) marked her brilliant debut as a poet. “Awake”was followed by two more collections, also from BOA:
“What We Carry”(1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and “Smoke” (2000). Her fourth volume of poems, “Facts About the Moon” (W. W. Norton, 2005), won the Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the 2006 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.
In 2007, Eastern Washington University Press reissued “Awake,” long out of print, and Red Dragonfly Press has just released a letterpress edition of six new poems: “Superman: The Chapbook”(2008). Born in Augusta, Maine, Laux moved to Northern California in 1983 and in 1994 settled in Eugene, Ore., where she is a professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.
She is the recipient of many honors, including an Editor’s Choice III Award, two Best American Poetry prizes, and two Pushcart prizes. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, and she is among the poets to earn a place in “The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry.: In 2001, she was invited by the late poet laureate Stanley Kunitz to read at the Library of Congress. About Laux’s work, the poet Tony Hoagland has written: “Her poems are those of a grown American woman, one who looks clearly, passionately, and affectionately at rites of passage, motherhood, the life of work, sisterhood, and especially sexual love, in a celebratory fashion.”
Laux lives in Eugene with her husband, poet Joseph Millar.