Thursday, October 4, 2012

Distinguished alumna, Whitworth English professors to give Oct. 6 poetry reading


Lisa Flesher
As part of Homecoming Week, alumna Lisa (Ransom) Flesher, ’81, Professor of English Laurie Lamon, ’79, and Senior English Lecturer Thom Caraway will give a poetry reading on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Whitworth University. Flesher, Lamon and Caraway will share both new and previously published works. The reading will take place at 4 p.m. in the  Lied Center for the Visual Arts Student Gallery. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-3253.

During the reading, Flesher hopes to convey through her poetry images of spiritual renewal, a driving theme in her writing. Caraway will read primarily new, unpublished poetry, and Lamon will debut poems that are featured in her new manuscript, Over Joy.

“This is a wonderful event to honor Lisa, who has deep roots at Whitworth,” Lamon says. “The arts are clearly an important part of her life, and for her to share her work with us is a wonderful ‘homecoming.’”

She continues, “Our students and community know what a wonderful professor and poet Thom Caraway is; his work is thought-provoking, affirming of faith, and deeply inspired by hands-on relationships between self and family, and self and community. The best poetry readings are a mix of voices and obsessions.”

Thom Caraway
Flesher is the poetry editor of Nimrod International Journal. She is a recipient of the Edgar Lee Masters Prize for Poetry and has been published in several journals, including The Mid-American Poetry Review, Redbud, Creosote and Nimrod International Journal. Flesher has read her poetry at the National Arts Club, in New York City, and she has conducted workshops and has worked one-on-one with students through Nimrod’s yearly conference, which takes place at the University of Tulsa, in Oklahoma. She also has worked with at-risk children, using poetry therapeutically. She hopes to publish her first collection of poetry soon. Flesher graduated from Whitworth in 1981 with degrees in English and theology. Her husband, David Flesher, is also an ’81 Whitworth grad.

Caraway, who joined the Whitworth faculty in 2008, has served since 2010 as the editor-in-chief of Whitworth’s literary journal, Rock & Sling: A Journal of Witness. His poems have appeared in journals including Smartish Pace, Redactions, Red Rock Review and Ruminate. His first poetry collection, A Visitor’s Guide to North Dakota, was published in 2007 by Finishing Line Press. His work has twice been awarded the Academy of American Poets’ Thomas McGrath Prize. He is also the founder and publisher of Sage Hill Press.

Laurie Lamon
Lamon is the author of two poetry collections, Without Wings (CavanKerry Press, 2009) and The Fork Without Hunger (CavanKerry Press, 2005). She has taught poetry workshops and literature seminars at Whitworth since 1985, after receiving her doctorate from the University of Utah. Her poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The New Criterion, Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture, Ploughshares, Colorado Review and Poetry Northwest. She received a Graves Award in 2002 and a Pushcart Prize in 2001 for her poem, “Pain Thinks of the Beautiful Table.” In 2007, Lamon was selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall to receive a Witter Bynner Fellowship.

The Oct. 6 poetry reading is part of the Whitworth Speakers & Artists Series, which presents a broad range of voices, perspectives and ideas that enrich the intellectual and spiritual life of the campus and the larger community. Since 1890, Whitworth has held fast to its founding mission to provide an education of mind and heart. Whitworth faculty and staff are confident that Christian worldviews and Christian thinkers are sharpened by rigorous and open intellectual inquiry and by engagement with the broadest spectrum of ideas. This confidence motivates Whitworth to invite to campus speakers and artists who can help our community engage in critical and careful thinking, as well as in civil discourse and effective action to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts: 

Annie Stillar, program coordinator, English department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3253 or astillar@whitworth.edu.

Andrea Idso, interim public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or aidso@whitworth.edu.