County: Spokane County
Fellowship Awards 2005
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Laurie Lamon is a poet who teaches creative writing and literature at Whitworth College. Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Ploughshares, The Colorado Review, Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture, Feminist Studies, Primavera, Poetry Northwest, and Northwest Review. In addition to receiving a Pushcart Prize in 2001, Lamon received a Graves Award in the Humanities in 2002, which provided her with a paid release from teaching and allowed her to conduct research for “Poetry of Witness,” a Whitworth class she teaches that explores 20th-century political poetry, poetry of extremity and survival, as well as doubt and faith. Lamon also teaches courses on contemporary American poetry and women writers and has recently developed seminars in American women poets and poets of the Holocaust and post-WWII Eastern Europe. She earned her BA from Whitworth College, her MA from the University of Montana, and a PhD from the University of Utah. Her first collection of poems, The Fork Without Hunger, was published this year by CavanKerry Press (NJ), with a foreword from renowned poet Donald Hall.
As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Laurie met with Mead High School students in Spokane for a day of poetry. In addition to discussing the students’ evolving work on their own poems, Lamon discussed her own and others’ poems. It was a fascinating conversation as students explored the relation of memory to innocence and experience, and the depths of childhood awareness of the adult world of conflict, as well as the adult source of security and love. They discussed the inner lives of children and young adults, and a quote by Mark Strand from the poem The Continuous Life seemed a powerful touchstone for the students’ work and thought: “What of the neighborhood homes awash/in a silver light, of children hunched in the bushes,/watching the grown-ups for signs of surrender…”
Lamon also met creative writing students, who engaged in a discussion about the way poetry helps them understand and explore their own sense of self and place in the world. Lamon answered questions from the students and teachers about the generation of poems, the joy and complexity of reading poems, and the mysterious process of writing poems and trying to “teach” writing poetry.
Praise, 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, Random House, Inc., 2004.
Without Wings: Poetry, Cavan Kerry Press, 2009.
The Fork Without Hunger: Poems, Cavan Kerry Press, 2005.