January 26, 2004
Poet, Whitworth Professor to Read
Whitworth Associate Professor of English Laurie Lamon, whose inspiration for her poetry stems from her fascination with language, being and meaning, will read poems, including a selection from "The Pain Poems" cycle, on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall at Whitworth College. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (509) 777-3253. Lamon's reading is part of Whitworth's Feb. 3-14 Heritage Week celebration, an annual event that honors the college's founding in 1890 and celebrates its rich history.
Twelve of the poems from Lamon's "Pain Poems" series are included in her forthcoming first book of poetry, The Repetition of Field (CavanKerry Press), which is scheduled for publication in fall 2004 or winter 2004/05.
"There are a few poems in this collection that were purely given as gifts of the muse," Lamon says. "But I believe that the act of writing, each and every time, is an act of faith, and an act of work. I don't think you can separate the two. I tell my students what I believe myself: If you wait for inspiration to write the poem, you won't write very many poems. You have to meet inspiration halfway, and that avenue is with your senses, your mind, your spirit, and your language."
"Pain Poem Cycle" uses pain, a common human experience, as a lens through which the reader can explore his or her own human experiences, Lamon says.
"Some of the subjects that my poems return to again and again are singular images in nature, and their relations to us as humans and to other parts of nature, and to God; my poems look with wonder at the physical laws of our universe; my poems address the subjects of love and loss, separation, quietude; the small patterns and rhythms that make up our daily hours and motions," Lamon says.
An accomplished poet, Lamon believes that any successful writer must value above all the act and joy of writing itself.
"I certainly feel that the successful publication of a poem depends on the author's faith in the poem and hard work in these days of unbelievable competition," Lamon says. "But in the classes I teach at Whitworth, the focus is not on publishing; it's on generating and writing a poem, and sustaining the love for and faith in that creative process."
Lamon is a recipient of the 2002-03 Graves Award in the Humanities, which encourages and rewards innovative scholarship in the humanities. The Graves Award provided Lamon with a paid release from teaching and allowed her to conduct research on several substantial poetry-related projects, including the Poetry of Witness, an in-depth study of art's relation to humanity and to humankind's individual and collective experience of the present moment and historical time.
Lamon was also awarded a 2001 Pushcart Prize for her poem, Pain Thinks of the Beautiful Table, which appeared in Pushcart's 26th annual anthology. Her poems Pain Thinks of the Hand, Pain Thinks of the Pale of Settlement and Pain Thinks of the Garden have been published in The New Republic.
In addition to being published in The New Republic, Lamon's work has appeared in journals and magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture, Ploughshares, The New Criterion, Poetry Northwest, The Colorado Review and Willow Springs.
Lamon earned her bachelor's degree from Whitworth College, her master's degree from the University of Montana, and her doctorate from the University of Utah. She teaches creative writing and poetry classes at Whitworth and team-teaches senior-project classes with Whitworth Professor of English Doug Sugano.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Laurie Lamon, assistant professor of English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Sem-Rodrigues, program assistant for English, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3253 or email@example.com.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.