Alice Derry selected as Peninsula College Writer-in-Residence

Alice Derry

Alice Derry

PORT ANGELES — Poet Alice Derry is Peninsula College’s 17th Writer-in-Residence and will be featured in presentations in Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Forks beginning April 25.

Derry’s work will be the topic of Studium Generale. Peninsula College English faculty members Helen Lovejoy, Janet Lucas and Matt Teorey will present an introduction to her work from 12:35 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. Thursday at the Little Theater on the Peninsula College campus at 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles.

Faculty members will read from selected works, share biographical information about the author, analyze her poetry, describe what Derry was like as an instructor at Peninsula College and discuss her April 25-27 schedule and classroom visits.

The event is free and open to the public.

“It’s indeed an honor to be invited to a program I hosted for 10 years,” Derry said. “My goal is to live up to the rich tradition of literature which the college has been fortunate to be part of.”

Derry’s schedule of public events, all of which are free and open to the public, is:

• Tuesday, April 25 — At 12:30 p.m., Derry will read from her work in the Little Theater on the Port Angeles Peninsula College campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

At 2 p.m. that day, she and Kate Reavey will conduct a beginners’ writing workshop. To register for the workshop, contact Teorey at

• Wednesday, April 26 — At 1:30 p.m., Derry, Jamestown S’Klallam master storyteller and weaver Elaine Grinnell, and Peninsula College student and weaver Kylee Butler will discuss art in the conference room at the Pirate Union Building (PUB) on the Port Angeles campus. The discussion is co-sponsored by the Visiting Elders program.

At 7 that night, she will read with tribal poets at the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center at 401 E. First St., Port Angeles. Suzie Bennett, center director, will host the event.

• Thursday, April 27 — At 12:30 p.m., Derry will give her keynote address at a Studium Generale presentation, “Let Poetry Delight You: Works by Five Contemporary Women Poets,” in the Little Theater.

At 7 that night, she will read from her work in Room 204 at the Peninsula College Port Townsend campus in Fort Worden State Park, 202 Eisenhower Ave.

 Monday, May 1 — At 10 a.m., Derry will read from her work at the Peninsula College Forks campus, 481 S. Forks Ave.

“There’s something for everyone,” Derry said. “Because of its deep connections with the everyday language we speak, poetry has a place in each person’s life.”

Derry has been writing and publishing poetry for 40 years and has four volumes and three chapbooks to her name.

Her newest manuscript, “Hunger,” has been accepted by MoonPath Press for publication this fall.

She has read throughout Washington and Oregon, in addition to points east and south. Of her most recent book, “Tremolo” (Red Hen Press, 2012), poet Tess Gallagher has written: “Tremolo is a tour de force of vibratory power that marks Alice Derry as having come into her own as one of our very best poets.”

Derry is now at work on another manuscript of poems.

For almost 30 years, Derry was a distinguished professor at Peninsula College. As a director of the Foothills Writers Series, she was a major force behind inviting several authors a year to the campus, in addition to local readings.

For a decade, she was in charge of the Writer-in-Residence program and faculty adviser for the college’s annual literary magazine, “Tidepools.”

In 2013, she helped organize the 75th Raymond Carver Birthday Celebration and gave the keynote address.

During her residency period, Derry will be on Peninsula College campuses and in the community, reading poetry, talking about poetry and helping others write poetry.

She will team up with area tribal members, presenting their art alongside hers, and said she was excited to once again work with Reavey in her writing workshops.

“All the arts have common ground,” Derry said. “A teacher of one might be a student of another. That has certainly been the case for me.”

For more information, contact Teorey at or 360-417-6269.

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