Derry to present writings at Peninsula College

PORT ANGELES — Poet, Peninsula College faculty emerita and 2017 writer-in-residence Alice Derry will be reading from her newest poetry collection, “Hunger” at Studium Generale in the Peninsula College Little Theater, beginning at 12:35 p.m. Thursday.

The Studium Generale event is free and open to the public.

“ ‘Hunger’ began as a response to the physical hunger which was a constant in my childhood, but the poems quickly grew beyond that narrow scope to address hungers of all kinds, especially the metaphorical hunger of longing as expressed in ‘The Extravagance of Our Longing,’ the title of section three and of one of the poems in the section,” Derry said.

Derry describes the book as having a feminist edge, the second section titled “Stealing from Young Women,” describes how various hungers in the world take from the lives of others and from the innocent, especially women. She also addresses the many hungers of her childhood and life as a mother, which she said continues in a different form now that her child is 30 with her own child.

Social justice has always played a role Derry’s writing; several poems in the manuscript pay attention to events in various tribal histories, seen from a personal point of view. Her father took his children to many reservations throughout the West when she was young. Physical hunger, she said, always accompanied these trips.

Some of Derry’s other works include “Tremolo,” which was published by Red Hen Press in 2012. As a manuscript, it received a 2011 Washington Artist Trust Award.

“Strangers to Their Courage,” from Louisiana State University Press, 2001, was a finalist for the Washington Book Award.

Along with Tess Gallagher and others, Derry helped stage a month-long 75th birthday celebration for Raymond Carver in 2013, delivering the event’s keynote address.

Derry taught English and German at Peninsula College for 29 years, where she co-directed the Foothills Writers’ Series. In 2017 she was writer-in-residence at Peninsula College.

For more information contact Dr. Kate Reavey at kreavey@pencol.edu.

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