We are excited to welcome poets Andrea Hollander (And Now, Nowhere But Here; Terrapin Books) and Lex Runciman (Unlooked For, Salmon Poetry), who will be reading and discussing their new poetry collections.
Each of the 52 poems in Andrea Hollander’s And Now, Nowhere But Here, her sixth full-length collection, focuses on “an appreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible,” to quote Joseph Conrad from Heart of Darkness. But these autobiographical poems are not dark. Instead, they explore threshold moments from Hollander’s New Jersey childhood after her family’s departure from the military; her young adult years and accompanying struggles to understand how to engage with men; her long marriage spent in the Arkansas Ozark woods and its unexpected end; and her subsequent love affair with Portland, where she settled after her divorce in 2011 and where she continues to thrive.
The poems in Lex Runciman's Unlooked For arise from the felt sense that experience - whatever it is - goes by too quickly, leaving little chance for real consideration or sufficient understanding. What did we just see, or hear? What happened? What do we make of it? What does it make of us?
Andrea Hollander moved to Portland in 2011, after living for more than three decades in the Arkansas Ozarks, where she was innkeeper of a bed and breakfast for fifteen years and Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College for twenty-two. Her fifth full-length poetry collection was a finalist for the Best Book Award in Poetry from the American Book Fest; her fourth was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; her first won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays appear in anthologies, college textbooks, and literary journals, including a feature in The New York Times Magazine. Other honors include two Pushcart Prizes (in poetry and literary nonfiction) and two fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2017 she initiated The Ambassador Writing Seminars, which she conducted in her home and now via Zoom.
Lex Runciman was born in Portland, adopted soon thereafter, and raised not far west of town. He graduated from Santa Clara University (B. A., 1973) and worked for two years as a warehouseman and shipping-receiving clerk before completing graduate study with Madeline DeFrees and Richard Hugo at the University of Montana (M.F.A., 1977), and with Dave Smith at the University of Utah (Ph.D., 1981). He taught for 11 years at Oregon State University and then for 25 years at Linfield College, where he was twice named Edith Green Distinguished Professor. Runciman has co-edited two anthologies and co-authored three university textbooks. His poems have received the Kenneth O. Hanson Award, the Vern Rutsala Award, and the Silcox Prize. The Admirations won the Oregon Book Award in poetry. One Hour That Morning won the Julie Olds and Thomas Hellie Award for Creative Achievement. Spouse to one, father of two, grandfather of four, he lives with his wife of 50 years in Portland. Unlooked For is his seventh collection of poems.