Monday, March 14, 2011

Two Local Poets to Read on Tuesday

On Tuesday at 7 pm we have the pleasure of hosting two local poets, both former writers for The Oregonian: Don Colburn and Oz Hopkins Koglin.

Don Colburn was born in Georgia and grew in Massachusetts. A long-time reporter for The Washington Post and The Oregonian, Don was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. He is a graduate of Amherst College and has an MA in journalism from American University and an MFA in creatvie writing from Warren Wilson College.

His first two collections of poetry, Another Way to Begin and As If Gravity Were a Theory, won national poetry manuscript contests. He has just published a third collection, Because You Might Not Remember, from Finishing Line Press. His poems have appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Alaska Quarterly Review, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, Cloudbank, and Hubbub. Don has received numerous fellowships and poetry awards and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is a board member of Friends of William Stafford.

About his newly published collection, author Naomi Shihab Nye had this to say: "Don Colburn's richly rooted, well-hewn poems are intensely pleasurable to read and absorb. The wide span of their attention has room for human foibles and flaws as well as fun."

Oz Hopkins Koglin was born in North Carolina, the great graddaughter of slaves, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where she was a community organizer and was selected as a Danforth Foundation Metropolitan Fellow.  Her reporting career began in 1960 at The St. Louis Argus, one of the oldest African-American publications in the country. Oz is a graduate of Reed College. She was a journalist for The Oregonian for thirty years --  the first female African-American reporter to work for the newspaper full-time -- writing for many years on issues of health, medical research, and science.

Much of her writing is inspired by issues of civil rights, racism, and inequality, growing up during the time when America was experiencing the end of the Jim Crow era and the civil rights movement was in full swing.

Her poem have appeared in The Oregonian, Hubbub, VoiceCatcher, and Poetry Southwest. In celebration of Oregon's Sesquicentennial, Poetry Northwest and the Oregon State Library named her first chapbook, Gardens for Everyone, one of 150 outstanding Oregon poetry books. "Each poem in Gardens for Everyone is a gem," says Vern Rutsala, "with many making a u-turn at the end that gives the reader a sudden new insight into the subject."

Please come join us for an evening with two wonderful local poets!

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