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Photo by Marie Balaban / George Venn
January 11, 2013
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) ⎯ George Venn, noted poet, writer, literary historian, editor, linguist and EOU emeritus professor, will read for the next Ars Poetica Lecture Series, Jan. 29.
Venn will share selections from his new book, “Keeping the Swarm,” at 7:30 p.m. in reference room at Pierce Library on the EOU campus. All are invited to attend.
Copies of the author’s latest collection of personal essays about the Northwest will be available to purchase at the event and a book signing will also take place.
In addition to teaching creative writing at EOU, Venn advised the Ars Poetica Series and “Oregon East” magazine for 18 years, instigated the creation of the writing lab, began the English as a second language program and more. He is now retired and writes full time.
A Grande Ronde Valley resident of 42 years, Venn also served the community as chair of the Mt. Emily Food Co-op, leader of the Committee for Catherine Creek’s successful opposition to dams, member of the Folk Arts Advisory board and multiple others.
As a writer, Venn has been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the Andres Berger Award and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He has been called “one of the foremost serious regionalists in the Northwest.”
“Keeping the Swarm”
“Keeping the Swarm” contains 11 of Venn’s personal essays. They recount experiences from his life, ranging from being fired from his truck-driving job as a college kid, to his reminiscences of hearing the music of the Upper Skagit Indians for the first time.
Karen Spears Zacharias calls the book an “intimate, powerful portrait of community,” and venerates that Venn’s prose is “powerful, his narrative vulnerable.”
Nicholas O’Connell says the book is “absolutely brimming with the rich and vivid detail of a life lived close to the land of the Pacific Northwest.”
Some of Venn’s poetry is also interlaced within the essays.
Venn’s other publications include “Marking the Magic Circle,” recognized by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission as one of the 100 best Oregon books in two centuries. His most recent collection of Poetry “West of Paradise,” was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.
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