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Feb. 7, 2017 La Grande, Ore. — Eastern Oregon University will host writer Polly Buckingham to read from her award-winning collection of short fiction, “The Expense of a View” in Pierce Library on EOU’s campus in La Grande. Buckingham’s reading is part of the Carl and Sandra Ellston Ars Poetica Literary Lecture Series, the longest-running public lecture series of its kind east of the Oregon Cascades.
Buckingham teaches creative writing at Eastern Washington University and serves as associate director of their student-run literary press, Willow Springs Books. Her visit also includes opportunity to mingle with the EOU community and direct a classroom workshop.
“The Expense of a View,” won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and another collection, “A Year of Silence,” won the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Award in Fiction. She is the founding editor of StringTown Press and a three-time a finalist for the Flannery O’Conner Award.
As a writer and poet, Buckingham has been a recipient of the Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship. Her work appears in The Gettysburg Review, Hanging Loose, The Moth, The Threepenny Review, Poetry Daily and other publications.
“As a poet and fiction writer, I am more interested in what is unknown than what is known,” Buckingham wrote. “I value mystery above empiricism. This notion is a political one in that it rejects the dominant culture’s need for data and facts and instead values magical thinking and the messiness of what it means to be human. My characters are typically deeply introspective, often rural and often under great psychological duress or up against enormous changes in their lives.”
Writer Michael Adelberg praised Buckingham in The New York Journal of Books.
“Her stories are united by characters — usually talented, young women coping with loss or a difficult relationship — achieving a small measure of peace and grace amid difficult circumstances,” he said.
Buckingham’s reading is free, and will be in the reading room at Pierce Library at 7:30 p.m. Faculty, students and the La Grande community are encouraged to attend. Copies of “Expense of a View” will be available for purchase and signing after the reading.
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