color photo of lucia galloway

Writing has been closely integrated with the study and teaching of literature throughout my career. In the Masters and PhD programs at UC Berkeley, I focused on Shakespeare and English Renaissance poetry, taking courses from Jonas Barish, Hugh Richmond, and John Anson. I studied linguistics with Noam Chomsky and Julian Boyd. During years of classroom teaching at the Webb Schools, I deepened my interest in poetry and in American literature. Twice I was awarded NEH Fellowships for month-long seminars: on Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson (1993), and William Wordsworth and John Keats (1998). For the MFA at Antioch Los Angeles, I wrote scholarly papers on Emily Dickinson, and on the sestina as a poetic form.

I started writing after reading the journals my father kept during his 1930s army stint in the Panama Canal Zone and afterward during WWII. I savored the poems he published in small-town newspapers and U.S. Army rags. In notebooks, I found sketches about his childhood in villages nestled in the valleys of western Illinois. When I attended the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in Iowa City, fields of corn and soya still stretched out not far from the state capitol building on a hilltop in the center of town. A landscape much like this infused my childhood consciousness. A native Midwesterner, I sense the presence of the prairie in many of my poems.

Image © Lakin Kahn, 2008