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Utah Poet Laureate, Lisa Bickmore, to Visit ISU as Dolsen Visiting Writer

September 21, 2023

 Idaho State University's Department of English and Philosophy is pleased to announce that Utah Poet Laureate Lisa Bickmore will visit ISU as the annual Dolsen Visiting Writer on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

At 5 p.m. in The Bengal Café (Pond Student Union Building), Bickmore will give a reading from her most recent book, Ephemerist (Red Mountain Press, 2017), followed by a Q&A session. The reading is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. 

Of Ephemerist, Guggenheim fellow Paisley Rekdal writes: “Bickmore's beautiful poems are constantly aware of what lies just outside any individual's eye, disappearing from view at the very moment of perception. There is no perfect 'capturing' of a moment, whether in word or image, despite our deeply human desire to fix the world in memory. Thus the elegant poems of EPHEMERIST simultaneously celebrate and elegize, meditating on the uncomfortable relationship we've built between earthly loss and spiritual gain.” Copies of Bickmore’s books will be available for purchase after the reading. 

Bickmore is the author of two additional poetry collections: flicker (winner of Elixir Press’s 2014 Antivenom Poetry Prize) and Haste (Signature Books, 1994). Her work has been published in journals such as Sugar House Review; Caketrain; Hunger MountainTerrain.org Quarterly West; Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets, and elsewhere. In 2015, her poem “Eidolon” was awarded the Ballymaloe International Poetry Award. She is Professor Emeritus of English at Salt Lake Community College, where she was the recipient of the SLCC Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 2006. 

As of 2019, she is the founder of the new nonprofit Lightscatter Press, which publishes multimodal literary works. Bickmore will speak with ISU students about Lightscatter Press before her reading; anyone interested in attending the talk is encouraged to contact the Department of English and Philosophy at 208 282 2478 or english@isu.edu.

Bickmore’s reading is a part of the Dolsen Visiting Writer Series, through which the Department of English and Philosophy annually hosts a visiting creative writer for a public reading and educational activities. The series is supported by an endowment established by Tom Neel, an alumnus of ISU who earned his B.A. in English with minors in French and Philosophy in 1987. Mr. Neel established the Dolsen Visiting Writer Event Endowment to honor the mentorship, friendship, and respect between him and Professor Arthur Dolsen and his late wife, Marijana, and their daughter, Daria. Dolsen is Professor Emeritus of Languages and Literatures at Idaho State University, where he taught courses in Latin, Russian, and French.


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