Carver Festival | Two Events Set for May 14th

Raymond Carver fans will have the opportunity to catch two special Raymond Carver Festival programs on Tuesday, May 14, at Peninsula College. 

At 12:30 pm, the opening reading of the Writer-in-Residence/Raymond Carver Festival will be held in the Little Theater and will feature Writer-in-Residence poet Jane Mead and poet/short-story writer Tess Gallagher, Carver’s widow.

At 7:00 pm, the Magic of Cinema will screen the Carver documentary, To Write and Keep Kind. The film’s director, Jean Walkinshaw, will be a special guest.

Writer-in-Residence Reading

At the Writer-in-Residence reading, Mead and Gallagher will share memories of Raymond Carver and insights into his work. The reading will feature Carver pieces of personal importance to each of the writers and works by Mead and Gallagher that speak to Carver’s sensibility and influence. 

Mead first studied poetry writing formally at Vassar College with Nancy Lindbloom, while earning a degree in Economics. Later she entered the MA program at Syracuse University, where she studied with Tess Gallagher and first met Raymond Carver. After earning her MFA from the University of Iowa, she went on to teach at a number of colleges, including Colby College, and Wake Forrest University, where she was Poet-in-Residence for many years. 

When her father died in 2003, she moved to California to take over the management of her grandfather’s vineyard. She now teaches on the faculty of the Drew University Low Residency MFA Program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation. Her third book of poetry, The Usable Field, came out from Alice James in 2008, and a new book, Money Money Money/Water Water Water, is forthcoming from Alice James. Mead is a recipient of grants and awards from the Whiting, Lannan and Guggenheim Foundations. 

Gallagher is the widow of Raymond Carver and lived with him for ten years between Syracuse, NY, where they taught together until 1983, and Port Angeles, where they lived at the time of his death on August 2, 1988. Gallagher has managed all the affairs of Raymond Carver’s work for the past 25 years. 

Her ninth volume of poetry, Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems, is out from Graywolf Press and from Bloodaxe Press in England.  Other poetry includes Dear Ghosts, Moon Crossing Bridge, and Amplitude.  A Path to the Sea, translations of Liliana Ursu’s by Adam Sorkin, Ms. Gallagher, and Ms. Ursu, came out September 2011. Ursu visited Port Angeles and read in the Raymond Carver Room at the Public Library in the fall of 2012. 

Gallagher’s The Man from Kinvara: Selected Stories was published in fall 2009.  In 2008 Blackstaff Press in Belfast published Barnacle Soup—Stories from the West of Ireland, a collaboration with the Sligo storyteller Josie Gray, available in the United States from Carnegie Mellon.  Distant Rain, a conversation with the highly respected Buddhist nun, Jacucho Setouchi, of Kyoto, is both an art book and a cross-cultural moment.

Gallagher is also the author of Soul Barnacles: Ten More Years with Ray, A Concert of Tenses: Essays on Poetry, and two collections of short fiction: At the Owl Woman Saloon and The Lover of Horses and Other Stories. She wrote the preface for Beyond Forgetting, an anthology of poems about Alzheimer’s.  She also spearheaded the publication of Raymond Carver’s Beginners in Library of America’s complete collection of his stories published Fall 2009.  Jonathan Cape published Carver’s Beginners as a single volume in the United Kingdom in fall 2009. 

Gallagher spends time in a cottage on Lough Arrow in Co. Sligo in the West of Ireland where many of her new poems are set, and also lives and writes in her hometown of Port Angeles, Washington.

To Write and Keep Kind Documentary

The evening showing of the documentary To Write and Keep Kind, which will be shown in Maier Performance Hall at 7:00 pm, chronicles the life and career of short story writer and poet Raymond Carver and features interviews with Carver, Alfredo Arreguin, Tobias Wolff, Tess Gallagher, and others. Director Jean Walkinshaw will attend the screening and be present for a Q&A afterward. The screening is made possible by permission from KCTS, Seattle.

Walkinshaw has produced television for The History Channel; KING, the NBC affiliate in Seattle where she began her broadcasting career in 1963; SCCtv; and KCTS, Public Television in Seattle. 

She has written, edited, and field-produced more than 49 local and national documentaries and has managed and directed film crews in Russia, Japan, and Africa, as well as the United States. 

Walkinshaw is also the recipient of more than 30 major local and national awards. With Roberta Byrd, an African American activist, she created the weekly series, Face to Face. This program, according to a Columbia University Survey of Broadcast Journalism, was the first program series in the nation to consistently cover minorities. She traveled to Ghana, West Africa, and Japan to feature recruits in both the Japanese and American Peace Corps. She also has produced a variety of programs, including Children of the Homeless, The River, Rainier the Mountain, The Rohna Disaster, and WWII’s Secret Tragedy, commissioned by and aired on The History Channel. 

Walkinshaw has profiled many fascinating people, including ballet artistic directors Francia Russell and Kent Stowell; painter Jacob Lawrence; and writers Ivan Doig, Tom Robbins, Theodore Roethke, Tony Hillerman, and Raymond Carver.

Walkinshaw began working on To Write and Keep Kind (which takes its title from an essay by Tess Gallagher) shortly after Carver’s death with the cooperation and help of Gallagher. During that process they became and have remained friends.

For more details on the Raymond Carver Festival, please visit http://pencol.edu/raymond-carver-festival