Local Poet Celebrates Book Publication with a Reading in Port Orford on July 7
Vicki Graham, a resident on the wild and scenic Elk River near Port Orford, will read from her latest book, Walking Barefoot, at Port Orford Public Library on July 7 at 5:30 p.m.
The poems in Walking Barefoot emerge from Graham’s long relationship with Oregon’s wild places: the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, the rivers and creeks that flow from the Siskiyou Mountains, the rocky coast of the Port Orford Headlands, forests burned yet resilient, home to fir, moss, water ouzel, and bear.
As Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, Graham taught poetry, creative writing, and environmental studies for twenty-seven years, returning every summer to the landscape she loves, the southern coast of Oregon. Now retired, she lives full time in her home on Elk River.
“I write,” Graham says, “not just to evoke the natural world for others, but to dwell in it more deeply myself. I write for the forests, for the rivers, and for the creatures inhabiting this special corner of Oregon.”
Graham’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Midwest Quarterly, ISLE, and Seneca Review, among other literary journals. They have also been published in several anthologies, including The Heart of All That Is and Beloved on the Earth:150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude, both through Holy Cow! Press, and Perfect Dragonfly: A Commonplace Book of Poems Celebrating a Decade and a Half of Printing and Publishing at Red Dragonfly Press.
“Seventy Years After the Clear-cut: The Keystone,” a poem Graham wrote for the Wild Rivers Land Trust, was recently anthologized in Writing the Land: Currents. She has also been a writer in residence at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest as part of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections Project. Graham’s earlier books include The Hummingbird’s Tongue, The Tenderness of Bees, and Alembic.
About Walking Barefoot, writer and environmental activist Kathleen Dean Moore says, “The poems are more than beautiful. Like earthy aphorisms, they are wonderfully wise. I would follow Vicki Graham’s compass into the darkest forest, through the deepest grief.”
Copies of Walking Barefoot (Red Dragonfly Press, May 2023) will be available for purchase at the reading. Graham’s books are also available at amazon.com and Small Press Distribution: spdbooks.org. Visit Graham’s website to learn more: vickigrahampoet.com