MONMOUTH – Dr. Henry Hughes, professor of English, will read his poetry at The River Gallery in Independence, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. Highlights include selections from his newest poetry collection, "Moist Meridian," published in July of this year.
A native of Long Island, New York, Hughes completed an M.A. in creative writing at Purdue University in 1990. Before returning to Purdue to earn his doctorate in English, he spent five years in Japan and China teaching English. Hughes decided to move west in 2002, when he accepted a position as professor of English at Western Oregon University. For the last seven years, Hughes has taught numerous literature and writing courses, provoking students with his scholarly insights and entertaining them with his trademark fishing stories. Hughes described himself as a "life-long traveler" and regularly journeys to global destinations—South Pacific, South America, Europe— for research, pleasure and enlightenment.
Hughes published his first collection of poetry, "Men Holding Eggs," in April 2004. The book also received the 2004 Oregon Book Award.
“I think Moist Meridian is a more mature book,” Hughes says. “I’m writing more openly about relationships and sex.” Hughes’ first book was praised by the famous poet Li-Young Lee for its “gorgeous and masterful writing.” His newest book has gained the attention of other poets like David Shapiro, who writes, “He is braver than most of us in dealing with sex without losing focus. He seems completely honest. And again and again, one is lured by him, as land, water and people come together in exotic but all-too-human catastrophes.”
Joining Hughes at next week's poetry reading will be Donna Henderson, author of "Transparent Woman," a finalist for the 1997 Oregon Book Award in Poetry, as well as "The Eddy Fence," recently published by Airlie Press. Henderson is a practicing psychotherapist, teaches creative writing at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. and performs with the piano and poetry performance trio Tonepoem. Wine and cheese will be served at the event, located at 184 South Main, Independence.
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Dr. Henry Hughes, associate professor of English
Donna Henderson, instructor of English (Willamette University)
News release written by Erin Huggins