Livestream Reading: Lois Ruskai Melina with Paulann Petersen
Annie Bloom's Books welcomes Portland author Lois Ruskai Melina for a livestream reading from her new book, The Grammar of Untold Stories. She will be in conversation with local poet Paulann Petersen.
Lois Ruskai Melina's The Grammar of Untold Stories, sixteen essays––ranging from lyric essays to narrative journalism––address how we make sense of what we cannot know, how we make change in the world, how we heal, and how we know when we are home. Collectively, these essays convey the longing for agency and connection, particularly among women. They will resonate with readers of all ages, but perhaps especially with women in the second half of life, those dealing with aging parents, retirement, illness, and accompanying vulnerabilities. Here readers will find comfort within keen reflection upon life's ambiguities.
Lois Ruskai Melina is a writer and retired educator. She was the editor and publisher of Adopted Child newsletter and the author of three books focused on helping parents understand the impact of infertility and adoption on families formed by adoption: Raising Adopted Children, Making Sense of Adoption, and The Open Adoption Experience (with Sharon Kaplan Roszia). For her book By a Fraction of a Second, she followed nine elite women swimmers for eighteen months leading up to the 2000 US Olympic Trials. Melina lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband where she enjoys rowing on the Willamette River and following women's soccer. She has a grown son and daughter and two grandchildren.
Paulann Petersen's One Small Sun takes readers from a fur shop in Oregon to a shrine in India. Its pages contain a meditation on post-mortem photographs, an ode to the female earwig; an elegy for a grandmother's panache. Tapping deeply into memory, relying on poetry's ability to bring alive again what is coded into the blood, these poems ultimately form an arc of an aging woman's life. This collection tells the tales of what she has always realized, is ever learning, and can truly know.
Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita, has six previous full-length books of poetry. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The New Republic, Prairie Schooner, and POETRY IN MOTION, which placed poems on busses and light rail cars in the Portland, OR area. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford. In 2006 she received the Holbrook Award from Oregon Literary Arts, and in 2013, Willamette Writers' Distinguished Northwest Writer Award. As Oregon's 6th Poet Laureate, from 2010 to 2014 she traveled over 27,000 miles within Oregon, visiting all of its 36 counties to give workshops, readings, and presentations.