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Poems - Bios 
Words Without A Song
-Katherine Soniat

A week after the killings, I read an overview

of the elegy.  The long thin call of birds


plays in the background; that CD

where a man's voice interrupts to name


each feathery blue and gold composer.  All

about the air waves shatter with freshly arranged


terms for war, for retribution and slaughter.


The sky holds above, earth below—

foiled, silent horizon.


And us trampling the middle air

where amaranth brightens in the rubble.


-from The Swing Girl 


What is Dangerous Not To Remember

-Lucinda Roy


We learn pain.  It abides between our shoulders

at the base of the neck in the old pivot of wings we've lost.

Better then not to listen to flight whose sounds can damage us.

Better to love blue as a color not a point of view.

Better to be a cow in a field, cloven hooves stuck to the earth,

tongues fat with cud.  Better to let the swan

draw physics from desire and mount the air

in a blizzard of white.

Better if there were not men with a taste for steak

and an acute skill with knives.


Poems - Bios

Katherine Soniat's fourth collection, Alluvial, was published by Bucknell University Press (2001) and was a finalist for The Library of Virginia Center for the Book Award. A Shared Life won the Iowa Poetry Prize given by the University of Iowa Press, and a Virginia Prize for Poetry. She has been a recipient of the Camden Poetry Prize, Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowships, the William Faulkner Prize, an Ann Stanford Prize, and a Jane Kenyon Prize for Poetry. Her other collections include Cracking Eggs, Notes of Departure, and a chapbook, Winter Toys. Poems have appeared in such literary journals as The Nation, Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, The Literary Review, Witness, River Styx, The Southern Review, and TriQuarterly. An associate professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, she lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Lucinda Roy is the author of the novels Lady Moses and The Hotel Alleluia, two collections of poetry, Wailing the Dead to Sleep and The Humming Birds, and a book of nonfiction, No Right to Remain Silent: What We've Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech. Lady Moses was selected by Barnes and Noble for their Discover Great New Writers series, and Roy won the Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize for The Humming Birds. She was awarded the Baxter Hathaway Poetry Prize for her long slave narrative poem “Needlework.” Roy’s commentaries and articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and journals, including the New York Times, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Newsweek’s 2009 college guide. She has been a guest on many TV and radio shows including Oprah, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, Sunday Morning, and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Lucinda Roy is an Alumni Distinguished Professor in English at Virginia Tech. She earned her B.A. from King’s College, London, and her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arkansas. She has an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Richmond. Professor Roy has won a number of teaching and administration awards, including the college-wide Excellence in Administration Award, the university-wide Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, and a SCHEV statewide Outstanding Faculty Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia. She directed Virginia Tech’s Creative Writing program for eight years, and served as Chair of English from 2002-2006.

Roy teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in creative writing and literature at Virginia Tech, and gives keynotes and presentations in the U.S. and abroad on creative writing, higher education reform, campus safety, race, and women’s issues.

Poems - Bios

Buy Soniat's books here
Katherine Soniat
Buy Roy's books here
Lucinda Roy