You are invited to both!
PORT ANGELES, Washington (May 20, 2018) –
One year ago, May 25th became an official part of Port Angeles history when “Raymond Carver Day” was proclaimed by Mayor Patrick Downie.
Carver, who many list among the best American writers of all time, is an internationally recognized short story writer, poet, and essayist who made his home in Port Angeles for the last ten years of his life, and he came to his final resting place at Ocean View Cemetery on August 2, 1988. Carver wrote many of his incomparable poems and stories in Port Angeles, while sharing his life with his wife, Tess Gallagher.
This year, two events will celebrate and honor Carver, his life and literary works.
Both are FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC.
The first is a reading of Carver’s story “Elephant” during the Studium Generale presentation on Thursday, May 24th, and the second is a poetry reading and pie celebration at the Ocean View Cemetery on Carver Day itself, May 25th.
Join us for one or for both!
On Thursday, May 24th, in The Little Theater on the main campus of Peninsula College, Tess Gallagher will be joined by current Peninsula College faculty as well as emerita professor Alice Derry and poet Charlotte Warren for a reading of “Elephant” by Raymond Carver. Dr. Janet Lucas and Dr. Bruce Hattendorf participated in dramatic readings of this story during the Raymond Carver Festival, held at the college on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Derry gave the Keynote Lecture for the Festival.
Pie and Poetry, founded during the Raymond Carver Festival, has become a yearly tradition at Ocean View Cemetery, where Peninsula College faculty poets, friends of Carver and Gallagher, and former Wa state poets laureate Kathleen Flenniken and Tod Marshall, have joined Gallagher to honor the writer, his poems, and his love for pie.
In 2016, a group from Italy appeared unexpectedly at the graveside, precisely at 3pm, just as the readings were commencing. The Italian group was on a literary tour, and they came to the grave because it was Carver’s birthday; what they didn’t know is that they would be treated to Gallagher’s incredible hospitality, her own recitations of Carver’s poems, and home-made pies in great variety. The tour guide was thrilled, because he said, “This is our first American pie, and pie is something so authentic to America, the group has been asking me to find the best, and I did not know how to do so. Here, serendipitously, we have found the very best.”
Carver’s writings led to a film adaption in Alejandro Inarritu’s Oscar winning “Birdman” as well as the widely-celebrated presentation of nine stories in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” and the Australian film “Jindabyne” which used Carver’s story “So Much Water So Close to Home.”
Reflecting on the importance of the recognition of “Carver Day,” his widow, renowned poet and Port Angeles native, Tess Gallagher notes that Carver “wrote about the many local places he loved here—where he fished, looked out upon local waters, and gave voice to the people he met here and championed their working class lives in the Northwest and in Port Angeles and Clallam County in particular, honoring those who struggle and don’t always reach the rewards of the so-called American Dream, those who become homeless, those who work hard but can’t pay their bills, those who are skilled and unskilled, who labor in jobs without much honor for inadequate wages and without health insurance and that he honors those we used to call Middle Class America, those who try but fail, those with debts accumulating even though they try to pay their way, those who strive and dream, raise children, and try to take care of each other.” She also explains that Carver “wanted to acknowledge those who are “differently abled” and to uplift us all with how they contribute to our lives as in the famous, beautiful story “Cathedral” in which a blind man and a sighted man draw a cathedral together and they come to some inward sight together. Carver wrote in a way which is accessible to so many and poignant enough to touch hearts in every corner of the world and in 28 languages.”
Please join us.
[E-card with photo of Carver is attached] Please feel free to use any stock photos of Tess Gallagher and Raymond Carver in addition to attached image.]
For more information, contact Dr. Kate Reavey, firstname.lastname@example.org