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Maxine Scates and Joseph Millar

Tue, December 7 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST
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Join beloved and award-winning Oregon poets Maxine Scates and Joseph Millar for a virtual reading and discussion celebrating their latest collections.

Many poems in My Wilderness by Maxine Scates chronicle how a wooded Oregon hillside, her longtime home, has turned from a refuge into a landscape of change where trees once numerous are now threatened by storm and the presence of the humans who live among them. Grounded in the shifting borders of migrations and extinctions, plant, animal, and human, of memory and grief, My Wilderness inevitably asks us to consider not only our own mortality but also our impact on the world around us.

Dark Harvest showcases two decades of Joseph Millar’s finest poetic work, poems centered on the unseen men and women at the margins of American life. Millar’s poems don’t favor beauty over suffering, nor do they reach for knowledge over mystery—instead, his words carry forward their Whitmanic imperatives: to turn away from nothing, to be awash in contradictions.

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Maxine Scates

Maxine Scates was born in Los Angeles and grew up in a working-class housing tract a mile from LAX. She worked her way through college, graduating from California State University, Northridge, where she took classes from and was encouraged by the poet Ann Stanford. After graduation, she moved to Eugene, Oregon where she earned an MFA from the University of Oregon. Her fourth collection of poetry, My Wilderness, was published in October 2021, from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Maxine is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Undone (New Issues), which was a finalist for the Green Rose Prize; Black Loam (Cherry Grove Collections), which received the Lyre Prize and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; and Toluca Street (University of Pittsburgh Press), which received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. She is the co-editor, with David Trinidad, of Holding Our Own: The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford (Copper Canyon).
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Joseph Millar

Joseph Millar's first collection, Overtime, was a finalist for the 2001 Oregon Book Award. His second collection, Fortune, appeared in 2007, followed by a third, Blue Rust, in 2012. His fourth collection, Kingdom, was released in early 2017. Dark Harvest is his fifth, published in October 2021 from Carnegie Mellon University Press. Millar grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Johns Hopkins University before spending 30 years in the San Francisco Bay area working at a variety of jobs, from telephone repairman to commercial fisherman. It would be two decades before he returned to poetry. His work—stark, clean, unsparing—records the narrative of a life fully lived among fathers, sons, brothers, daughters, weddings, and divorce. He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such magazines as DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, APR, and Ploughshares. Millar teaches in Pacific University's low-residency MFA Program and in North Carolina State's MFA Program in Creative Writing.
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