Li-Young Lee: 2017 Writer in Residence


The Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University is thrilled to announce that poet Li-Young Lee will serve as the spring 2017 Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Writer-in-Residence.


Author of poetry collections such as Behind My Eyes and The City In Which I Love You, Li-Young Lee has received numerous accolades including a Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, a Lannan Literary Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award and three Pushcart Prizes.

The opening sentence – a sampler – from Li-Young Lee’s spring Hollins course description:

A destroying angel has been sent to earth with a message: humankind has been weighed and measured and, having been found wanting, will now be destroyed, unless a poet can step forward and say something, anything, to turn the angel’s hand.

A taste of the poet’s own work:

From Blossoms

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.