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Professor releases book of poetry and directs writing festival 

Alyssa Tyler editor in chief 

Laura Washburn, a professor of English and director of creative writing has released a book of poetry titled, ‘The Book of Stolen Images,’ 

“It is a collection of multiple poems written over a decade or more. There is this idea that some of the images are from other places and there will be their illusions they will be samples to tell new stories,” Washburn said.  

Washburn borrowed images from different fairy tales, the story of Moby Dick, and Mary Poppin’s songs, but there is still a personal connection and story being told in each poem. 

“But it is a personal story, occasionally one is about you know feeling anger and dealing with that anger. But likely there are social commentaries or looking outside myself,” Washburn said.  

As a professor of English and creative writing, Washburn likes to practice what she preaches in her classes.  

“Well, it is part of my job to publish and write columns and you know it informs my teaching poetry writing because I practice what I preach or what I teach. On my sabbatical I wrote a lot and other times I will write with blocks of time,” Washburn said.  

In honor of finishing the book, Washburn will be hosting a book release party with author Allison Belvins. Belvins has released the book, ‘Cataloguing Pain.’  

While working on the release of this book, Washburn has been working with others to put on a ‘Writers Fest.’ 

“So, things came together at the right time just to be able to have this festival and celebrate Karen but also lots of events for students to be able to meet writers. We have Kelly Hunt, a singer-songwriter coming Catherine Lawrenson another singer-songwriter and poet coming we have our local writers who will be reading night and some students can join from that, so the community is welcome to join us but from anybody from high school and to senior citizens,” Washburn said.  

As the director of the Distinguished Visiting Writer Series, Washburn helps bring speakers in for different events and to help with the creative writing program.  

“Part of our creative writing program is that they need professional writers and to interact with them. Poets as part of their career, they are fiction writers who do a lot of service with communities and interact with other writers. You know we think about people sitting at our desk by themselves but these writing communities, like my writing group, really end up helping people get published and get their words closer to have the effects they wanted. So this writing festival is just an extension of that idea to make this sometimes private writing or reading that voice in a more public way and people we know people used to hearing poems out loud you know well maybe you watch on the Internet but you know people usually read so the readers get a chance to explain talk about it contextualize it and make it entertaining experience for people apart of it,” Washburn said.  

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