English scholar writes first poetry book
Drucilla Wall’s poems are all over the place. And that’s a good thing as the University of Missouri–St. Louis English scholar weaves stories of everyday life in contemporary American, Native American and Irish cultures for her first poetry collection, “The Geese at the Gates.”
“It is rare one finds a poet like Drucilla Wall, so perfectly attuned to the life we live now while also keeping so vividly mindful of the lost, invisible cultures steeping just below the surface,” Boston-based poet Daniel Tobin said. “In her lucidly straying narratives and finely keyed lyrics in her generous ear and wry wit, we hear the vital under-song of the disappeared as well as the enduring presences of family, locality and nation.”
Wall, assistant teaching professor of English at UMSL, explores intersections of identity, history and cultural practice in her writing. She said she draws ideas and inspiration for her work from ordinary everyday life.
“It’s all in there, if you observe closely and mindfully,” she said. “Everything from dark matter to soup recipes, from a cat blinking in the sun to a careless violet persisting in spite of weed killer.”
Essays, articles, poems and short fiction by Wall can be found in journals and anthologies in the U.S. and Ireland. She teaches poetry and essay writing and Native American literature at UMSL.
Wall has earned several awards and fellowships for her work, including the Mari Sandoz Prairie Schooner Short Story Award, the Western Literature Association Willa Pilla Prize for Humor in Writing and University of Nebraska Fling Larson Fellowships.
“The Geese at the Gates” was released last month by Salmon Publishing. In addition, new work by Wall can be read in “Dogs Singing – A Tribute Anthology,” which was also released recently by Salmon Publishing.
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