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Poet Thom Caraway shares published works

February 3, 2017

Photo courtesy of Monmouth College

Last Thursday the ears of many creative writing students, as well as other audience members, were blessed by poet Thom Caraway. Caraway is originally from Spokane, Washington and completed a majority of his education within the state at Eastern Washington University. At EWU he completed his Bachelor of the Arts in English and his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Eventually he moved to North Dakota to work with a professor that h admired and simultaneously completed his Ph.D in English Literature. “[The University of North Dakota] gave me a really good scholarship package so I could move out to the Midwest, but the year I moved out was the same year that the professor retired so I never got the opportunity to work with him.”

At the reading, Caraway shared several poems from his two published works titled A Visitor’s Guide to North Dakota and Secrets to Sell. During his reading, Caraway mentioned that in no way, shape, or form should you read his A Visitor’s Guide to North Dakota and expect to know where all the best places to go in North Dakota. He also mentioned that a large portion of his inspiration was the cold winters and landscapes of the area he lived and explored. While in North Dakota, Caraway was so deeply committed to his work that he also moved his family with him. Recently, Caraway has been teaching book design, editing, and writing at Whitworth University, also located in Washington.

Not only has Caraway been writing his own poetry and prose, but he also involves himself in publishing as well. “I took over the Sage Hill Press after it had been on hiatus for three years. Actually, it was more like an inheritance because I became the new founder.” Caraway not only heads the Sage Hill Press but he is also the editor-in-chief of Rock & Sling which is a literary magazine whose staff is almost entirely comprised of Whitworth undergraduates.

A student asked Caraway what he does when he is not inspired and he shared that he pushes through the times of writing when he has no inspiration because he feels that if he can write something every day then he knows he is getting better at his craft. Before leaving the reading, Caraway wanted to give some advice to aspiring writers. “Although you might have already heard this before, you need to read and absorb everything, and write as much as you read. The only way to get better is to practice.”

Riley Hess
News Editor

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