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Enjoy an evening on the patio of The Coronado in Midtown Phoenix as two award-winning Arizona poets and ASU alumni Lois Roma-Deeley and Jia Oak Baker read from their work on Friday, Oct. 28, as part of the Phoenix Poetry Series.
Lois Roma-Deeley is the author of four collections of poetry, including “The Short List of Certainties,” which won the Jacopone da Todi Poetry Book Prize and will be published in 2017 by Franciscan University Press. Her other poetry collections include Rules of Hunger, northSight, and High Notes, a 2011 Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist and the basis of the music drama "The Ballad of Downtown Jake," for which she wrote the book and lyrics.
In 2012, Lois Roma-Deeley was named the U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the nation's most prestigious teaching award — the first person from Arizona in any category to be awarded the honor.
Roma-Deeley has taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels for more than 25 years. She holds an MFA in creative writing (poetry, 1988) from ASU’s Department of English and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary studies with a primary emphasis in poetry from the Union Institute and University.
Jia Oak Baker is the author of two chapbooks of poems, “Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City” and “Well Enough to Travel.” She teaches writing at Paradise Valley Community College, serves on the editorial board for the Phoenix-based Four Chambers Press and works as a literary teaching artist for the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. Baker’s poems address the experiences of immigration, longing, motherhood, displacement, and disillusionment. As an Asian-American, she often explores the concept of the “Other” and identity.
Her honors include first place in the 2013 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Contest and in the 2012 Arizona Literary Awards, as well as numerous scholarships writers’ institutes and residencies. She holds a master’s of education from ASU and a master of fine arts in writing and literature from Bennington College.
Both Roma-Deeley and Baker are recipients of Artist Research and Development Grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
The Phoenix Poetry Series is coordinated by ASU’s Rosemarie Dombrowski, senior lecturer in Languages and Cultures in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, and she is also an ASU English alum (BA 1996, PhD 2007).
"Readings begin promptly at 7:30,” said Dombrowski, “so plan to arrive at Coronado by 7 p.m. to place your food/beverage order and secure a seat on the patio!"