Writer # 10
Happy New Year!
We are so pleased to start the new year by sharing with you an inspiring interview with poet Lawson Inada, Oregon’s 5th poet laureate who proceeded Oregon’s current poet laureate, Paulann Peterson.
Our interview with Inada is proof of how a good poet can make lemonade from lemons. Whatever could go wrong the day of his interview did, starting with giving wrong directions and his getting lost, having to change venues, unusual and disruptive road noises and a blazing sun.
The quality of the resulting film from our interview may leave a lot to be desired, but we think you’ll agree, nothing stops or even slows Lawson down as he finds joy and meaning in every nuance and around every corner, and how his voice weaves wonderful stories.
Lawson is a Sensei, born in Fresno, California in 1938, and four years later he and his family were confined to concentration camps until the end of the war. After the war and following his college career he began teaching poetry at Southern Oregon University in 1966. In 2006 he was named Oregon’s poet laureate and won Willamette Writers' Lifetime Achievement Award.
Like the other poets we’ve interviewed, Verlena Orr and Paulann Peterson, Lawson is hypnotic to watch and listen to as he and they speak, often using their hands to orchestrate the music of their words, and always using their minds to paint the vivid colors of a good and universal story. They are our bards, the people entrusted with the art of storytelling since our earliest times on this earth.
George, Salli & Ella
The Authors Road