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Runciman releases new book of poetry

Lex RuncimanA new poetry book by Lex Runciman, professor of English at Linfield College, examines life in today’s fast-paced society.

In “One Hour That Morning,” a collection of poetry, Runciman confronts questions such as “What is it like to live now, at this pace, in this place? In the midst of privilege and poverty, calm and news of daily catastrophe, what is worth our attention? What does one little life count for, anyhow?”

The book, published by Salmon Press in Ireland, is available on the publisher’s website and at Third Street Books in McMinnville. For Runciman, poetry is a way to catch and hold experience.

“A poem tries to use the fewest possible words for the greatest possible meanings,” said Runciman. “There ought to be something in it that sounds so good you want to go back to it, like the song you want to replay or the painting you want to hang in your kitchen so you can see it every day.”

Runciman earned an English degree from Santa Clara University, an MFA from the University of Montana and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. His interests include environmental concerns, literature of the West, creative writing, contemporary literature in the U.K. and American literature. Runciman has taught at Linfield since 1992.

Runciman has published four other poetry collections, “Starting from Anywhere,” “Out of Town,” “The Admirations,” winner of the Oregon Book Award, and “Luck.” He has also co-authored three writing textbooks with Chris Anderson, professor of English at Oregon State University – “Open Questions: Readings for Critical Thinking and Writing,” “Forest of Voices: Reading and Writing the Environment” and “Asking Questions: A Rhetoric for the Intellectual Life.” His work has appeared widely in magazines and he reviews books in his blog, The Far Corner Reader.