Paul Willis, professor of English at Westmont, will be reading from his new book of poetry, “Say This Prayer into the Past” (Cascade Books, 2013), Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in Granada Books, 1224 State Street; and Thursday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. Both events are free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.
Westmont student-poets Riley Hall ’14 and Katie Shara ’14 will precede Willis at the Westmont reading.
“Say This Prayer into the Past” reckons with cadavers in the family closet, a house lost to a wildfire, and the heartbreaking beauty of the Sierra Nevada. “These poems speak into the trials and joys the years have rendered,” Willis says. “Their purpose is to bless those of us who mourn and to bring some measure of comfort.”
Willis, Santa Barbara Poet Laureate from 2011-13, has published several collections of poetry, including “Rosing from the Dead” (WordFarm, 2009) and “Visiting Home” (Pecan Grove Press, 2008). He has published numerous poems in journals such as Poetry, Ascent, Wilderness, and Christian Century.
He graduated from Wheaton College, earned a doctorate in English at Washington State University, and has taught at Westmont since 1988.