Lloyd, Roseann 1944-

views updated

LLOYD, Roseann 1944-

PERSONAL: Born 1944, in Springfield, MO. Ethnicity: "Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Spanish, English." Education: University of Minnesota, B.S., M.A; studied with Richard Hugo, Madeline DeFrees, and Tess Gallagher at University of Montana. Hobbies and other interests: Walking.

ADDRESSES: Home—Minneapolis, MN. Office—University of St. Thomas, English Department, JRC 333, 2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105 E-mail—[email protected]/, lloy[email protected] umn.edu/.

CAREER: Poet, author, editor, and educator. Currently visiting professor at University of St. Thomas, St. Paul; adjunct professor in Hamline graduate program in St. Paul. Taught in the writers-in-the-schools program and community programs; leads annual poetry writing workshop in Antigua, Guatemala.

MEMBER: The Loft, S.A.S.E.; the Write Place, Lyndale UCC Church, Mineapolis, MN.

AWARDS, HONORS: Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Poetry, 1991; American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 1991, for Looking for Home: Women Writing about Exile; Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, 1997, for "War Baby Express"; Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship, 1998; Jerome travel grant, 1998; Bush Foundation fellowship, 1999.


Tap Dancing for Big Mom (poetry), illustrated by Arne Nyen, New Rivers Press (St. Paul, MN), 1986.

(With Richard Solly) Journeynotes: Writing For Recovery and Spiritual Growth, Harper & Row (San Francisco, CA), 1989.

(Editor with Deborah Keenan) Looking for Home: Women Writing about Exile (anthology), illustrated by R. W. Scholes, Milkweed Editions (Minneapolis, MN), 1990.

(With Merle Fossum) True Selves: Twelve-Step Recovery from Codependency, photographs by Tony Nelson and Terry Gydesen, Hazelden (Center City, MN), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.

(Translator with Allen Simpson) Herbjörg Wassmo, The House with the Blind Glass Windows, Seal Press, 1995.

War Baby Express (poetry), Holy Cow! Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Because of the Light (poetry), 2002, to be published by Holy Cow! Press (Minneapolis, MN).

SIDELIGHTS: Roseann Lloyd was born in Springfield, Missouri and educated in Missoula, Montana and her current home of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She teaches at the college level and is involved in community projects that use poetry as a healing tool. Some of her programs are tailored for adolescents or adults recovering from addiction and victims of sexual assault. Journeynotes: Writing for Recovery and Spiritual Growth,which Lloyd co-wrote with Richard Solly, is a guide to keeping a journal for reflection and self-discovery. It includes excerpts from the diaries of famous writers in recovery that demonstrate the effectiveness of writing about issues that are difficult to discuss. The authors use the word "recovery" in the broadest sense, since they believe everyone has recovery work that needs to be accomplished.

Lloyd's War Baby Express is a poetry collection in which she writes of wars ranging from the Vietnam War to the war waged against battered and abused women. Nick DiSpoldo wrote in Small Press Review that "although Lloyd writes with all the urgency of a 911 call, she is careful and thoughtful, dissecting domestic discord to reveal the social cancer that is domestic violence." In several poems, Lloyd writes of her brother's early death from narcotics. In "Angles of Vision" the narrator speaks about the connections between militarism, family dynamics, and physical/sexual abuse. Alison Townsend wrote in Women's Review of Books that in this poem Lloyd "uses repetition, mid-line caesuras, and lack of punctuation to capture the halting, gliding movement of memory and mind on the page." Townsend said that in the narrative poems, including "Cloud of Witnesses, All Saint's Day" and "County Mental Health Clinic, 1976," Lloyd "employs a longer, almost Whitmanesque, iambic line and mostly endstopped couplets that underscore the pain and solemnity of wife abuse." Townsend concluded by saying: "Long one of my favorite poets for the courage of her art, in this collection, Lloyd is both stylistically original and emotionally whole, transforming the landscape of loss into one of possession."

Lloyd and Deborah Keenan edited the anthology Looking for Home: Women Writing about Exile. Booklist reviewer Pat Monaghan noted that "the subtitle only hints at the breadth of work within this exemplary collection." The forms of exile addressed in the 125 poems written by American women, many of whom were born abroad, go beyond geographical movement to exclusion as exile, forced by racial and economic oppression, abuse, poverty, chemical dependency, sexual nonconformity, and sickness. Monaghan described as "piercing" Mitsuye Yamada's "I Learned to Sew," about her mail order bride grandmother who was rejected for being homely. Publishers Weekly reviewer Penny Kaganoff called the entry "a stunning narrative of immigration and social hierarchy." The poems reflect the difficulty of women entering the United States, particularly in adapting to marketdriven, male-defined values. New York Times Book Review contributor Devon Jersild wrote that the collection "richly communicates both the singularity and the universality of women's deepest concerns....In most of them one hears language freighted with experience, the real voices of real women." The nature of exile may be cultural, but is also spatial, temporal, and psychological, observed Marie Noëlle Ng in Canadian Literature. "One is immediately struck by the overwhelming sadness in these poems: to travel is not to have an adventure, to explore. Instead, to travel is to be displaced, to escape, sometimes without destination."

Lloyd and Allen Simpson were the first to translate the work of Norwegian writer Herbjörg Wassmo. The House with the Blind Glass Windows is the first volume of a trilogy that had previously been published in Scandinavia. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the novel a "heartbreaking tale." The title refers to the house in which young Tora and her mother, Ingrid, live. Tora's natural father was a Nazi deserter who was killed before he and Ingrid could escape. Ingrid is now married to Henrik, who sexually abuses the eleven-year-old child while her indifferent mother works the night shift in a fish-packing plant. Tora, the only German in her village, is picked on by the other children, causing her to retreat into a world of fantasy. Only when Tora is helped by an aunt and uncle and begins to form relationships with others outside the family, including a deaf and mute boy and a Jewish peddler, is she able to trust again. "Ms. Wassmo has written a deeply moving novel, compassionate but not sentimental, whose earthy language is able to express the complex feelings of a complicated time," wrote Kaj Schueler in the New York Times Book Review. Schueler called this a "fine English translation." In terms of its impact on young people, the book has been compared to Catcher in the Rye.

Lloyd told CA: "In the process of writing Because of the Light, I've been working with the Ghazal, the prose poem and persona poem, as well as other free verse forms, to explore aspects of our contemporary world. I'm interested in integrating many voices into my poems and these forms have given me a wide range of voices, tonal variation and complexity. My first two collections of poetry emerged from my personal history. This new book comes from a wider community of people and cultures. For many years, I've joked seriously that anyone who survives junior high school has a lifetime of material for writing. However, in the last few years, traveling has also become a rich source for my poems and so I've had to give up that junior high motto, although it is still true. About my process: I write/revise my poems by saying them out loud. I grew up in the Ozarks around people who told long stories and I seem to have picked up that habit myself. My poems start with phrases and rhythms more often than images. The corollary to that is that I love giving readings—that is, giving my poems to the world. I also send new poems on email to friend for quick feedback, so I experience a strange mix of real-time and cyber-time in my current working process. Off and on, I post new poems on my Web Site as well, which is located at www.roseannlloyd.com."

Poet Jim Moore has written the following comment for the cover of my book Because of the Light:"I have followed Roseann Lloyd's work with pleasure and admiration for many years now. Each book has given me a new way not just to look at and be in the world, but new worlds at which to look: Guatemala, Norway and Wales. Whatever a 'global soul' might come to resemble in this post-September 11th world, Lloyd's poems will surely help Americans understand its textures and contours, its rewards and challenges." The book's last two lines are: "I had come around/the long way home. Home to the heart? Yes, that. But also to the larger world in which the heart must find its way."



Booklist, September 15, 1990, Pat Monaghan, review of Looking for Home, p. 135.

Canadian Literature, spring, 1994, Maria Noëlle Ng, "Travelling Women," pp. 92-94.

Et cetera, winter, 1989, Jeremy Klein, review of Journey Notes, pp. 384-85.

Hungry Mind Review, fall, 1996, review of War Baby Express, p. 30.

New York Times Book Review, January 17, 1988, p. 24; November 25, 1990, Devon Jersild, "Women and Other Foreigners," p. 18.

Publishers Weekly, September 11, 1987, review of The House with the Blind Glass Windows, p. 83; August 17, 1990, Penny Kaganoff, review of Looking for Home, p. 63.

Small Press Review, April, 1997, Nick DiSpoldo, review of War Baby Express, p. 11.

Women's Review of Books, March, 1997, Alison Townsend, "No Pain, no Gain," p. 12.


Roseann Lloyd Web Site,http://www.Roseannlloyd.com (April 29, 2003).