Curiosity forms foundation of creativity

By SHEA STANFIELD

ARTS COLUMNIST

“She is able to pull a reader into her world by the nape of the neck and make him live there until she’s done,” Lewis Turco, said in the literary journal Hollins Critic while writing about Lois Roma-Deeley’s work.  “Then, when you’re through reading, you want to thank her for the abduction.”

Barbara Ellen Sorenson writes in the Mom Egg Review, that “Lois Roma-Deeley compels the reader to open her eyes and witness the beauty of life.” 

Another reviewer, Kristina Marie Darling of the Tupelo Quarterly penned, “If poetry makes inwardness palpable Lois Roma-Deeley’s poetry collections make belief and resilience in the face of the void attainable.”

Lois has published four full-length collections of poetry.  Her poems are featured in numerous literary journals and anthologies, nationally and internationally.  She has taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels and is an active advocate for creative writing.

It’s evident the long and winding road to one of our nation’s most revered poets and local literary celebrities has brought us an inspiring body of introspective work. 

Lois grew up on Long Island, New York but has called Arizona home for many decades.  She credits her mother, an artist in her own right, on guiding her in how to see beyond surface realities. 

Her father challenged her by asking endless questions, which according to Lois, always seemed to begin with “Why do you believe that?”  

When she was named U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE in 2012, Lois said she learned from her older brother, Nick Faraone. He was the first in the family to finish high school and then college, and was a high school teacher for 33 years.

“Nothing worth having is easy, that the riches of an intellectual life are mine for the taking and that, with patience and fortitude, nothing is beyond my capacity to learn,said Lois about what her brother had taught her.

She took this to heart by completing a bachelor’s in journalism and an MFA in poetry from Arizona State University (ASU).

While a student in ASU’s graduate program, she studied under National Medal of Arts recipient and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, internationally acclaimed poet Norman Dubie, and current Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Rios. 

She then went on to finish a Ph.D. from the Union Institute and University in Interdisciplinary Studies with a primary emphasis in poetry. 

Currently, Lois is writing full-time, teaching a various workshops and classes and serves as Associate Editor of the International Poetry Journal Presence.

Lois primarily writes at home, but she has had the opportunity to be a four-time recipient of a Ragdale Foundation Residency Fellowship, which is located in Lake Forest, Ill.  She has completed all four of her poetry collections during these writer’s retreats. 

“Curiosity.  The world is often strange, sometimes fearful, but it is always a lovely place,” she said when asked about her inspiration. “The writing of poetry often answers a question I didn’t know I had asked.” 

Lois shares with her students that poetry is the oldest of art forms and it is so for a reason.

“Poetry teaches us to see well. It does not always, or necessarily, give us answers,”  she goes on, “Poetry does, however, teach us to pay attention.”   

Poet Lois Roma-Deeley is available for readings, seminars and creative writing workshops.  For more information or to contact Lois visit loisroma-deeley.com.   

You can contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield on her email at: flowingquill@yahoo.com.