JACKSON, Tenn. – April 11, 2003 – Poet Gregory Orr presented selections from his most recent collection, The Caged Owl on the campus of Union University April 10.
Poet Gregory Orr presents works from his collection The Caged Owl in Union's Harvey Hall.
Among the works presented was “Gathering the Bones,” about a childhood hunting accident when Orr shot and killed his younger brother. Its final stanza reads, “I was twelve when I killed him;/ I felt my own bones wrench from my body./ Now I am twenty-seven and walk/ beside this river, looking for them./ They have become a bridge/ that arches toward the other shore.”
“It felt like the room disappeared,” said junior Rebecca Phillips, after the reading.
“Gregory Orr writes poems of great compression and intense lyricism,” said Bobby Rogers, associate professor of English at Union. “He is one of the best lyric poets at work today.”
Phillips said she appreciates Union’s willingness to host poets and other writers like Orr. “It shows that the university takes note of the writers who are making a difference and wants to expose the students to those writers first hand,” she said.
A professor of English at the University of Virginia since 1975, Orr is the author of seven collections of poems including The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems and City of Salt. His work has appeared in Harvard Magazine, Boston Review and Poetry.
Orr is the poetry editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review and a columnist and editor at Sacred Bearings: A Journal for Survivors. He is the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Fellowships, he has also been a Rockefeller Fellow at the Institute for Culture, Violence, and Survival.