The Beginnings of PNW Literature
Laura Laffrado, an award-winning Professor of English at Western Washington University, will discuss her recent research project focused on early-twentieth century author Ella Higginson on Tuesday, October 27th, from 4:00pm-5:30pm in Special Collections at Western Libraries.
During this presentation, Laffrado will explain how her project to recover the fascinating writings of forgotten Pacific Northwest writer Ella Rhoads Higginson began in Western Libraries Heritage Resources’ collections and ultimately led to the publication of her recent book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature.
Noted writer and Washington state Poet Laureate Ella Higginson (1861-1940) moved to the town of Sehome (now Bellingham) in 1888, at which time her writing career began to flourish. Higginson was deeply concerned with community and civic affairs, including issues affecting women such as female education and the institution of marriage, and she helped establish Bellingham’s first public reading room and library.
Higginson’s poetry and short stories were published nationally by journals including McClures, Harper's Monthly, and Colliers, and her best known work, a poem entitled "Four Leaf Clover," was published by West Shore Magazine in 1890. Laffrado’s book shines a spotlight on this once widely-known and celebrated author, helping to restore Higginson as a significant voice in American Literature.
This special talk is being offered as a “Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers” program. These quarterly events are free and open to the public, and feature presenters who are authorities in their respective fields who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research.
For more information about this event, please contact Western Libraries Special Collections Manager, Tamara.Belts@wwu.edu