The challenge of growing up lesbian in a Christian village on the coast of Maine was one of the themes discussed by Georgia Poetry Prize winner Rosa Lane, who gave a reading at Cine on Wednesday hosted by UGA’s Creative Writing Program and the University of Georgia Press.
English department and Creative Writing Program professor Magdalena Zurawski selected Lane to visit UGA.
“It’s very important for university press to represent creative work,” said Zurawski.
The event room at Ciné was standing room only despite the inclement weather. It was filled with people of all ages, from students to retirees.
Lane addressed how it was not easy to grow up as a lesbian in a small Christian village on the coast of Maine. “It was lonely,” said Lane. “At times, I thought I was the only one in the world.”
“I was lucky enough to have English teachers that loved the literary world,” Lane said of how she began writing poetry.
Lane read from her extensive list of award-winning poetry including excerpts from her book “Chouteau’s Chalk,” which addresses sexual identity conflicts through the viewpoint of a young tomboy surrounded by heterosexual constructs.
Lane also read poems about her wife of 30 years, Catherine, who was sitting in the front row of the event.
“I have always had an interest in poetry,” said attendee Emma Sheehan. “Hearing such a reputable writer read her poems firsthand was an amazing experience for me.”
Reagan Cox, a sophomore at the University of Georgia and another attendee at the event, said she admires Lane for her sincerity about her sexuality and how she unapologetically expresses herself in her poems.