Grass Roots Event Books
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Hanford: A Conversation of Personal Stories in Poetry and Prose with Kathleen Flenniken
Thursday June 20 | 6:30PM - 8:00PM
Corvallis-Benton Public Library Main Meeting Room
645 NW Monroe Ave, Corvallis
2012-2014 Poet Laureate of Washington State Kathleen Flenniken will read from her second poetry collection Plume on the history of contamination from the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. Pat Hoover, a Hanford Downwinder contaminated by the pollution responds to the poetry.
The poems in Plume are nuclear-age songs of innocence and experience set in the "empty" desert West. Award-winning poet Kathleen Flenniken grew up in Richland, Washington, at the height of the Cold War, next door to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where "every father I knew disappeared to fuel the bomb," and worked at Hanford herself as a civil engineer and hydrologist. By the late 1980s, declassified documents revealed decades of environmental contamination and deception at the plutonium production facility, contradicting a lifetime of official assurances to workers and their families that their community was and always had been safe. Plume, written twenty years later, traces this American betrayal and explores the human capacity to hold truth at bay when it threatens one's fundamental identity. As a child of "Atomic City," Kathleen Flenniken brings to this tragedy the knowing perspective of an insider coupled with the art of a precise, unflinching, gifted poet.
This event is co-sponsored by OSU and The Spring Creek Project.
The event is free and open to the public. Grass Roots will have books available for purchase.