CWU News

Poet to read from new prize-winning collection

Central Washington University will host award-winning poet Taneum Bambrick for a public reading of selections from her new book, Vantage, on October 29 at 6 p.m. in the Brooks Library Second Floor Commons.


Vantage was selected for the 2019 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize.


Bambrick, who resides in California, is a non-tenure track lecturer in English at CWU and a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She appears as part of the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series.


Following the reading, there will be a light reception, sponsored by the Dean of Libraries, and a book-signing, with books for purchase offered by the Wildcat Shop.


Bambrick will also give a craft talk on violence and poetics at 12 noon, also in the Brooks Library Second Floor Commons. All of her events are free and open to the public.


Vantage follows Bambrick’s experiences working as the only woman on a garbage crew that operated around the reservoirs of two massive dams, near Vantage, WA.


Aileen Keown-Vaux, in a preface to her Rumpus interview with Bambrick, says that, “The book is steeped in the physical reality of working and living in Eastern Washington.”


Keown-Vaux noted that as Bambrick toured the chapbook version of her manuscript, which was entitled Reservoir, she reported that many women approached her afterward to declare that Bambrick was writing about their hometowns.


“Her clear-eyed transcription of her physical world is so searingly accurate it makes the reader feel as if she’s conveying their own lived experience,” Keown-Vaux added.


“As a nineteen-year-old college student, Bambrick spent the summer working on a garbage crew primarily staffed by men, cleaning up the banks of the Columbia River near Vantage, WA. From that summer, over a decade later, Bambrick has sublimated her experience into a harrowing narrative committed to telling the truth about class, violence, and rural living in America.”


Bambrick’s appearance is sponsored by the CWU English Department, College of Arts and Humanities, Brooks Library, Multimodal Education Center, the Wildcat Shop, and Karen Gookin.


In addition to being an author and professor, Bambrick is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s MFA program, winner of an Academy of American Poets University Prize and an Environmental Writing Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Arts Center, and winner of the 2018 BOOTH Nonfiction Contest. She is a current Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Learn more at her website,


For more information, contact Maya Zeller in the CWU English Department,, 509-963-1546.


This event is sponsored by the English Department. For accommodation, email