October 18, 2004

Canadian poet opens Tenney lecture series

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Canadian poet Tom Wayman will open Southern Illinois University Carbondale's annual Charles D. Tenney lecture series with a free public reading from his work at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in the Student Center Auditorium. A public reception in the adjacent Gallery Lounge will follow.

Media Advisory
Reporters who wish to interview poet Tom Wayman may meet him at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 in the Ohio Room of the SIUC Student Center.

A native of Ontario, Wayman grew up in a hardscrabble fishing and pulp mill town on the coast of British Columbia, due south of the Alaskan Panhandle. The son of a pulp mill chemist, he went on to earn a master of fine arts in English and writing at the University of California at Irvine.

Tenney served as the University's provost and vice president from 1952 to 1971.

After earning his graduate degree, Wayman kept body and soul together doing a variety of manual and academic jobs in Colorado, Michigan, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

He went on to publish 13 collections of his poems, including "Did I Miss Anything: Selected Poems 1973-93" and "The Astonishing Weight of the Dead" in 1994.

He edits anthologies, is co-founder of the Vancouver Industrial Writers' Union, a work-writing circle, and has participated in a number of labor arts ventures.

Of late, he's taken a shine to his job as Squire of "Appledore", an estate in the Selkirk Mountains of southeastern British Columbia. There, he raises flowers and vegetables, cross-country skis and canoes. The Tenney lecture series exemplifies SIUC's aspiration of reaching out to others through coordinating cultural outreach programs as outlined in Southern at 150: Building Excellence through Commitment, a long-range plan the University is following as it moves toward its 150th birthday in 2019.