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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Curiosity Forms the Foundation of Creativity

Writing in the Hollins Critic, Lewis Turco said of Lois Roma-Deeley's work, "She can pull a reader into her world by the nape of the neck and make him live there until she's finished. Then, when you're through reading, you want to thank her for the abduction." Barbara Ellen Sorenson writes in the Mom Egg Review, "Lois Roma-Deeley compels the reader to open her eyes and witness the beauty of life."  Another reviewer, Kristina Marie Darling of the Tupelo Quarterly, penned, "If poetry makes inwardness palpable, Lois Roma-Deeley's poetry collections make belief and resilience in the face of the void attainable."

Lois has published five full-length collections of poetry. Her poems are featured nationally and internationally in numerous literary journals and anthologies. She has taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels and actively advocates for creative writing. The long and winding road to one of our Nation's most revered poets and local literary celebrities has brought us an inspiring body of introspective work. 

Lois grew up on Long Island, New York, however has called Arizona home for many decades. She credits her mother, an artist in her own right, with guiding her to see beyond surface realities. According to Lois, her father challenged her by asking endless questions, which always seemed to begin with "Why do you believe that?" When she was named U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE in 2012, Lois said she learned from her well-educated older brother, Nick Faraone, that "Nothing worth having is easy, the riches of an intellectual life are mine for the taking, and with patience and fortitude, nothing is beyond my capacity to learn."

Lois Roma-Deeley's academic and professional achievements are a testament to her dedication and expertise in the field of poetry. She earned a B.A. in Journalism and an MFA in poetry from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, where she studied under renowned poets such as Rita Dove, Norman Dubie, and Alberto Rios. She further honed her skills by completing a Ph.D. at the Union Institute and University in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Primary Emphasis in Poetry. Today, she is Professor Emerita at Paradise Valley Community College, where she founded the Creative Writing program. She also serves as the Poet Laureate of Scottsdale, Arizona and as Associate Editor of the International Poetry Journal Presence.

Lois primarily writes in her home studio. She has had the opportunity to be a four-time recipient of a Ragdale Foundation Residency Fellowship, which is located in Lake Forest, Illinois. She completed four of her poetry collections during these writer's retreats. When asked about the foundation of her inspiration, she answers, "Curiosity. The world is often strange and sometimes fearful, but it is always a lovely place. The writing of poetry often answers a question I didn't know I had asked.” 

In this spirit, Lois's sixth full-length poetry collection, Waiting for the Mercy Ship, will be published in 2025 by Broadstone Books. “There is so much to do when a new book enters the world. However, I am finding time to write poems for a seventh collection.” Poet Lois Roma-Deeley keeps up an active schedule of readings and presentations and serves as a poetry judge for various contests at the local and state levels. She is scheduled to teach one online poetry course for Paradise Valley Community College in the Fall of 2024. Lois is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the Authors Guild, and the Academy of American Poets.


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