Alumna named Poet Laureate of Scottsdale, Arizona

There is a new Poet Laureate in Scottsdale, Arizona and her name is Lois Roma-Deeley.

The Union graduate who earned her Ph.D. in 2000 with a major in Creative Writing is an award-winning educator and poet. She was chosen for this honor following a competitive process and review.

What is her reaction to being named Poet Laureate?

“As a poet, editor and educator, it has been my pleasure to call Scottsdale my home for more than four decades and to represent the city in my professional and personal life,” Roma-Deeley said. It has always been my privilege to actively contribute to our literary community at local, state and national levels. I am excited to be named Poet Laureate of Scottsdale!”

Scottsdale Mayor David D. Ortega eagerly looks forward to Roma-Deeley’s plans her new role.

“I am pleased to have Lois Roma-Deeley as Scottsdale’s next great poetic voice. Her work will enhance the profile of poetry, poets, and literary arts throughout Scottsdale — especially for those with less access or exposure to poetry.”

She credits her Ph.D. from Union in advancing her career.

“I earned my Ph.D. from Union in 2000. My experiences with Union broadened my perspective of poetry, literary theory and women’s studies issues. My Union degree helped me advance in my field. For example, I have published four full-length collections of poetry, been named U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation, and served as a poetry judge at the national, state and local levels, as well as serving as associate poetry editor for an international poetry journal,” Roma-Deeley said. “I have received many awards and honors for my poetry. In more intangible ways, because Union always honored the arts, this focus gave weight and substance to all my creative efforts.”

Her most recent full-length book of poetry is The Short List of Certainties that won the Jacopone da Todi Book Prize (Franciscan University Press, 2017). She is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Rules of HungernorthSight and High Notes—a Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist.

Roma-Deeley is the founding director of the Women Writers Workshop at Arizona State University, founded and directed the Creative Writing and Women’s Studies programs at Paradise Valley Community College as well as the Creative Writing Women’s Caucus of AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs, a national organization). She currently serves as associate editor of Presence, an international poetry journal, and is an emeritus professor at Paradise Valley Community College. Formerly, she served as co-poetry editor of National Forum magazine (now titled Phi Kappa Phi Forum).  Roma-Deeley is the recipient of a 2016 Arizona Commission on the Arts Grant.

In 2013, she earned the prestigious U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE. In addition to her Ph.D. from Union Institute and University, Roma-Deeley holds a Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University.


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