Biography (Critical Survey of Poetry: American Poets)
Tess Gallagher was born Tess Bond, the oldest of five children. Her father worked as a logger, and her mother was a homemaker. Gallagher went to the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied under poet Theodore Roethke the semester before he died. Gallagher worked three jobs to fund her college education, a sacrifice that ultimately exhausted her to the point that she dropped out before earning a degree. In 1963, she married Lawrence Gallagher. When he left for Vietnam, Gallagher realized that, despite being raised to think that a woman should marry and have children, she wanted to be an artist and needed solitude to achieve her goal. By the time her husband returned, “something [had] penetrated the dream of our lives. . . . [I]t had somehow vanished, the idea of having children.” They were divorced in 1968. She married Michael Burkard in 1973; they were divorced in 1977. Later, she met writer Raymond Carver, with whom she lived for eleven years. They married two months before his death, a death that resulted in some of her best work.
Gallagher eventually completed both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at the University of Washington. She entered the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was awarded a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1974. To support her writing, Gallagher held academic positions at St. Lawrence University (1974-1975), Kirkland College in New York (1975-1977), the University of Montana...
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Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
The poet Tess Gallagher (GAL-uh-gur), one of the leading figures in the American feminist literary movement that began in the mid-1970’s, was born Tess Bond, the oldest of five children. Both her parents worked in the logging industry, and as a girl Bond assisted her father in the lumber trade and helped to farm the family’s small ranch.
Gallagher began her writing career at the age of sixteen as a reporter for the Port Angeles Daily News. Her interest in journalism led her to enroll in the University of Washington, where one of the faculty members, Theodore Roethke, sparked her interest in poetry. She discontinued her studies, however, to marry the sculptor Lawrence Gallagher in 1963. The marriage dissolved five years later under the pressure of separation during the Vietnam War.
Tess Bond Gallagher thereupon resumed her studies and graduated from the University of Washington in 1968 with a degree in English; she earned an M.A. there in 1970. In 1973 Gallagher married the poet Michael Burkard; that marriage lasted four years.
In 1974 Gallagher graduated from the prestigious Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa with an M.F.A. Her first volume of poetry, Stepping Outside, appeared that same year. The book was praised for its refreshing style and its gentle but firm defiance toward a patriarchal...
(The entire section is 905 words.)
Tess Gallagher was born on July 21, 1943, in Port Angeles, Washington, to Leslie (a logger and longshoreman) and Georgia Bond. Gallagher received her bachelor's and master's degrees in English from the University of Washington, where she studied poetry under the guidance of Theodore Roethke, a National Book Award-winning poet. She went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the University of Iowa in 1974.
While she was teaching English at St. Lawrence University in New York, Gallagher published her first collection of poems, Stepping Outside (1974). The following year, she began teaching creative writing at Kirkland College, also in New York, and would eventually publish her second collection, Instructions to the Double (1976), which is often referred to as her best-known work. She would go on to publish six more poetry collections, as well as teach at various other colleges, and marry three times before publishing her book Moon Crossing Bridge in which "I Stop Writing the Poem" (1992) appears. This entire collection is devoted to Raymond Carver, the well known short-story writer, with whom Gallagher lived and whom she married shortly before Carver's death.
Gallagher's other publications include Owl-Spirit Dwelling (1997), a collection of poems; At the Owl Woman Saloon (1997), a collection of stories about living in the Pacific Northwest; My Black Horse (2000), a poetry collection...
(The entire section is 389 words.)