Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Summer 2012 (July 12, 2012)

Steam Laundry


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July 12, 2012

Steam LaundryBy Nicole Stellon O’Donnell’93

Red Hen Press

Pasadena, Calif., 2012

Sarah Ellen Gibson, the sixth woman to arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska, during the gold rush of 1903, comes to life in this new collection of poems by Nicole Stellon O’Donnell’93. By turns epistolary and illustrated with photos of the real-life Gibson and her firefighter husband, the works form a “novel of poems,” allowing readers to try on life in a dusty, turn-of-the-century pioneer town.

It’s a story that’s compelling and visceral, says former Poet Laureate of Alaska Tom Sexton. “This is a book that deserves to be read,” he says. “I could feel the bitter cold of the landscape and the desires and passions of the characters as I read poem after poem unable to put the book down.”

O’Donnell holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and has resided in Alaska since the mid-’90s. An Individual Artist Award from the Rasmuson Foundation supported the writing of Steam Laundry.

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