Roseann Lloyd's work as a poet has always been in honor of community, healing, beauty, and laughter. Her stunning and heartbreaking poems about incest have helped to heal a community of men and women whose fates delivered them into the wrong hands. Long before it became politically correct to do so, Lloyd's poems not only located her in her color and class and gender, but, miraculously enough, also located a world of others—a world made real by her piercing attention and compassion, and by her early willingness to claim all she did not understand, even as she sought understanding.
Lloyd has written three extraordinary books of poetry: Tap Dancing for Big Mom, War Baby Express, and Because of the Light. They are filled with lively, truthful, funny, sorrowing, ferocious, sustaining poems. Yet she also possesses a steady and intelligent voice in prose, in books written for Hazelden Press, which have brought comfort and a light to see by as people work to heal the damage done.
Beyond her stunning public voice, Lloyd has spent years as a remarkable teacher, both in private workshops and at local universities such as Hamline, the University of St. Thomas, and the University of Minnesota, to name just a few. Her students have been blessed by her fine teaching and the amazing depth and breadth of her knowledge. All of us have been blessed, too, by her clarity that we humans, whether we write poems forever or just for a class assignment, are here on the planet together, and our job is to protect and defend one another, and to make art that brings power and beauty and different kinds of healing to a troubled and troubling world.
Deborah Keenan's eighth book,Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems, was published last year by Milkweed Editions. She teaches full-time at Hamline University.