Lois Roma-Deeley

Selected Works

"It's taut, tough, in your face and orchestrates like a mad symphony of howls and laughters and blues, blues, blues, that burn to read. It's clean, crisp, starlight fire, that'll lead you back to your life purpose and make you rethink and reshape your view of life." --Jimmy Santiago Baca
"These poems are tough, brave, but also hold an almost physical balance against human suffering."--Norman Dubie
"That is the trouble with American poets these days --they have forgotten how to entertain the reader. The result is that almost no one reads poetry these days because it isn't fun any more. That's why running across someone like Lois Roma-Deeley is so satisfying."--Lewis Turco, Hollins Critic


Lois Roma-Deeley

Lois Roma-Deeley, winner of the Samuel T. Coleridge Literary Prize, is the author of three collections of poetry. High Notes, her third collection, was chosen as a 2011 Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. The book forms the basis of a jazz opera for which she is writing the libretto. Rules of Hunger and northSight are her first and second collections.

In 2012, Lois Roma-Deeley was named the U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Of the award, The Chronicle of Higher Education writes: "The honor is the nation's most prestigious teaching award, with national winners chosen from four types of institutions: a community college, a baccalaureate college, a master's institution, and a doctoral, research university."

Roma-Deeley is the first national winner of this award that Arizona has ever had in any category.

Scroll down this page and click on the video to hear Lois Roma-Deeley read her U.S. Professor of the Year acceptance speech.

Benu Press awards The Samuel T. Coleridge Prize for "an outstanding work of literature, written by a contemporary author, that fulfills Coleridge's vision of the artist as a reconciling architect of the imagination. Such a work invites us to examine our understanding of the world, establishing new meaning in a just future transformed by possibility."

Roma-Deeley has won numerous awards and honors for her poetry, including awards for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition and the Emily Dickinson Poetry Competition, and recognition as a finalist in the Paumanok International Poetry Contest.

In 2014, The Dr. Lois Roma-Deeley Creative Writing Scholarship Endowment was established by Paradise Valley Community College.

Roma-Deeley was chosen as the 2013 Pacific Regional Faculty Member by ACCT (Association of Community College Trustees).

In 2008, Roma-Deeley won the "Making a Difference for Women Award" from the Soroptimist International of Phoenix organization.

What the Critics Say
Critics have called her poems "brilliant," "tough and brave," "poignant," “a vital chorus,” and "soul-satisfying." Literary critic Peter Huggins writes that, in northSight, Roma-Deeley "presents a cast of characters worthy of Dante."

Click on the video to hear Lois Roma-Deeley read "Apologizing for the Rain," her poem from northSight,

Selected Publications
She has published in twelve national anthologies. Roma-Deeley's poem is published in Villanelles (Random House/​Everyman's Library, Pocket Poets Series). Additionally, she has poems in these anthologies: Love Rise Up and New Hungers for Old: One-Hundred Years of Italian-American Poetry . She has published the following anthologies as well: The American Voice in Poetry: the Legacy of Whitman, Williams, and Ginsberg,American Book Award winner Looking For Home and Letters to the World and others.

Further, her work has been featured --or is forthcoming--in numerous literary journals nationwide and in Canada, including Spillway, Revolver, The Wallace Stevens Journal , and/​or journal , The Citron Review, Hamilton Stone Review, Bellingham Review, 5 AM ,Studio Poetry,Superstition Review, Artful Dodge, Italian Americana, Paterson Literary Review, Water~Stone, Iris, Faultline, Columbia Poetry Review, Comstock Review, Elixir, Controlled Burn, Confluence, Sow's Ear (competition finalist), Iris, and many others. Her work appeared on BestPoem.com.

Artistic Collaborations
In collaborations with visual artists on several ekphrasis projects—most recently with visual artist and curator Beth Shadur—Roma-Deeley’s poems have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

In November of 2004 and 2005, Roma-Deeley was one of several featured poets participating in the interdisciplinary project called "A Poetic Dialogue: Poetry: Women: Art," a Chicago Humanities Festival event. In 2006, her work was featured in the Poetic Dialogue event hosted at the International Conference on Arts in Society at the University of Edinburgh, and published in the International Journal for Arts in Society. The poetry/​visual art collaboration project has toured nationally, including at the Transconference at the University of Wisconsin, as well as internationally. She worked with curator Beth Shadur on the third Poetic Dialogue project, "Collaborative Vision." This pairing of 31 poets and visual artists was a featured show at the Chicago Cultural Center from January through April 2009.( see bethshadur.com for more information).

Further, one of Roma-Deeley's poems was featured on Beth Shadur's work as part of the "Cool Globes" project in Chicago, an innovative public art project of 124 globes designed to create awareness and inspire solutions to global warming. Cool Globes was on display along Chicago's lakefront from June to September, 2007.

In 2011, Roma-Deeley's poem "In This Otherwise Small and Deserted Landscape" was selected to be part of Passage: A Public Art Project by Mags Harries & Lajos Heder . Passage is a multi-faceted public art project set at the new library of South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. The different elements of the project focus on poetry and the landscape of South Phoenix. The Acoustic Chairs located in the front of the library plaza extend the architectural floor pattern into a mountainous landscape, relating to South Mountain. Speakers inside of the Chairs play recordings of poetry when someone sits down and activates a motion sensor in each seat. The public art project is funded by City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Percent for Art program and the Maricopa County Community College District Bond Program.

Roma-Deeley's poem "The Correct Yes" was exhibited with visual artist Mirjana Ugrinov's two panel painting, and was hung in the Ambassador's residence in Belgrade.

The poetic sequence "Voices From The Aftermath: New York City Requiem" (northSight, Singularity Press, 2006) was put to music by composer Christopher Scinto and sung by the Phoenix Chorale (formerly Phoenix Bach Choir) in a special "Remembrance" concert for the fifth anniversary of 9/​11. Currently, she is working on a jazz opera with composer Scinto.

Editing, Writing, Judging
"A Conversation with Martha Collins," written by Elizabyth Hiscox, Cynthia Hogue and Lois Roma-Deeley was published in the Writer's Chronicle, an AWP journal in 2011.

Lois Roma-Deeley served as judge for the 2012 Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award. She choose Meg Wolitzer's The Uncoupling.


In 2013, Roma-Deeley served as poetry judge for the Simmerman Poetry Award.

Roma-Deeley has published six poetry book reviews in several literary journals, as well as serving for ten years as poetry co-editor for PKP Forum (formerly National Forum).

Grants and Fellowships
She has been a fellow at the Ragdale Foundation many times. Roma-Deeley has received grants for her writing from "Poets and Writers," Chicago Humanities Festival, Scottsdale Cultural Council and Tempe Cultural Council.

Roma-Deeley has taught creative writing at the graduate and undergraduate levels for more than 25 years. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Arizona State University where she studied under the direction of Rita Dove, Norman Dubie and Alberto Rios. Roma-Deeley holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Primary Emphasis in Poetry from the Union Institute and University. "The Geometry of Configurated Energy: A Poetic Theory" is the title of her doctoral project.

She has given poetry readings nationwide, including: Distinguished Poets Series, Poetry Center (NJ); Bowling Green State University (Ohio); Molloy College (NY), Women and Children First bookstore (IL); University of Wisconsin--Waukesha (WI); Northern Arizona Book Festival (AZ); AWP Conference in Atlanta (Georgia); West End Reading Series in Ithaca (NY); Chicago Cultural Center (IL) Chicago Humanities Festival (IL); Clearwater Flordia Public Library (FL); Harold Washington College (IL); Poets in Nassau (NY); Arizona State University (main, west and east campuses, AZ); Phoenix College (AZ); Austin Community College (TX); Suffolk County Community College (NY); Mesa Community College (AZ), Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ); Changing Hands Bookstore (AZ); Book Stall Bookstore (IL), Antigone Bookstore (AZ); Biblio Books (AZ), Reader's Oasis (AZ) Borders, Phoenix Writers Club (AS) ARC Gallery (IL); ARTFIT (AZ) Scottsdale Museum of Modern Art (AZ) Scottsdale Cultural Council (AZ) and many others.

Recent Honors
In 2013, she was named Woman of Distinction by Maricopa Community Colleges' Women's Leadership Group.

Lois Roma-Deeley was named 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). To read her acceptance speech, go to:

Roma-Deeley was accepted as a Fulbright Specialist candidate, 2012-2017.

She is available for readings, seminars and creative writing workshops.

Visit Lois Roma-Deeley's blog

Click on video to hear Lois Roma-Deeley's U.S. Professor of the Year acceptance speech.

Click on video to hear Lois Roma-Deeley celebrate National Poetry Month with a reading of her poem "The Women I Knew." This poem is published in northSight as well as in the American Book Award winner anthology Looking for Home.

Click here: University of South Florida, Student Success Conference, April 2013, Lois Roma-Deeley

Click on video to hear what students and colleagues have to say about Dr. Lois Roma-Deeley

Contact Lois Roma-Deeley at:

Lois Roma-Deeley at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. just after accepting her U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College Award

Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove --and former professor of Lois Roma-Deeley-- AWP, Boston 2013

Reading at the Harvard Bookstore with (from left to right, at the table):Susan Kushner Resnick, Eloise Klein Healy, Nicole Terez Dutton and Alicia Suskin Ostriker.

Benu Press awards Lois Roma-Deeley the Samuel T. Coleridge Prize

Beth Shadur's "Witness" and Lois Roma-Deeley's "Bougainvillaea and TV", part of the 1st Poetic Dialogue Project

Lois Roma-Deeley

"Cool Globes" Shadur and Roma-Deeley

"Passage" poem-chairs project

Reading for the Distinguished Poets Series of the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist,

Poetry Reading at Molloy College. Photo Credit: Erin Deeley

photo credit: Carmen Kern

Before giving a poetry reading, visiting Times Square. Photo Credit: Erin Deeley