Tess Gallagher

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Tess Gallagher
Born (1943-07-21) July 21, 1943 (age 75)
Port Angeles, Washington, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Washington
Notable awardsGuggenheim Fellowship (1978)
Two National Endowment for the Arts awards
Maxine Cushing Gray Foundation Award
Elliston Award
Raymond Carver
(m. 1988; his death 1988)

Tess Gallagher (born July 21, 1943 in Port Angeles, Washington) is an American poet, essayist, and short story writer. She attended the University of Washington, where she studied creative writing with Theodore Roethke and later Nelson Bentley as well as David Wagoner and Mark Strand. Her honors include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, two National Endowment for the Arts awards, The Maxine Cushing Gray Endowed Libraries Visiting Writers Fellowship (University of Washington), and the Elliston Award for "best book of poetry published by a small press" for the collection Instructions to the Double (1976).[citation needed]

Her late husband, Raymond Carver, encouraged her to write short stories, some of which were collected in The Lover of Horses (1987) and At the Owl Woman Saloon (1996).[citation needed]

Her book Moon Crossing Bridge is a collection of love poems written for Carver after his death from cancer in 1988.[citation needed] "Moon Crossing Bridge" was followed in 2002 by the collection "Dear Ghosts."[citation needed]

Gallagher has taught at many colleges, most recently at Bucknell University and Whitman College. In December 2006, she published an essay in The Sun Magazine, titled "Instead of Dying", about alcoholism and Raymond Carver's having maintained his sobriety.[1] The essay is an adaptation of a talk she initially delivered at the Welsh Academy's Academi Intoxication Conference in 2006. The first lines read: "Instead of dying from alcohol, Raymond Carver chose to live. I would meet him five months after this choice, so I never knew the Ray who drank, except by report and through the characters and actions of his stories and poems."[2]

Distant Rain, published in 2006, is a conversation between Tess and Jakuchō Setouchi, a Buddhist nun from Kyoto, which took place after Carver's death.



  • Stepping outside : poems. Lisbon, Iowa: Penumbra Press. 1974.
  • Instructions To The Double. 19 Graywolf Press. 1976.
  • Under Stars. Graywolf Press. 1978. ISBN 978-0-915308-19-4.
  • Willingly. Graywolf Press. 1984. ISBN 978-0-915308-46-0.
  • The Hug. 1984.
  • Amplitude. Graywolf Press. 1987. ISBN 978-1-55597-099-4.
  • Moon Crossing Bridge. Graywolf Press. 1992. ISBN 978-1-55597-156-4.
  • I Stop Writing the Poem. 1992.
  • Portable Kisses. Capra Press. 1992. ISBN 978-0-88496-342-4.
  • My Black Horse. Bloodaxe. 1995. ISBN 978-1-85224-306-7.
  • Dear Ghosts (Poetry Finalist for 2007 Washington State Book Award). Graywolf Press. 2006. ISBN 9781555974435.
  • Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems. Graywolf Press. 2011. ISBN 978-1-55597-597-5.

Short fiction[edit]

Title Year First published Reprinted/collected Notes
The Poetry Baron 1997 "The Poetry Baron". The Atlantic Monthly. 280 (1): 79–86. July 1997.

Essay collections[edit]

Other works[edit]

  • With Raymond Carver (Dec 1985). "Dostoevsky: A Screenplay" & "King Dog a Screenplay" (Paperback ed.). Capra Back-to-Back Series.
  • "Words Like Distant Rain (2006)
  • With Josie Gray (Jan 2009). Barnacle Soup and Other Stories from the West of Ireland. Eastern Washington University Press. ISBN 978-1597660365.



  1. ^ Tess Gallagher (December 2006). "Instead of Dying". Sun Magazine (372).
  2. ^ Tess Gallagher by Tim Crosby (2006). "Instead of Dying". Academi Intoxication Conference. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014.
  3. ^ Short stories unless otherwise noted.

External links[edit]