OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Corvallis poet Estreich reads from memoir on May 4

04/18/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Award-winning Oregon poet George Estreich will read from his newly released memoir, “The Shape of the Eye: Down Syndrome, Family, and the Stories We Inherit,” on Wednesday, May 4, at Oregon State University.

The free public event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Journey Room of OSU’s Memorial Union, with a book signing to follow.

In “The Shape of the Eye,” Estreich tells the story of raising his younger daughter, Laura, who is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Interweaving the scientific with the poetic, Estreich reflects on the idea of inheritance – in terms of genes, family legacy, and history. “The Shape of the Eye” is the latest title to appear in Southern Methodist University’s Medical Humanities Series.

Selections from “The Shape of the Eye” have been presented at the Willamette Valley Down Syndrome Association, the Spring Creek Conference on Nature and the Sacred, and the World Down Syndrome Conference. Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics, has said that “The Shape of the Eye” “draws us each into a new view of what it means to be ‘human’ and what it means to be ‘different.’”

Estreich is the author of the poetry collection “Textbook Illustrations of the Human Body,” winner of the 2003 Rhea and Seymour Gorsline Prize from Cloudbank Books. Born in New York City, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A in poetry from Cornell. He lives in Corvallis with his family.

Estreich’s reading is part of the new Literary Northwest Series, co-sponsored by the OSU MFA Program and the OSU Bookstore. The event is free and open to the public.