Tess Gallagher

Tess Gallagher
Born (1943-07-21) July 21, 1943
Port Angeles, Washington
Education University of Washington
Notable awards Guggenheim Fellowship (1978)
Two National Endowment for the Arts awards
Maxine Cushing Gray Foundation Award
Elliston Award
Spouse Raymond Carver

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 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).

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).

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

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.




Essay collections

Other works



  1. Tess Gallagher (December 2006). "Instead of Dying". Sun Magazine (372).
  2. Tess Gallagher by Tim Crosby (2006). "Instead of Dying". Academi Intoxication Conference.
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