Journal of Educational Controversy


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Recovered Voice of Ella Higginson to be Recognized at Celebration on November 2nd

Editor:  Readers will recall our earlier post entitled, “Meet Me at the Intersection of Lost Voices and Education: The Ella Higginson Project.”  The author, Professor Laura Laffrado, an English professor at Western Washington University and a JEC editorial board member, had just published her new book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature. Her book raised an important question for our readers to ponder.  What other writers need to be recovered in the literary canon and why have they been lost? 
On November 2nd a special reception to celebrate the installation of a bronze bust honoring Ella Higginson will be held in Western Libraries Reading Room from 4-6pm.

Below is the announcement of the event.  For an insightful look at the life of Ella Higginson, read Professor’s Laffrado’s earlier post at:

Ella Higginson celebration at Western Libraries set for Nov. 2

A special reception to celebrate the installation of a bronze bust honoring celebrated Pacific Northwest author Ella Rhoads Higginson will be held on Friday, Nov.2, from 4-6 p.m. The reception will take place in the Western Libraries Reading Room, (Wilson Library 4th Floor Central) and will include refreshments and live music.

At the turn of the 20th century, Higginson was the most influential Pacific Northwest literary writer in the U.S.  Among her many honors and awards, she was named the first Poet Laureate of Washington state in 1931. However, like many women writers after World War I, over time Higginson and her writings fell into obscurity. 

Higginson was a close friend of Western’s founding librarian Mabel Zoe Wilson, and her papers were ultimately deposited in the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Libraries.  Dr. Laura Laffrado of Western’s English Department conducted extensive research about Higginson in the Western Libraries Heritage Resources collections, which led to the publication of her recent book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature. 
As part of Laffrado’s work to restore recognition of Higginson as a significant voice in American Literature, she raised donations from generous  faculty, staff, students, friends of Western, and friends of Pacific Northwest women writers to fund the creation of the Higginson bust. The bust will be installed near the north entrance of Wilson Library, across from the portrait of Mabel Zoe Wilson.
“I am thrilled that this beautiful bronze bust will have a home in the foyer of Wilson Library, and am so pleased that Ella Higginson’s connection to Western and the Western Libraries is being recognized and celebrated,” said Laffrado.
For more information, please contact Laura Laffrado (  (360) 650-2886).
Photo of Ella Higginson courtesy of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

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