Lucia Walton Robinson
Degree and Year:
Northwest Florida State College
Professional Background:I began editing professors' manuscripts (as well as the college litmag) while still in school, worked for a while at a regional journal while waiting for the Bobbs-Merrill College Department to open, and began editing there after a few months' apprenticeship in New York. I also served as production editor, later moving to Holt, Rinehart as assistant acquisitions editor in education and anthropology while freelancing Bobbs-Merrill's literature texts. I've continued freelancing on and off, mostly for friends, except while teaching composition, literature, and creative writing for twenty years. Now that I've retired, I have time to write (and publish) some poetry and do some editing, including three books of devotional poetry (one not just for love).
How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?:Obviously, the more one learns, the more one has to share. And when I found myself divorced and needing a job in the Florida Panhandle at the age of 50, that Duke degree was a magic key even though I had no experience in teaching anything but sailing and canoeing. I studied Elizabethan drama with wonderful Joe Bryant and had begun my study of Shakespeare as an undergrad, and I felt as though being able to communicate understanding of and enthusiasm for Shakespeare especially helped to justify my existence. My daughter, Duke '89, spent several years in Head Start and is now a successful freelance editor and up-and-coming poet who kindly lets her mother tag along to workshops.