Passionate and creative, Lucille Lang Day is renowned as a poet, writer, and scientist. She put her heart and soul into her career; each of the three professions was a childhood dream, and seeing them all come to fruition was extremely rewarding. Dr. Day became hooked on writing and poetry at the age of 6, when she penned her first poem. Reading Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Success,” cemented her desire to be part of that world. Then, a few years later, Dr. Day read a biography of Marie Curie and thought that scientific research sounded like an extremely worthwhile way to spend her life. These experiences paved the way for a fruitful and exciting professional journey.
Dr. Day started out by earning a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences, a Master of Arts in zoology, and a PhD in science and mathematics education from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1971, 1973, and 1979, respectively. While she was there, she garnered hands-on experience as a teaching assistant and research assistant. Dr. Day was also a graduate fellow of the National Science Foundation from 1972 to 1975. She later advanced her career by obtaining a Master of Arts in English from San Francisco State University in 1999 and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from San Francisco State University in 2004.
Degrees in hand, Dr. Day set out to make her mark on the world. Her first position in her field was science teacher at Magic Mountain School, followed by math and science specialist at NUSD, senior technical writer and editor at Schlage, instructor of science in Project Bridge at Laney College, and science writer and manager of pre-college education programs at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She really felt at home at the laboratory; she loved the work, and her reputation for excellence led to the position of life sciences staff coordinator. After leaving the laboratory, she became manager and director of the Hall of Health at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and staff scientist. In 2010, Dr. Day accepted a role as a visiting scientist at the institution. She officially stepped down in 2012.
On the writing side of the spectrum, Dr. Day is still going strong. She has been the founder and director of Scarlet Tanager Books since 1999, and she continues to edit and author poems, articles, books, and book reviews. Her most recent endeavor was “Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California,” which she co-edited in 2018. Dr. Day also authored “The Rainbow Zoo” and co-edited “Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California” in 2016, and authored both “Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems” and “Becoming an Ancestor: Poems” in 2015. Other works include “”The Curvature of Blue,” “Fire in the Garden,” “Lucille Lang Day, Greatest Hits,” “How to Encourage Girls in Math and Science: Strategies for Parents and Educators,” “The Book of Answers,” and “Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope.” Her memoir, “Married at Fourteen: A True Story,” received the 2013 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. All of Dr. Day’s books are available at bookstores and through Amazon.com and Small Press Distribution.