Esteemed American poets Alan Michael Parker and Joy Katz were on the Worcester State University campus Tuesday, March 5 as the first two speakers in the new March Hare Reading Series.
Katz opened up the series by reading poems from her forthcoming collection All You Do is Perceive. She was followed by Parker, who read poems from Long Division and his other collections.
“Joy is an amazing poet, and I’m honored to be speaking with her,” Parker said.
The series was hosted by the WSU English Department and the Commonwealth Honors Program, and is aimed at giving students direct access to nationally established writers in different genres.
Assistant Professor of English Heather Treseler, Ph.D., introduced the two poets. She and Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Charles Fox co-planned the event.
“I hoped that students would enjoy hearing poems and meeting well-known poets,” Treseler said.
Christine Hickman was one of the students in attendance.
“I loved it,” Hickman said. “It was great to have two well-known, accomplished poets speaking at WSU.”
About 150 people attended the reading, held in the Student Center’s Blue Lounge. It was followed by a master class, held in the faculty lounge of the Sullivan Academic Center, in which the two poets answered questions and offered advice to students.
“Find what works for you,” Parker said. “Discover how your own ways of making meaning can be fortified.”
“Often, things that seem like they don’t belong end up being important,” Katz said.
The two poets also shared their writing processes. Katz said that she writes a lot, and eventually a poem comes forth. Parker said that he finds his inspiration early in the morning with a cup of coffee.
Katz teaches in the graduate writing program at Chatham University. She is the author of three poetry collections, and is the co-editor an anthology titled Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems.
Parker is the Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English at Davidson University. He is the author of seven poetry collections, three novels, and is the editor of The Imaginary Poets.
Both poets were in Massachusetts for the Association of Writers and Writing Program’s annual conference in Boston March 6 to 9.
Joe Gullekson ’13 is an English major at WSU.
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