On last Friday, a large crowd gathered on the second floor of the Mann Library addition in anticipation of a poetry reading led by Prof. Kenneth McClane ’73, English. The reading began at 3 p.m. and was introduced by Janet McCue, director of Mann Library.
The reading began with McClane’s short works and included the reading of McClane’s featured poem Spring. During that poem, McClane listed with vigor several names of several plants and concluded forcefully with the phrase “have all come out,” to describe spring’s arrival.
McClane followed by reading the poem Glowworm, in which emphasis was expressed in the line “it is about sound and sense and/sound sense (in-sense incense innocence).”
The reading culminated with a poem dedicated to McClane’s wife, in which McClane described his love for his wife throughout his lengthy marriage.
After the reading, ginger ale and cookies were served and students appeared eager to comment on McClane and the reading.
“I liked how he brought his own poetry alive and even though he said some of the works were old they were still really fresh and really personal to him and by watching, you could really be drawn into it,” said Tasha Hawthorne.
Other comments came from students in McClane’s creative writing class.
“It was really great to see him because I’m actually in his creative writing class and he always works with our poetry . . . so it was great to see him reading his poetry and hear his works and he is just so enthusiastic,” said Emily Adelman ’05.
Hamsa Stainton ’04 commented on McClane’s reading.
“What really moved me about Ken’s reading is that he always encourages us in the way we use language . . . and every time he was reading something and I would expect one word he would bring out something completely different that would bring me in an amazing new direction . . . it was just a very creative unique experience,” said Stainton.
A few students expressed disappointment in the audience’s lack of involvement in the reading.
“It’s always nice to be in the presence of a creative spirit,” said Candree Hicks grad. “What I thought was interesting was that there was no sense of reciprocity in the sense that we were very quiet during the reading. I think that a poet needs to be able to interact with the audience a little bit more. So, I felt as though he did a lot for us, but in terms of what we were giving him we could have done more.”
As the students left the room, the remaining adults also were eager to comment on the reading.
“It’s like community, but it’s creativity, said Jenny Wightman. “It is like constructive creativity rather than destructive creativity.”
McCue was also the organizer of the reading, and expressed her feelings on the event.
“We were hoping that we’d have a nice crowd of students, staff and faculty and I think we got that, which I was really happy about,” said McCue. “And everyone seemed to love it.”
McCue was also expressed content with the diversified crowd that attended the reading.
“I saw people from horticulture here and other departments from the Ag Quad over here and it was nice to have lots of Arts and Science[s] English majors as well,” McCue said.
Archived article by David Andrade