Missouri Verses and Voices & Prairie Lands Writing Project


Missouri Verses and Voices & Prairie Lands Project presented a poetry reading and creative writing workshop here at Western. The readings took place in Blum Union this past Monday and featured Missouri’s 2008-2010 Poet Laureate Walter Bargen and Missouri’s 2010-2012 Poet Laureate David Clewell.

A soft-spoken Bargen offered listeners some tasteful words with his readings leaving much to be desired. His poetry was very creative and allowed the imagination to take a turn of its own.

David Clewell, Missouri’s 2010-2012 poet laureate, reads his original work at the poetry reading presented by Missouri Verses and Voices & Prairie Lands Writing Project. Photo | Brooke Carter

Clewell was powerful and animated in his readings, which were largely memorized. It was hard not to laugh at the humorous approach he took to his work, and much of the content was absolutely hilarious at times.

Everyone who attended had an opportunity to ask questions that were answered carefully and thoughtfully. Bargen was asked about writing and revising.

“The poems in my book are not poems I’ve finished, they are poems I’ve abandoned, Bargen said.

He also commented on writing your thoughts down instead of trying to take an inspiration and putting a lot of thought into writing a finished product. He explained that this way you capture the ideas to work with.

Clewell added to the fact that it could take days, weeks or even years before you return to it and write something clever from those thoughts, but each of those ideas may possibly be the words you are looking for.

“Never throw anything away; what seems to be a disaster could turn out to be a great piece of work,” Clewell said.

Western Creative Writing Professor Bill Church hosted the workshop.

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