Passion For Prose

Brittany Hayes, Reporter

The English department honored MU’s new president, Dr. Thomas Botzman, Nov. 13 with a presentation of original poetry.

President Botzman enjoyed the diversity of the work.

“My favorite part was how each person brought their own poems that they wrote. It shows how creative they could be and a whole range of emotions. I never thought I would hear poetry that ranged from polypropylene all the way to Jell-O, to heart surgery to life in the Bayou. That’s what’s great about being a part of this university,” he said.

Professor Thomas Simko read four original poems, including “We who envy the Tin Man,” inspired by one of Simko’s friends who had suffered from heart disease. The poem addresses a man who tried to mend a boat but despite his best efforts, he could only do so much. “Tin Man” paralleled Simko’s wishes to help his friend, but there is only so much he could do. He also read love poems, “Cardiomyoplasty” and “Cigarette Flakes.”

Professor Sarah Hando present- ed the original work, “28”, which was a complete piece about how her age has her stuck between the stages of liberation, being 21 and a brand, and being a mature 30.

Professor Bryan Dewey recited poems that he had worked on years prior. He presented “Protest,” about arbitrary rules and the truth that we govern ourselves. Likewise, “Freedom” was about how people prevent themselves from being free.

Department Chair Rebecca Steinberger advised students to always carry a notebook in case inspiration strikes.

Junior Alex Smith also took the floor to present three of her original poems. “Waterlogged” was the first which depicted her life a year ago. Smith also presented “Inlets and Outlets” about how humanity must make its own positivity.

Smith said she often turns to writing as a way to express her emotions. “A lot of times what I would write would be my coping mechanism.”

One of the most emotional pre- sentations came from Dr. Amanda Caleb with her presentation of “Emotional Release.” The piece was inspired by health problems her newborn son endured. Caleb was brought to tears during the presentation and received an overwhelming round of applause for her honest writing.

Professor Richard Hancuff performed several pieces, the first was “Increments,” about a wooden area behind his house that has since been ripped down to build a housing development. His second piece, “Perspective,” was about the future and its possibilities. He said the two poems go together.

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