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Neillsville Public Library Welcomes Wisconsin Poet Laureatte on Saturday, Part 1

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 -- 11:20 AM

-The Neillsville Public Library will have a special guest on Saturday, June 21st from 10am to 12pm.

Max Garland, Wisconsin?s Poet Laureatte for 2013-2014, is a former rural letter carrier and author of The Postal Confessions, winner of the Juniper Prize, and Hunger Wide as Heaven, which won the Cleveland State Poetry Center Open Competition, as well as a chapbook Apparition.

His work has appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, Best American Short Stories, and other journals and anthologies.

He has received a NEA Fellowship for Poetry, Michener Fiction Fellowship, a Bush Literary Fellowship, the Tara Short Fiction Prize, and fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board in both poetry and fiction. He currently lives in and teaches creative writing in Eau Claire.

Mr. Garland told me how he became interested in poetry.

Mr. Garland said, "I'll sort of go backwards. I've been in Wisconsin for about 23, 24 years now. Originally grew up in western Kentucky. And your question, how I got interested in poetry, I think it was reading the romantic poets, Wordsworth and Keets, like that, in a college course. Something about it attracted me, I think it was the music of the language and how I was beginning to understand, not just the content, not just the words themselves, but the way they sounded was very musical and that was conveying emotion. Summing up, I thought I discovered it in college with this course, but much later I realized that there's poetry around us even though it might not be lined up in columns and stanzas on the page."

Mr. Garland said the English language has more power and capabilities then we ask of it.

"What I found in town after town and suburb after suburb and library after library, is that there are people out there who, if the poet or writer or artist is willing to try to speak openly to people, who are not necessarily experts or scholars in the particular art, is that people are open to art," Mr. Garland said. "And that our language, particularly, has more power and more capabilities then we sometimes ask of it and I think that's where poetry can come in, into anyone's life."

Mr. Garland will be reading selections of poetry this Saturday at the Neillsville Public Library from 10am to 12pm.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.