Poetry at Work

Susan Rieke

Susan Rieke

Each day, KHC  features the hot topics and great speakers in the Speakers Bureau catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “How a Poet Works” by Susan Rieke

In his beloved poem “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman describes the work of a poet who activates the subtle machinations of the mind, heart, and soul. We may see the poet chewing grass, lost in a Kansas field, studying Lewis and Clark’s impressions of the Missouri River, or addressing a legislative committee. In “How a Poet Works,” Susan Rieke explores notions of work, the relevance of poetry, the “busy” life of a person who appears “lazy,” and the importance of art to the soul of a nation.

“Audiences often have either inflated or weird images of a poet,” said Rieke, a professor at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth. “Really, we are people who mull more than others perhaps and also love words and their sounds.”

Rieke’s academic writing has focused on the poets Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, and she has also published two books of her own poetry, Small Indulgences and From the Tower.

Bring Susan Rieke’s “How a Poet Works” or one of the other presentations in the Speakers Bureau catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, KHC program officer, for more information.