Plains Writers delight students

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  • Managing Editor of Red Hen Press and Editor of the Los Angeles Review Kate Gale recited some poems from her latest books The Goldilocks Zone and Echo Light at the Plains Writers Series that was held in the lounge of the Humanities building on Nov. 20th.

  • Poet Laureate of Missouri William Trowbridge recounts some of his own works of poetry from a few of his collections including Put This On, Please: New and Selected Poems and The Complete Book of Kong at the Plains Writers Series that was held in the lounge of the Humanities building on Nov. 20th.

  • Plains Writers’ readers from left to right: Greg Kosmicki, Kate Gale, William Trowbridge and Michael Skau.

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Melissa Norris, Staff Writer

Four talented poets from across the nation, Greg Kosmicki, Michael Skau, Kate Gale and William Trowbridge, read at this semester’s Plains Writers Series on Nov. 20.

The poetry reading was hosted by the WSC Press and took place on the second floor humanities lounge.

The distinguished readers entertained a full room of students, faculty and staff. Each had his or her own unique poems to share with the crowd.

Greg Kosmicki, editor and publisher of the Backwaters Press, read from a book of his entertaining and insightful poems about life and death, but mostly death.

When he supplied background information, Kosmicki would look to the crowd and joke, “Today, Professor Kosmicki is going to tell you about ‘puff titles.’”

He then explained puff titles as ridiculously long titles on poems. He used a few of his own poems as examples, one of which, “The Moon, the Atlanta Falcons and a Silage Pit,” served to continue the joke of explanations.

The next reader, Michael Skau, continued the laughs by reading from his most recent book of poetry, “Me and God,” published by the WSC Press.

“The God I have fashioned for the poems I have created in my own image. So at times he is sensitive and caring and sometimes he’s an ass,” Skau said.

He opened up with “Pinballs,” in which the narrator and God drink beer, play pinballs and discuss how to win. This poem won the William Kloefkorn award.

He also made a joke about the connection between his 1980 poem “Wind” and the film “Bruce Almighty.” In both works, God, or someone with God’s powers, lifts a woman’s skirt with wind for petty and personal purposes.

Of course, not all of these poems provided a laugh, “Entropy” has Skau’s God lecturing the narrator about suffering after he complains about day-to-day annoyances. Other serious poems included “Insects” and “Afterbirth.”

In her first poems of the afternoon, Kate Gale, publisher of the Red Hen Press in Los Angeles, shared with the crowd her dark youth in a cult, her neglectful mother and being a “half Jew.”

Later, she had the crowd laughing as she read from another book of hers, “The Goldilocks Zone.” There were themes to the collection: glass, condoms, bridges and fireworks.

Missouri Poet Laureate William Trowbridge mused about his youth playing baseball in right field, or “Poet’s Corner,” “Cherry Bombs,” about letting off fireworks in a local swimming pool, and “Obedience,” about a stray dog he found and brought home, only to abandon again later.

Trowbridge finished the afternoon reading “Old Guy Superhero” poems and “Caution,” about signs for stupid people.