Award-winning poets present their work at English Department reading series

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    By Rebecca Wickstrom

    Last week”s English Department Reading Series featured the work of two award-winning poets.

    Scott Hatch and Gina Clark read their poetry to students, faculty and guests Friday, Oct. 24, in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium.

    Lance Larson, associate professor of creative writing, introduced both poets. Larson knew Hatch when they were undergraduates together.

    Clark was one of Larson”s students. She married one of his colleagues, but didn”t tell him immediately because she was embarrassed.

    “Who wants to mix their professional life, poetry, with their amorous life?” he said jokingly.

    Hatch read some of his work first. He has won awards from the Utah Arts Council and his references to the state were obvious in his first poem.

    Through his elaborate descriptive language, Hatch weaved a tale of scenery, romance and tragedy.

    “She starts to him, licks her lips, wind parched,” he described. “Finally she cries. Her loss begins to have meaning.”

    After his first recitation, Hatch spoke about his career, which has mostly been spent doing technical documentation.

    “Even there you run across sentences you enjoy,” he said.

    Through his work, he solved problems that required correct technical language. He was inspired to write a poem about semiconductor that he read to the audience.

    Clark showed versatility in her poetry. A neighbor she saw one day while she was running inspired her first poem, one about roaches.

    “To be a roach in a house like Gracie is to never be lonely,” she said.

    Her next poem was written in response to a poem that she received from a friend in the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the ensuing war with Afghanistan. Her friend”s poem was full of rage and caused her to write “If You Could Look into the Eyes of a Soulful Cow.”

    Next, she read “Calamity Jane Harvests Mormon Tea,” which was inspired by her reading of Calamity Jane”s autobiography.

    She concluded her readings with some “mom” poems. The first, “After Reading My Daughter Another Bedtime Story About a Mouse,” brought her to the brink of tears.

    The poem was about the multitude of children”s stories that bring animals to life.

    “After tonight, I too believe in talking mice,” she said.

    “Mary the Mother of Jesus” was her final poem. She spoke about the importance of Mary”s calling and what a great responsibility it was.

    The English department reading series is held every Friday at noon in the HBLL auditorium.

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