Teacher and poet Zachary Schomburg will be spending his birthday on the University of South Dakota campus hosting a poetry reading.
The USD English department will present its Visiting Writer Series April 5 in the National Music Museum from 4 to 5 p.m. Heather Christle and Schomburg will read their poetry for the free event. Christle said she has given a lot of poetry readings and is excited to visit USD.
“That’s the life of a poet these days,” Christle said. “I read at a lot of different types of venues. I go from a bar to a gallery to a bookstore. Very frequently I do a readings at a university.”
Schomburg said he is always thinking about poetry, so giving poetry readings is an obvious extension of what he does.
“It’s not something that I put down and do for a few hours,” Schomburg said. “I’m constantly being a poet. I’m constantly thinking about poetry, writing poetry and reading poetry. Whenever I need to write a bit of a poem I’ll do it at any point during the day. It’s a part of my life.”
Christle said she enjoys travelling all over the world to share her poetry.
“The poetry community is somewhat analogous to how I would think of the punk rock community,” Christle said. “You can go almost anywhere in the U.S. There might be people there that don’t know you personally but would be aware of your work or that you’re reading the same book. It’s this ongoing conversation that you travel to take part in.”
Freshman Billy Jons will be attending the Visiting Writer Series and said it will be nice to hear more professional poets.
“It will be nice to listen to them and pick up on some of their techniques,” Jons said. “Having visiting writers spices up the program and adds legitimacy to it as well.”
Hopefully somebody will be entertained and feel good from listening to the poetry reading, Schomburg said.
“It would be no different than a college student wanting to go to a movie or go see a band play,” Schomburg said. “A college student is the perfect person who would want to do this. It should be fun.”
Hearing an author actually read their poem can give insight into the poem and help the reader feel the rhythm of the poem, Christle said.
“I remember when I was a freshman in college being blown away that there were poets who were alive and writing and publishing now and that one of them would actually come and read to us,” Christle said. “It can be really exciting just to show up and represent on behalf of poetry.”
Reach reporter Emily Niebrugge at Emily.K.Niebrugge@usd.edu.