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Goldenrod Festival: Write On!

DSCN0002[1]As my fellow students slowly filled the Cherry Hall auditorium, I took my seat at the front to have the perfect view. That wonderful view was the back of the spikey-haired head of Matt Hart, the poet invited by the English Club to headline at the Goldenrod Poetry Festival.

(“Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Indusctrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.”)

At Goldenrod, the English Club had the amazing opportunity to congratulate and give prizes to the first, second, and third place winners of the poetry contest:

Third place, Richard Heyne, reading his poem: “A Hypothesis on Purgatory When Your Family Needs Heaven to be Real”

Third place, Richard Heyne, reading his poem: “A Hypothesis on Purgatory When Your Family Needs Heaven to be Real”

1-      Ashley Coulter

2-      Kate Warren-Westbrook

3-      Richard Heyne

The English Club decided to make this tenth anniversary special by having eleven winners, instead of the usual ten. After all eleven read their top poems, Mr. Hart was granted the floor. During his reading at the Goldenrod Festival, he gave the audience some interesting facts as he went through each poem. For his opening poem (from his book Debacle Debacle) he remarked that he was fascinated with the word ‘debacle’. He looked it up one day to find out what it meant. What he discovered was that debacle has two meanings: 1- a plan gone awry and 2- a flood. So his recently published book Debacle Debacle actually has two sides to it just like the word has two meanings. Hart also told us that he used to stand in a crowded basement and listen to really loud punk rock music and his writing reflects that.


Close to the end of his reading, Hart related a story about his daughter. One day he had been reading Charlotte’s Web to her. The specific excerpt Hart spoke to was about Charlotte sending out Templeton for more text to save Wilbur. What Templeton brought back was an ad for a type of laundry detergent, and it said: “Now more radiant action.” Mr. Hart said that he just found this simple statement so profound that he had to write about it. He is currently working on a poem called “Radiant Action,” which is 108 pages and is still growing, “Any time you write a poem, or make a piece of art you’re making radiant action. You never know who it is going to affect and how.”

Something I think that one thing we can all take from Matt Hart’s reading at the Goldenrod Poetry Festival is that as English Majors our art is writing and even though we don’t know who it may affect, or how it may affect them, we need to keep writing.

So write on my friends.


Back row: Joshua Johnston, Rachel Hoge, Maggie Woodward, Richard Heyne, Becky Thieman, Allison Henson, and Leah Riley.
Front row: K. Warren-Westbrook, Anna Nuckols, Ashley Coulter, and Jade Primicias

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