Wilson Writer’s Series Poets Speak Provocative Prose

by Nicole Twigg

Poet D.O. Moore needed no preparation before Assoc. Prof. of English Michael Cornelius introduced her to the audience last week at the Wilson Writer’s Series. She seemed excited and ready to share her work with the crowd as everyone applauded her appearance at the podium.

The Writer’s Series invites poet-regulars

On Weds, Apr. 14, D.O. Moore was one of two published poets in Wilson’s annual spring Writer’s Series, sponsored by the Department of English and Mass Communication. D.O. Moore and Chris Christopher traveled to Chambersburg share their favorite poems with others. Christopher also brought his daughter—class of 2003 alumna Zoe Christopher Hernandez—so that she could share the stage with Christopher and present some poems of her own.

D.O. Moore: examining the self

Dressed professionally with her blue scarf wrapped lavishly around her neck, D.O. Moore read a handful of poems, such as “Nasty Girls,” “Linguist,” and “Surfing outside Log Cabins in 1998.” Her themes explored the concept of the “self” as well as tapping into other people’s experiences. About her own reasons for writing poetry, D.O. Moore divulged, “I get really interested in other people’s lives; people who have experiences different from my own. I enjoy looking at the lingo and jargon they use and I’d like to know what it would sound like if they were to use it in a poem.”

Chris Christopher takes the stage

Chris Christopher took the stage next. This was not his first Writers Series; he’s a regular visiting poet at Wilson College. Some of his poems seemed to be deliberately thought provoking, as if he tried to make the audience consider daily, lived experience. His poems included, “When You Finish Reading This,” “Passing through Uijeongbu,” and “Echocardiogram.”

Christopher’s advice to would-be poets

Offering some words of advice for budding poets, Christopher said thoughtfully, “It’s important for a poet to read poetry, it’s important to read the genre in which you want to write, and over time you will develop your own voice; it has to be authentically yours though, and not an imitation of others.” In the middle of Christopher’s reading, he asked his daughter, Zoe, to come up and read some poems of her own. “Broken English” and “The Bloodied Sheet” were both very deep poems with themes of loneliness and finding oneself.

The audience’s response

These poets seemed to have a significant impact on the audience: Moore’s and Christopher’s poems appeared to fill the crowd with thoughtfulness and a sense of the poets’ emotions located in their spoken words. Rochelle Plummer, from Wilson’s Adult Program, said “I could tell by the passion of their words that their poetry was not just written for themselves but it was part of their life.” Wilson College looks forward to having these poets come back again in the future.

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