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SLOWING DOWN TO THE SPEED OF POETRY

Raylene Hinz-Penner

Coming in Spring 2023

Course Cost: $50

Americans found they needed poetry during the pandemic. As an art form, poetry has always been a resource for finding solace and connection in times of crisis, transition, and struggle. This course will study the work of three important late twentieth century poets: Gwendolyn Brooks, (1917-2000), the first African American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature; William Stafford (1914-1993), a poet with Kansas connections who was known for his focus on the ordinary and his convictions about war and peace; and Mary Oliver, (1935-2019), who shared her deep communion with the natural world. Exploring the literary form of brevity, studying poetry together allows us to connect as we share and discuss our own readings of three accessible, much-loved poets, each with something profound to say to the human condition.

Raylene Hinz-Penner is a longtime college instructor of literature and writing (Bethel College, Washburn University), interested especially in the influence of geography or place on human life. In 2007 she published the story of Cheyenne Peace Chief Lawrence Hart (Searching for Sacred Ground: The Journey of Chief Lawrence Hart, Mennonite). In more recent years she has pursued topics related to human-drawn borders on the land, farming, land acknowledgement, and settler accountability. Her book on the land she grew up on in Dustbowl territory, southwest Kansas, titled East of Liberal is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2022.

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