Wick Poetry Center to host first reading of semester

Anna Duszkiewicz

Matt McBride stumbled into the world of poetry as an undergraduate at Bowling Green State University.

“I’m not one of those writers who can say that I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” he said.

In order to fulfill his general education requirement, he wanted to take a creative writing class with a focus on fiction.

Instead, McBride ended up in the poetry section.

“I . messed up my schedule,” he said.

But he was drawn into poetry, and by the end of the semester he couldn’t get enough of it.

McBride is one of the winners of the 2006 Chapbook competition sponsored by the Wick Poetry Center.

The Chapbook competition is split into two parts – one competition for any poet living in Ohio and another for any poet attending an Ohio college or university.

McBride, who is the student winner, and Jason Gray, who is the open competition winner, will read from his book at Wick’s first reading of the semester tonight at 7:30 in room 306 of the Student Center.

A reception will follow the reading, giving students the chance to talk to the authors and buy their chapbooks.

Wick Center director Maggie Anderson said a chapbook is a small, limited edition book of an author’s work.

She said Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was originally a chapbook.

They were sold for a cheap price on the backs of trucks or wagons to promote propaganda.

Anderson said it’s ironic because chapbooks today are considered to be fine art objects.

“They’re usually very nicely produced and cheaply priced, short and self-contained,” she said.

“It’s a little hint of what a longer book might be like,” Anderson said.

She said it’s often a writer’s first published work.

Anderson, who selected Gray and McBride as winners, said both of their chapbooks were hard to put down.

She enjoyed Gray’s work, which included poems written after paintings and photographs.

“I was interested in how he was writing in a way that interacted with another art form,” Anderson said.

She said she liked the voice of McBride’s poems.

“They were very intelligent and a little bit strange in a good way,” she said. “I read through it in one sitting and wanted to read it again.”

Anderson encourages students to attend tonight’s reading.

She said being in their 20s, both of the authors write about things students can relate to.

“Plus, it’s Valentine’s Day,” Anderson said. “Poetry and Valentine’s Day go together nicely.”

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter

Anna Duszkiewicz

at [email protected].