Visiting professor talks poetry with SU students


Dan Beachy-Quick, professor and literary journal winner, read some of his poems to Susquehanna students on Oct. 22. This reading, along with Beachy-Quick’s visits to various creative writing classes throughout the week, was part of the 2014-2015 Raji-Syman Visiting Writers Series.
He started off by discussing how difficult and daunting an Introduction to Poetry class can seem, saying it was along the lines of telling someone: “Sally, I’m going to introduce you to my friend poetry. You’re going to get along well after 15 weeks.” This garnered laughs from the audience as he continued, “Just follow the syllabus.”
Overall, he recognized that it was difficult for writers to find their voice and difficult as a professor to give advice on it.
Beachy-Quick then began to read a series of his own poems. The audience quieted quickly as the “melodic disjointedness,” swept over them, as senior Drew Dean, who introduced Beachy-Quick, phrased it.
In his opening speech, Dean shared that the poems almost demanded attention, with phrases such as “the eyes glance at a page all bruised,” “the ghost chose my head to do its thinking in” and “the sun uses light to convince us to breathe.”
Many of Beachy-Quick’s poems found inspiration from Greek mythology, something he seemed enamored with. He spoke about shields and how they protect people from the violence they seemingly invite. He also talked about the relationship between love and fate in the “Iliad.”
Beachy-Quick said that he uses eyes and other body features in his writing because they contain their own opposition and a distraction to the mind, gathering power in some unknown place.
Beachy-Quick also discussed a variety of topics, including secret obsessions with sonnets, hatred of sestina poems and the relationship of words and form.
His children came up in discussion a few times as well, and he explained that the wonder and curiosity they give him are possibly the most inspirational parts of his life.