Poetry slam hits hearts
Brix Hahn/Sun Star
October 23, 2012
Poets Sean Hill and Derick Burleson read to students last weekend as a part of UAF’s “Use Your Words: A Celebration of Writing” celebration. The two guest artists alternated reading pieces of their own work and responded to the others’ work with a poem of their own, as if to have a conversation though their works. The Department of English sponsored the event as a small sliver of their Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series.
Hill, a native Georgian, spends the majority of his time in Minnesota but moved to Fairbanks for the duration of this academic year as a guest artist and lecturer for UAF. Hill has published one book, “Blood ties and Brown Liquor,” and his poems appear in several other collections of work.
Burleson has taught several classes at UAF, his most recent published piece is “Never Night.” He currently lives in Two Rivers .
A coin toss determined that Hill would begin the poetry reading. The two read to a half-filled Schaible auditorium.
“I enjoyed the language between both the poets,” said Baylee Dunn, a 15-year-old freshman from Lathrop High School. “I liked the way he put his vision of the world and how he felt about it into his words. I enjoyed the language behind it.”
Dunn’s mother Rachelle has taken six semesters worth of classes from Burleson and owns a few pieces of his art work.
“I miss being in Derick’s class. When I read anything I hear Derek’s voice in my head,” Rachelle said. “It feels like coming home. Poetry is a comfortable place to be.”
Caitlin Woolley, a first year masters student studying fiction writing said, “I loved it. I thought it was great. They way they balanced off of each other was really wonderful.”