Poets Jane Hirshfield, Dan Gerber to read work at GVSU

GVL / Courtesy - GVNow 
Jane Hirshfield

GVL / Courtesy – GVNow Jane Hirshfield

Drew Schertzer

As part of the 15th annual Fall Arts Celebration at Grand Valley State University, a poetry night will be held. The event, “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Jane Hirshfield and Dan Gerber,” will take place Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the L.V. Eberhard Center on GVSU’s Pew Campus. 

During the event, Gerber and Hirshfield will read poetry to an audience, followed by a book signing and discussion.

“Reading poetry on your own can be difficult, but hearing poets read can be transformative,” said Patricia Clark, GVSU writing professor, via email. “They (Hirshfield and Gerber) were selected because they are excellent readers and writers.” 

Hirshfield has written eight books of poetry throughout her career. She published her first poem in 1973 and has gone on to receive many recognitions and awards. One of her works, “The Beauty,” was named a finalist for the National Book Award in 2015. 

Gerber has been writing poetry from a young age. He began his career as a journalist before deciding to follow his passion for writing poetry. Gerber’s works have been featured in publications such as The New Yorker and Best American Poetry

Bringing established poets to GVSU has become a staple of the Fall Arts Celebration. Last year, the university hosted Oliver de la Paz and Tracy K. Smith. 

Clark said students should come to hear poetry because it can be entertaining. Clark thinks that hearing poetry is like watching a play and that it is fun to watch the poets as well as hear them. 

The event is an attractive option for students like Donovan D’Amore, who has a vested interest in poetry.

“I can’t wait to see how two master poets present their poems,” he said. “Writing good poetry is a divine gift that few possess.”

D’Amore added that he didn’t know that GVSU hosted events like the poetry night. The event gives students the opportunity to gain a new perspective on the subject.

To find out more about the Fall Arts Celebration, or to watch video archives of past poetry nights, visit www.gvsu.edu/fallarts/poetry-6.htm.