William Simpson Fine Arts along with the Humanities department hosted Chickasaw poet, novelist, and memoirist Linda Hogan inside Marsh Memorial to read her poetry to the Springfield College community. A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her most recent book “Rounding the Human Corners”, Hogan has also received a life time achievement award from Native Writers Circle of the Americas, and Wordcraft Circle. Hogan is currently Writer in Residence for the Chickasaw Nation and one of the most influential Native American writers in contemporary American literature.
In a soft, calm voice Hogan told stories and gave background about her poems describing what her poems where about and how events in her life brought her to write them. Her first poem “Eucalyptus” was “about being a human being” described Hogan, and how “we should learn to take down our layers or shields that we put up in our life.” Being greatly influenced by nature, Hogan shared stories of her experiences with a pack of wolves around her land, and the time she let the wasps inside her room and began to share a schedule with them. Hogan also read poems like “Green Moss” written for her friends who love each other very much and show how two people can sometimes become one. A story about her Uncle and his deep low and beautiful singing voice preluded the poem “The Singer”.
Hogan also visited with an advance creative writing poetry class taught by Professor Margaret Lloyd who also earlier that day. Sharing her experiences in writing with the class, Hogan lent her knowledge to the future writers of the world. “It was great to have her talk about and explain the meanings behind her poems”, said Alison McHorney, student in Professor Lloyd’s class. “It’s important to know you go through a lot of different parts and pieces to get a final product when writing,” said Hogan giving advice to young writers as she talked about her process of writing and “trimming the edges” of her work to come out with a smooth final product.
Tyler Stinson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org