Poet Melissa Crowe Wows Full Crowd

English Department’s Meijer Visiting Writers Series kicks off with award-winning poet

| Author: Liberty Guilmette

More than 120 students, faculty members, and community members filed into the Bovee University Center Rotunda September 28 to hear poet Melissa Crowe read from her second book of poetry, Lo, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. The reading, sponsored by the Meijer Visiting Writers Series, is the first of four events featuring prominent national authors this year.

Crowe is a professor of Creative Writing and MFA coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

“Mostly, I just want to make things out of words,” Crowe told the students gathered in the Rotunda.

Before reading excerpts of her collection, Crowe gave insights into the background of her poems. She described growing up in Presque Isle, Maine, where there was not a lot of money or parental supervision. She spoke of growing up in extreme poverty, but not wanting to romanticize it, even as she now writes of the curiosity and wonder that filled her childhood—and now graces the pages of her collection. The gathered crowd listened delightedly as Crowe read her poems, her expressive voice filling the rotunda as she bared her soul to the audience before her.

After her reading, Crowe answered questions shouted out from the aspiring writers and poets in the crowd. She gave insight not only into writing poetry, but also into her personal editing process, as well as her publishing journey.

Parker Cleary, an English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing, said Melissa Crowe’s reading was incredibly inspiring as a writer. “Her expression of emotion and life experience through her poetry left me wanting to return to the medium myself.”

Of the evening, Crowe also spoke of being inspired, saying, “That was among the most delightful evenings I’ve passed as a poet or a person. Thank you to all the tenderhearted and clear-eyed students in the audience.”

The Meijer Visiting Writers Series continues in the Bovee University Center on November 7, 2023 with a visit from Joseph Bates, author of the novel The Strikeout Artist.

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