Faculty members read poetry during Polyphony II

Students can now see a few Missouri Southern faculty members in a different light.

The second annual writers reading, Polyphony II, will feature poetry, fiction and other creative writing read by English and philosophy faculty members.

The readings will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 3, in the Spiva Art Gallery at Southern.

“There were a number of professors who wanted to bring writers in,” said Dr. Bill Kumbier, professor of English. “I just thought this was a good way to raise money and let students see a different side of the faculty.”

Everybody will read something of his or her own, not just published work for five to 10 minutes.

“The idea is to raise money for our visiting writers and poets fund,” Kumbier said. “We’d like to raise enough money to have a writer here, possibly in April for National Poetry Month. We’ve already raised $1,200 from last year’s reading.”

This also gives faculty a way to share “the fine writing done by Missouri Southern faculty” with students and others in the community.

“Over the years I’ve taught at Southern, we’ve been fortunate to have welcomed a number of outstanding poets and writers to campus for readings, artists such as Pattiann Rogers, Martin Espada, Gary Gildner, Virgil Suarez and most recently, Yevgeny Yevtushenko,” Kumbier said. “Yet those readings, while rich and memorable, have also been few and far between. That is why the English and philosophy faculty has decided promote a fund for hosting readings by visiting poets and fiction writers.”

The faculty members would appreciate bringing a writer to campus.

“Currently, if you want to meet a writer, you have to go to Pitt State,” said Dr. Joey Brown, professor of English.

Pittsburg State University offers a distinguished-writers series, bringing prominent writers to their campus for readings, class discussions, and conversation.

The English and philosophy departments opened and dedicated the fund with a $500 allocation from the Missouri Southern Foundation grants in the fall of 2004 and are continueing to build it up.

“It’s hard to tell how much a writer will cost,” Kumbier said. “Probably an average of $500 to $3,000, but sometimes even more to get a writer.”

The reading will be $5 for adults and $2 for students with all proceeds supporting the English and philosophy department’s guest speaker fund.

“If somebody wants to put $100 in our basket we’ll take it,” Kumbier said.

For donation and other information and contact Kumbier at 625-9639.

The readers for the Polyphony II are Dr. Dale Simpson, Brown, Dr. Jimmy Couch, Dr. Joy Dworkin, Kumbier, Dr. Ann Marlowe, Dr. Jude Meche, Dr. Oris Walter, Dr. Mike Rodgers and Dr. Art Saltzman.