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Renowned poet enthralls students

Jake Essman / The Arbiter

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA) reading series welcomed Tom Raworth on Feb. 22 in the Student Union Building in the Farnsworth Room evading the rambunctious high school students congregating down the hall and the dreary weather outside.

Professor Martin Corless-Smith noted this was the first on-campus meeting for the series this spring and the small rectangular room with its 35 chairs and max capacity of 49 persons seemed to house onlookers accordingly.

Raworth, an English poet and visual artist, has produced quite the expansive resume.

At the ripe age of 75, he has published over 40 works of poetry and prose and founded two printing press companies.

Although his repertoire may be enough to draw in audience members, his rich vocal tones and fluctuation in pacing are definitely enough to sustain their attention.

Chris Caruso, a second year MFA student with a poetry emphasis, said of the reading, “It was amazing, the way he presents things, the rhythm in his voice just the speed of this reading’s just amazing. He runs circles around even younger poets and stuff like that.”

One poem in particular, he read so quickly he began to lose breath, and continously turned even more of a darkened red color until he almost reached the shade of purple.

He then began to slow back down to a less hurried, steady pace.

Katie Manning, a senior art major, said “It’s almost like listening to a conversation.”

But this conversation offered more color, variety and liveliness than the usual conversation heard around Boise State’s campus.

Raworth’s appealing poetry does provide imagery intermingled with internal and external conversation, creating a complete picture akin to fiction novellas, functioning well as a crossover for many avid readers who are weary of
the genre.

Junior Amber Bennett, who was working for the bookstore selling Raworth’s “Windmills in Flames” and less familiar with Raworth’s work, enjoyed the reading, and said, “It just sounded really good and honest.”

Raworth offered up a couple one liners entertaining the audience but also offered insightful lines as well stating, “all dissipates into noise” and “every second brought beauty,” giving every audience member something to walk away thinking about.