Ohio Poet Laureate to visit campus as part of ‘The Mill’ reading series

Northeast Ohio native and Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas will be returning to his roots on October 3 as a part of The Mill Reading Series.

Put on by the BW Department of English and The Mill, BW’s student-run literary and arts journal, the reading series aims to bring a poet and a writer to BW each semester as a way to tap into talent from the local area.

Associate Professors of English Dr. Sharon Kubasak and Dr. Michael Garriga both facilitated and closed the deal on bringing in Lucas as this year’s fall speaker.

“This event is a good way to participate in the literature of our time,” said Garriga, “rather than continuously looking at pieces from the past.”

The organizers have never had problems getting people to be involved with the event.  Kubasak went as far as to say that “no one has never said no” when asked to come be a part of the reading series.

The upcoming reading continues to raise the bar for the series, Kubasak said.  Getting Lucas to participate in the event this semester, she said, was a “gold star” for The Mill Reading Series.

“Lucas was delighted when we asked him to be a part of this event,” said Kubasak.

Lucas, who is only the second Ohio Poet Laureate ever, has been put in the spotlight to continue the current culture of poetry and open the public’s eyes to modern writing.

He was described as “one of a kind” by Kubasak, and “a true scholar, on top of a fine poet” by Garriga.

The poet was born in Cleveland, Ohio and has been working in the realm of poetry for years. He opened up his own literary series, Brews + Prose, a monthly reading series that takes place near the West Side Market in Cleveland. It has since gained national attention.

“Dave has done a great deal for Cleveland. It’s really remarkable,” said Kubasak.

At the reading series event, students Andrew Devalve and Mary Simmons will introduce Lucas to the crowd before he goes into more detail about his work. Devalve and Simmons are the editor and assistant editor of The Mill, respectively, and were in charge of advertising and promotion, posting flyers acround campus to get the word out across BW.

The main event will begin when Lucas reads his poetry to the crowd.

Garriga said this is an “intimate engagement. When these pieces are put together, they are written alone. This forces the writer to give a lot, but also gain a lot in return.”

After the reading, there will be a brief question and answer session in which students, faculty or community members will be encouraged to ask Lucas questions about his poetry or inspirations for his work. After the event concludes, refreshments will be available in Marting’s Treuhaft Lounge.

“I hope they feel changed and moved, like they have to pause after the experience,” said Kubasak.

Garriga added that he hopes the event will have a “concert-feel” and the effect of “rearranging the furniture in the mind” by its conclusion.

The event will take place in Marting Hall on October 3 beginning at 4:30 p.m. Although the event is free and open to the public, a ticket is required for entry.