For any writer, one of the ultimate returns of writing is the opportunity to have work published. This is certainly the case for three West Virginia University faculty members who have recently published poems in well-known journals. For Jim Harms, professor of English and chair of the Department, being able to reach a diverse audience is one of the great rewards having work published.
“For the past few years I’ve been asked to contribute poems to the Alhambra Poetry Calendar. It’s an honor to appear along with some of the great poets of literary history since the calendar mixes contemporary poems with classics. This year the folks at Alhambra also issued a calendar for young readers, and I happened to have a piece that worked for that project as well. I made sure my daughter got a copy of the calendar to place on her nightstand,” said Harms. His piece “The New Moon Economy,” which was originally featured in Shenandoah has recently been reprinted on Poetry Daily.
Renee Nicholson, teaching instructor in the Multidisciplinary Studies Program, finds inspiration in her experience training for and performing in professional ballet, and also finds it gratifying when she can connect with audiences on a personal level like she did with her poem “Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center,” published in the literary journal Linden Avenue.
“I actually got a note about ‘Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center’ from someone who read it and just wanted to tell me that the poem meant something to him. That’s about the greatest thing that could happenthat something I wrote would resonate with a total stranger.” Nicholson said.
Charity Gingerich, English instructor, also has three poems being published in Moon City Review this spring, and finds inspiration in her everyday experiences. Her pieces are “After June,” “Beauty is a Mountain We See While Driving Our Car,” and “Conflict is the Only Way to Intimacy.”
“Poetry isn’t something confined to a writing space or special state of mind for me; rather, it’s part of my everyday existence. On a walk I pick up a unique leaf and think of mortality. In the case of ‘After June,’ which is for my mother, I was thinking of my childhood landscape and how being away from it influences me more than being in it,” Gingerich said.
For more information, contact the Department of English at 304-293-3107.