Professor, poet and critic Gregory Woods delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking poetry reading at Wednesday's Cultural Exchanges event.
Woods began the event by
reading poems from several of his collections of poems, including An Ordinary Dog.
He also talked about the range of people who have prompted and inspired his poems, briefly referring to Homintern, his major work of cultural history and criticism, which is about the internationalism of gay culture in
the twentieth century.
As a creative writing student my first reaction when he said "I use traditional metres and rhymes... because I think they're
beautiful" was a stifled groan - but when Woods stated during the Q and
A that he often treats form as "a wind-up toy, to see where
it goes " I found myself beginning to understand how poets balance the
craft and enjoyment of writing.
Woods also admitted some nervousness in reading the poem 'Mothers
of Sons,' as he worried it would offend mothers even though many mothers have told him they love it.
He explained that throughout
his career he has learned the valuable lesson of your most beloved and well
received poems may not be one you particularly like.
The diversity of poetry forms
and themes within the poems and the voices drew well-deserved applause as
the reading drew to an end. However when later asked whether he would have preferred applause after every single poem, Woods responded, “I’m grateful people don’t