Karla Kelsey and Christopher Bakken poetry reading

Helen Lauterbach, Contributing Writer

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On Tuesday, Oct. 22 there were two visiting poets, Karla Kelsey and Christopher Bakken, participating in a poetry reading at Bucknell Hall. The event was open to the public, and a mix of university students, faculty and staff, and other community members filled the pews of the dimly-lit Bucknell Hall. The event is a part of the Stadler Center Writing Series, an annual writing series that hosts a few readings throughout the year, among other events.

Kelsey is a professor of English and creative writing at Susquehanna University and has published three books of poetry; her general writing style can be described as a mix between narrative and science fiction, a unique blending of genres. Kelsey chose to read from her book “A Conjoined Book.” Rather than individual poems, the book is one continuous poem.

Bakken is a professor of English at Allegheny College and presented an entirely different-sounding style of poetry drawing from several of his published books. He prefaced his reading with a warning: they are spookier than Kelsey’s. Many of the poems used language that might be associated with creepiness, but also antiquity drawing from experiences living in Greece. He ended his reading with a poem about putting down your dog.

Emily Pursel ’20 shared her appreciation to these writers. “We’re really lucky to have such talented writers come and visit — I’m really trying to take advantage of all the literary opportunities we have on campus before I graduate. Kelsey and Bakken had a beautiful reading and their works complimented each other well. It was a joy to be able to hear them,” she said.

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