Dr. Brett Foster Shares Poetry with the APU Community
The APU English Department partnered with the Center for Research on Ethics and Values to host a poetry reading by Dr. Brett Foster of Wheaton College in the LAPC on Thursday night, Feb. 13.
The evening consisted of Foster reading a selection of poems from two of his books, Fall Run Road and The Garbage Man, along with some selections from his most current work. Multiple attendees lined up for the opportunity to ask Foster questions and to get their copies of his latest book signed after the reading.
The room was filled to capacity for the reading with many attendees forced to stand against the wall or sit on the floor. When Foster took the podium and looked out at the crowd he said,“ I feel like it’s the Super Bowl of poetry readings in here!”
Dr. Caleb Spencer of the English Department served as the master of ceremonies and said he invited his friend Foster to read since the Wheaton professor was in the area for another conference.
“Brett is an engaging reader, so it’s enjoyable just to be there,” Spencer said. “He blends together what a lot of good poetry does these days, which is classical values with contemporary settings and dramas.”
Spencer added that hearing poetry read benefits the audience. “Any time you expose yourself to high art or a cultural tradition that you are not familiar with, even if you don’t enjoy it, that’s part of what learning is,” Spencer said.
Foster said he was excited to be a reader and that he gladly welcomed the invitation when Spencer invited him to APU.
“I really do enjoy meeting students other than my own Wheaton students, it’s fun to kind of compare with student communities on campus,” Foster said. “It reminds me that poetry and literature is really meant to be a sociable thing and so it’s great to just read work, get feedback on work and get to meet new readers.”
He said there is something unique about reading aloud, especially poetry. He said that one of his old teachers told him that the instrument of poetry was the windpipe.
“It really is a more performative genre in its very essence,” Foster said. “Not that poems on the page are not really great and challenging, but they really get a new meaning and a new life when someone is reading it aloud.”
Foster encouraged aspiring writers to keep working at their craft and to be diligent.
“For students interested in becoming professional writers, I think it’s a great time because there are more chances than there were when I was a young writer,” Foster said. “It’s still not easy, don’t think you just write a few things and suddenly people are knocking at your door.”
People interested in more events by the Center for Research on Ethics and Values can contact Director Dr. Mark Eaton of APU for further information.