By Jaci Schneider, Staff Writer
Poet Walt McDonald will read selections of his poetry for students and the public at 8 p.m. Thursday in Cullen Auditorium. The free reading, which is part of ACU’s annual People’s Poetry Series, is expected to draw more than 400 people, said Al Haley, assistant professor of English and writer-in-residence.
McDonald, a native Texan and retired air force pilot, has written more than 2,300 poems. He was the Texas Poet Laureate of 2001 and Garrison Keillor recently included one of his poems in a collection of poetry called Good Poems.
Haley said the poetry is interesting and uses plain language, and he hopes students will come from the reading saying, “I don’t like poetry, but I like that.
“McDonald’s poetry is about life,” Haley said. “His poetry feels real. It’s evangelistic for poetry. Many students don’t like poetry because it’s too complicated.”
Jenna Grime, sophomore secondary English education major from Archbold, Ohio, said she is impressed with his work.
“He’s a gifted poet,” Grime said. “His poetry is realistic; the common person can relate to it.”
This will not be McDonald’s first visit to ACU; he visited in 1989 for a poetry reading. He is now looking for a chance to get out and read his poems, and ACU is the first stop, Haley said.
McDonald is bringing three of his books of poetry with him to sell at the reading.
A question and answer time is scheduled from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Hilton room. McDonald will also visit freshman English classes Friday morning.