Poet Christopher Howell read from his new collection, “Dreamless and Possible,” on Oct. 14 in the Austin Reading Room of Nicholson Library.
The book features new poems and selected works from Howell’s eight books.
Howell read 17 poems, telling stories with subjects as diverse as childhood, aliens, life, talking felines and returning from war.
“He was one of the best poets I’ve heard in a long time,” senior Danyelle Myers said.
Howell said he chose pieces that provided continuity and contrast with each other.
Assistant professor of English Anna Keesey said she enjoyed Howell’s diversity of language and detail.
“You really don’t know where [the poems are] going to end,” she said. “They get long and complicated and take turns and then you say, ‘Wow! I didn’t expect to get here.’”
After reading his poetry, Howell answered questions and talked with the audience, which asked about how he became a poet and the title of his new collection.
Howell has received several awards, including fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Massachusetts Council for the Arts, two Washington State Book Awards and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.
His work has been featured three times in the “Pushcart Prize Anthology,” which annually recognizes the best writing published in small presses.
Howell is on the faculty of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.
Professor of English Lex Runciman said Howell’s poetry is resourceful and capable of using the straightforward and surreal, resorting to any method to tell the truth.
Runciman praised Howell’s ability to “blend the efforts of poetry and fiction writing.”
Runciman taught with Howell at Oregon State University.
Howell also visited classes throughout the day and read several of his poems, including one called “At Midnight.”
The event was part of the “Readings at the Nick” series, co-sponsored by the English Department and Nicholson Library, which brings contemporary writers to the Linfield campus.
Next in the series is the new Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen, who will read in Nicholson on Nov. 30.
For more information about Christopher Howell,
Sean Lemme/Staff reporter
Sean Lemme can be reached at email@example.com.