This archived article was written by: Nick Critchlow
In honor of National Poetry Month, sponsored in part by the Utah Arts Council, the College of Eastern Utah is hosting poetry readings and workshops.
On April 11, well-known poet, Katie Kingston shared her poems and conducted workshops the next day on poetry and creative writing on the CEU campus.
Kingston previously has been a professor for CEU who has taught Spanish and English for 10 years and has taught full time for four years. Kingston is a recipient of the Colorado Council from the Art Literary Fellowship in poetry. She has won many awards for her poetry. She has recently published a book of some of her poems called “In My Dreams Neruda.” In the book, Kingston uses imagery of Mexico, Colorado and Utah.
One critic said, “This is a poet who can write about the domestic and the cosmic, the micro and macro views of the world, but more than any such analysis indicates they [her poetry] are good reading, linguistically subtle, interesting, capturing a variety of moods and subjects, they are a real joy to read. This is a voice we will certainly hear much from, and always want to hear more of. Her presence is that of a natural teacher. She is a fine poet.”
Sales of Kingston’s book were available after the poetry reading. She gave a brief introduction and read a selection of poems from her book.
They were poems of Mexico, her family and all of the things in life that people usually do not pay much attention to.
Kingston has always had a fascination with Spanish culture; she makes frequent trips to Mexico for inspiration in her poetry.
Kingston has also conducted a free poetry writing workshop on April 12 for students.
In a recent turn of events, the Welsh poet and educator Leslie Norris was scheduled to participate in the events. However, he suffered a massive stroke and died April 6 at 84. Internationally renowned writer and Brigham Young University professor Leslie Norris spent nearly eight decades crafting lyrical poems and stories from words that flowed into his mind. Now, those words will serve as comfort for those who mourn him.
Leslie Norris was born in the Welsh mining town of Merthyr Tydfil. A man of remarkable sensibilities, he felt life intensely very early on and began writing poetry as a boy. In his teens he spent hours in the company of such famous Welsh poets as Vernon Watkins and Dylan Thomas. Eventually his own poetry became world-renowned; at one time he was a candidate for poet laureate of England.
As Leslie passed out of his teens, practical considerations required his choosing a career over writing poetry. His life as an educator took off, but the more promotions he received the more distant he felt from students and from the joy writing gave him. Eventually Leslie reached a crossroads: he had to decide whether he was a poet or an educator.
He began to re-engineer his career to allow him to escape from the walled world of school administration and return to a musical and meaningful relationship with words, where he felt happier and engaged. Also, Leslie needed to be with students; his advancements up the administrative ladder had robbed him of that.
Norris earned numerous prizes, including the David Higham Memorial Prize, The Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award, the Welsh Arts Council Senior Fiction Award and the Cholmondeley Prize, which is widely considered Britain’s greatest poetry award. He was the first writer to be named a member of both the Welsh Academy and England’s Royal Society of Literature.
Norris is survived by his wife of 57 years, Catherine “Kitty” Norris of Orem. Funeral services have not been finalized.
All of the events that where held at the college where free and open to the public.