This archived article was written by: Tylor Christmas
Despite the fact the he was competing with No Talent Night, the Alumni room was nearly full as College of Eastern Utah professor Jason Olsen wowed audience members with his humorous and accessible poetry.
The poems he read ranged in subject from the Trix rabbit and his tireless endeavor, the world’s strongest man, and conspiracy theories. He also shone a lime light on the underdog in the famous poem “Casey at Bat,” where he wrote about the lesser mentioned Flynn and Blake, the players stranded at base as Casey struck out. He even read the poem “Gorbachev’s Houseboat,” which was featured in Hayden’s Ferry Review.
Olsen said that he prefers to “write poetry that is accessible to everybody, but is also true to myself.” His poetry often involves a popular or a commonly relatable theme, and turns it into something introspective, or something that defines a larger cultural issue.
“The most important thing to consider when reading or writing a poem is the audience.” He says that poetry is more accessible when the listener or reader can relate to the subject or the character and the language that is used.
When asked if he is planning on having another reading, he said he isn’t scheduled to, but is more than willing. “Give me a podium, and I’ll read,” he joked. Though he is not scheduled to read himself, he is trying to coordinate additional readings with guest speakers, hopefully sometime during spring semester.