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Acclaimed Poet Meg Kearney Reads at Silver Center

By Lindsey DeRoche; For the Clock
On February 23, 2017

Poet Meg Kearney reads at PSU's Smith Recital Hall.

Award-winning poet and New Hampshire resident Meg Kearney honored Plymouth State University by reading her work at the Silver Center last week.

Kearney read her work as part of the Eagle Pond Poetry Series. The reading, which was held in the Smith Recital Hall, opened with remarks by PSU professor and poet Liz Ahl. She read a William Matthews poem entitled “The Search Party.”

Matthews had been Kearney’s mentor. He passed away while she was still working with him. Before beginning her own reading, Kearney said she was grateful to be performing at the Silver Center, and that it “felt like a sacred space.”

In addition to poetry, Kearney has written a trilogy of novels in verse for teens. The books center around the struggles of a young woman coming to terms with being adopted, and not knowing her biological mother.

Kearney began her reading with pieces from the third addition of the trilogy, “When You Never Said Goodbye,” which was released this month. Kearney said that parts of the novels are autobiographical, but still remain fiction.

She went on to say that writing poems for a novel is a whole different animal. “A collection of poems tends to have a thread that ties them together. But, with a novel, you have to have a plot, and develop your characters, and there are all these other considerations. Each of the poems are kind of acting as a scene.”

Kearney also read works from her 2009 collection of poems “Home by Now,” which won the PEN New England Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year and the Paterson Poetry Prize.

Subject matter from these poems rang from encounters with an ex, to living in New York City during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. “After I left New York, 9/11 started popping up in my work,” she said.

Kearney ended the reading with three pieces from a collection she is currently working on, entitled “Bird Poems.”

The next reader in the Eagle Pond Author Series is Wesley McNair, who will read at the Silver Center on April 20. Visit plymouth.edu/silver-center for more information. 

COURTESY PHOTO/LIZ AHL

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