Post Classifieds

Sharon McDermott’s Visit to Plymouth State

By Jordan Cady
On November 2, 2018


Sharon McDermott is a recently published poet, who graced our campus with her presence last Thursday, October 25th.  She came here to talk with some English classes, visit with her good friend Professor Ahl and to promote her new book, Life Without Furniture. 

McDermott is currently living in Pittsburg, but she grew up in New Jersey, amongst the ocean and her eleven siblings. McDermott started writing for two reasons, which eventually lead to her love for creating poetry. One, was because it was a way for her to get noticed at her family dinner table. And two, because of her Grandfather. Sharon shared that, “I used to sit and listen to my Grandfather quote and read poetry, it sounded like music to me. So I started writing.” 

Writing poetry became her coping mechanism and a way to let go of everything she was feeling in her daily routine. Poetry seemed to get her through all of the ups and downs she had in her life which brought her to where she is now. 

On her endeavors in Plymouth last week, she gave a lot of good advice and answers to the mysterious poetry world. Many students smothered her with love and questions in the classes she attended. Her responses were educational and realistic, with a slight hint of humor. When asked about certain poems in her book or what she meant in certain stanzas,

she replied, “Honestly, some poems us poets write, me included, we don’t exactly know what they mean. They just come to you and those ones, we call gifts.” 

Which was such a satisfying reply, because these days everything we read has some foreshadowing or explanation to it. And McDermott kind of disproved that, which the students seemed to enjoy. Another commonly asked question McDermott was faced with, is how do poets find inspiration or how do they get out of a funk? 

In which McDermott answered, “Avoid nothing when it comes to writing a poem, and if you get stuck, then sit with your frustration. When you feel like you have nothing to write or it is not coming out exactly the way you want it, those moments are something to step into and not step away from. Quiet those editorial voices in your head, because your best work comes when the editor in you shuts up.” 

McDermott was nothing but honest about her life and poetry in itself. She left a strong impression on the future writers and poets that she came in contact with. 

McDermott’s new book has poems based on everything McDermott has faced, felt and gone through. But mostly, her book was inspired by her experience as a single mother and always lacking furniture in her houses. 

She said, “I always was worried about people coming to my home, I felt embarrassed. Even now, when I have a beautiful house. I still find myself protective over it.” 

It may have started with that exact theme in mind, but it blossomed into something more than just that. This theme also became a symbol for something we are all missing, or in McDermott’s words, “an empty space that used to be whole but is now bare.” 

Which could mean losing a loved one or changing one’s area code, both subjects McDermott touches on in her book. 

She explained that, “When my poems go into the world, they are my reader’s poems now and they can use them and feel them the way they please. I have had many people write me letters about the poems in this book, which has inspired their own writing. And to me, that was the best part of publishing Life Without Furniture. “ 

Sharon McDermott’s book is being sold in the Plymouth State Bookstore, for anyone who is interested or missed out on her visit. For those of you who did not get to go and see her read aloud at the Silver Center last Thursday night or get the chance to have her in a class, her book is still here even if she is not. You can still experience her powerful words and truths about life, loneliness and love right in the bookstore. 

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More theclockonline News Articles

Recent theclockonline News Articles

Discuss This Article




Plymouth State produces top LASIK New York doctors that specialize in lasik and laser refractive eye surgery.


Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format