Ponder the Poet at Oct. 20 Symposium

By Christopher Sarachilli | October 19, 2015

Many have commented on the value of poetry, from poets themselves (“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley) to politicians (“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics…the world would be a little better place in which to live,” said John F. Kennedy).

On Oct. 20, a panel of poets will offer their own thoughts on the role of the poet at the fourth annual Arcadia Poets Symposium, 12:20-2 p.m. in the Commons Great Room, sponsored by the University Seminar “Artist, Activist, Deep-Sea Diver: The Role of the Poet in Society.”

Students in the seminar spend the semester exploring the role of the poet in society and the value that poetry brings, asking questions such as “What does it offer us that we don’t find elsewhere?” and “What roles can poets play in the world?” says Ellen Murphey, adjunct professor of English and instructor of the seminar.

For the past four years, the symposium has invited published, performing, or longtime poets with a connection to Arcadia—as students, faculty members, alumni, staff, etc.—to perform and discuss their writings, which represent a variety of poetic styles and forms. After the symposium, each student interviews a poet panelist for a profile published on the course’s website.