Ohio’s Poet Laureate to Speak at University of Findlay

Ohio’s current poet laureate, Dave Lucas, insists that all of us already love poetry, even if we think we don’t.

“If you know by heart the lyrics to your favorite song, you already love one kind of poetry,” he writes. “You love another when you laugh at a joke or groan over a bad pun. The jargon of your profession and the slang you speak with friends are poetry.”

If Lucas is right, then chances are good that you’ll love his poetry too. Thanks to the University of Findlay, the opportunity will be available to hear him firsthand. Join Lucas as he reads from his works on Tuesday, March 12 at 8 p.m. at Marathon Center for the Performing Arts. The event will be free and open to the public.

After he speaks, Lucas will sell and autograph some of his works. He also plans to visit a University of Findlay poetry class taught by Conor Bracken, assistant professor of English, who is helping to bring Lucas to the community via UF’s College of Liberal Arts and the UF Convocations Committee.

Lucas is a Cleveland, Ohio native who earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from John Carroll University, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. He has been an instructor at Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic Program in Medical Humanities, Lerner College of Medicine; the John Carroll Young Writers Workshop; and Sweet Briar/James Madison University.

His work, “Weather,” was awarded the 2012 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, and his poems are anthologized in The Bedford Introduction to Literature and Best New Poets of 2005, among other publications. Some of his other achievements have included the Reva and David Logan Foundation, For Your Gift grant award; and the Cleveland Arts Prize, Emerging Artist in Literature.

As the state’s poet laureate, Lucas is responsible for fostering the art of poetry, encouraging literacy and learning, addressing central issues relating to the humanities and heritage, and encouraging the reading and writing of poetry across Ohio.