Magnolia Art and Literary Magazine and the Medart Lecture Series are presenting the first-ever Sister Hildegarde Helmuth Poets’ Series at Maryville. Dr. John Wickersham, professor of philosophy at Maryville for over 50 years, will be opening the event with a poetry reading in the University Library on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. with a drink and dessert reception to follow.
The goal of the series is to bring contemporary poets to Maryville, help students improve their own writings and instill a love of poetry in the campus community.
“I am pleased to be asked to inaugurate this series of poets. I look forward to it,” commented Wickersham. “I will be reading from my own work and reciting from poets whom I admire and who have influenced my own writing. As for my poems, I am principally interested in the natural world, love of all kinds, the passing of time, and sense of place.”
The series hopes to bring up to four poets to campus a year. This year, it will welcome two poets, Gillian Parrish from St. Louis on Nov. 7 and Melissa Range from East Tennessee in February, for day-long poetry extravaganzas! The poets will provide craft talks, workshops, and poetry readings, as well as hold individual conferences for students about their own poetry. Students interested in attending individual conferences with the poets will be able to submit their poems in advance at SHHPoetsSeries@gmail.com.
Dr. Johannes Wich-Schwarz, assistant professor of English, organized the event and “is excited to see some of the best contemporary poets visit Maryville to give workshops, readings, and meet with students one-on-one to help them with their writing.”
The poets’ series is named in honor of Sister Hildegarde Helmuth, R. S. C. J., who oversaw the initial establishment of Maryville’s West County campus; she managed the finances, business office and maintenance of Maryville during the early years.
“I am particularly pleased that the series has been named after Mother Helmuth. She was a remarkable woman and a great friend to me,” said Wickersham on the poets’ series name.
The poetry series is sponsored by Magnolia, the university’s art and literary magazine, which was established to give a creative voice to the Maryville community and to provide an opportunity for the sharing of its literary and artistic efforts. A second sponsor is the Medart Lecture Series, named after the late Maryville graduate and philanthropist, Josephine Reynolds Medart. The series features notable speakers and performances from arts and humanities as a way to sustain the liberal arts tradition at Maryville.
For more information about the Sister Hildegarde Helmuth Poets’ Series, contact Wich-Schwarz at email@example.com or 314.529.9321.