What a thrill! To listen in and enjoy the camaraderie of two faculty friends who are devoted to poetry!
Over the past 9 years, Wes Chaput (History) and John Heavey (English) have been meeting weekly, more or less, over lunch to discuss their love for poetry. Often they bring a poem they have written and critique each other, while other times they bring a published poem to share with each other. They love poets and poems and their passion is wonderful and intellectual, a real joy to witness or overhear. While they have often invited other faculty and students to join them, they seem to be the core week to week. It is always fun when a larger group of 4 or 5 forms for a while, to see them smiling and listening and enjoying the rhyme and cadence they bring to life. Of course, life at Tabor is busy, and Poetry at Lunch provides a nice break to the routine to just share together such a passion project.
Recently, the pair have been working on short-form poetry and shared their original work together. Chaput’s is inspired by A.R. Ammons and themes around farm life, while Heavey drew inspiration from Bill Bryson’s book The Body.
Heavey said, “Our regular poetry lunches are just the catalyst I need to prompt my writing. Over these nine years, Wes and I have become poets-in-arms as we write, critique, and rewrite our poems, committed to refining our craft and enriching our friendship.”
Chaput agreed, “Poetry lunch, and by extension poetry club, is one of the most meaningful parts of my life at Tabor. John is an awesome poet, a fantastic teacher, and an even better person. He holds me accountable as a writer. I am loath to let him down and so I write. We have a blast and I am very lucky to have such a good critic as my great friend.”
With the popularity of podcasting rising, the two have recorded their last two meetings so that we too can enjoy their muse. Heavey mentioned that he hopes to include some students on the podcast in the near future as there are some very good poets participating in our Poetry Club this year.