Poet Jake Adam York read selections from his latest books during last week's Live Oak Reading Series.
York, an associate professor of English and director of Creative Writing at the University of Colorado Denver, read to an audience of about 30 students and professors Wednesday evening in Moudy South. He read eight poems from his books, “A Murmuration of Starlings” and “Persons Unknown”. He also read three poems from his unpublished book, “Abide”.
“Poetry is written in silence,” York said. “Reading is a way to take what was written in silence and send it back out into the world.”
York introduced every poem before he read it. He gave some background information on the topic of the poem so the audience could better understand his work.
York showed that he was passionate about his hometown of Gadsden, Ala. with his poems, “Walt Whitman in Alabama” and “Elegy”.
York displayed passion for the Civil Rights Movement during the reading. “Mayflower”, “Cry of the Occasions”, and “Inscriptions for Air”. They were dedicated to John Earl Reese, a 16-year-old boy who was murdered in East Texas in 1955.
“It’s a little sad that you might remember people only because they died,” York said. “I tried to reconstruct a sense of John Earl Reese’s life in these poems.”
York speaks at several readings, talks and workshops each year.
“A poem is not really done until it is read and other people hear it,” he said.
Mandy Vincent, an English major, said she enjoyed hearing York read his own poems.
“It’s really cool to hear poetry read by the person who wrote it," she said."To hear a poem from the poet’s voice adds a sense of life to the poem that can only be accomplished in this way.”