Alumni present poetry about life after college

Union graduates Renee Emerson and Heather Cadenhead spent an afternoon at Union leading an English workshop in the Bowld Commons which included a poetry reading from their most recent work. | Submitted Photo by Rachael Kapavik

By Zach Palermo

Two Union University alumni, Heather Cadenhead and Renee Emerson, recently visited campus to read selections from their poetry books.

Cadenhead and Emerson had different ideas when it came to picking the poems they read.

“These are my favorite at the moment,” Emerson said. “I don’t like to read sequence poems that much, so I didn’t do a lot of that, and I tried to read poems I had something to say about.”

Cadenhead used a different tactic.

“I tried to read the ones I got the best responses from,” she said, smiling.

Whatever the poets’ reasons for choosing the poems they read, the spectators seemed to have a good time.

“I definitely enjoyed it,” said Andrew Gostlin, senior English major. “It was about what I expected, but fun.”

The poems covered a wide range of subjects. Some of Cadenhead’s poems drew inspiration from the Bible, including “Our Share of the Plums” and “We Left Our Souls Ajar,” while others covered different themes or emotions, such as loss of individuality in “A Man Names Things,” which Cadenhead said is her favorite.

Emerson’s poems were largely based on her life experiences. A few poems, such as “Moving North” and “Brownie,” were written about her experiences moving from her hometown to Boston.

Before the poetry reading, Roger Stanley, assistant professor of English introduced the two poets.

Afterward, Emerson and Cadenhead stayed for a short Q-and-A session.

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