Dr. Vincent Spina, professor of modern languages at Clarion University, read poetry from his book, "Outer Borough," and discussed obscure poetry as the opening speaker of the 2008-09 Clarion University Faculty Author Seminar Series
Spina topic was, "Why Write: Outer Borough, the Origins of Obscure Poetry." He opened by reading obscure poems from John Asbury, Frank O'Hara, and several others, explaining the attraction of their writing to himself. He followed up with readings of his own poems from his new book.
"I had to deal with the fact that I was a Ph.D. and had written in both English and Spanish and liked to read science magazines," said Spina. "When I think of poets, I think of Robert Frost and Walt Whitman. Their persona takes over in their writing. I can't do that. I am that type of poet, whose writing has to contain science, nostalgia, and my Brooklyn background. My writing is a mix of nostalgia for the place I've been and the person I've become. I try to get to the emotion, the images that remain in people's minds."
Spina explained that the publication of "Out of Borough, the Origins of Obscure Poetry," resulted from having a good friend, who showed his work to a publisher. He had to cut 300 plus pages down to 70 pages for the completed book.
The collection of poetry, "Outer Borough," is available from Spina or through Pecan Grove Press.
Spina was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was educated at Fordham, Columbia, and New York University. His primary field is Andean literature and he has lived and worked in Peru and Ecuador for many years. He has taught at Clarion University since 1987. He has published poetry in various literary magazines and has also published criticism on Latin American and Andean themes.
The goal of the Faculty Author Seminar Series is to establish a forum for faculty to share their scholarly activities with the university campus community. Dr. Patricia Kolencik, education, is the Project Director.
Upcoming presenters during the Fall 2008 semester are: Mark Franchino, art, who will speak about "Image Art" on October 20; and Dr. Robert Nulph, mass media arts, journalism, and communication studies, November 5. The presentations begin at noon in Level A, Carlson Library, with a light lunch. They are free and open to the public.