Writer-in-Residence John Rybicki To Read Poetry
Author John Rybicki will celebrate the publishing of his new book of
poetry, “We Bed Down Into Water,” during a public reading at Alma
Rybicki, Writer-in-Residence for the Alma College English Department, will read his poetry at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 in the Alma College Library. A book signing and reception will follow. Admission is free and open to the public.
“As Artist-in-Residence, John has inspired our students with his passionate teaching style and love for poetry, “ says English Department faculty colleague William Palmer.
“We Bed Down Into Water,” published in January 2008 by Northwestern University Press, is rich with imagery of family, love, illness, death and water, which seeps in throughout the pages in the form of rivers, pools, rain and tears. The inspiration for much of the work is the long struggle with recurrent illness experienced by his wife and co-poet, Julie Moulds Rybicki, who has waged a 16-year battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Three Lanterns,” one of the poems in “We Bed Down Into Water,” has been selected for inclusion in the 2008 edition of the Best American Poetry anthology.
“John Rybicki has a hurricane heart, a hammer-heart, that is just waiting to unleash itself upon this perhaps undeserving world,” writes reviewer Rick Bass.
Rybicki, who has a master’s degree from Western Michigan University, heads the Gull Lake Conference for Young Writers and works for Wings of Hope Hospice in Allegan, teaching children who have experienced loss or trauma to write creatively.
“Teaching creative writing to children is the purest thing I do,” Rybicki has said. “I am a storm on two feet when I instruct. I dare students to break the laws of nature on the page, to say what it is a heart is burning to say; to scrawl across the sky the kinds of sentences God might roll out of bed and read.”
Rybicki was featured as an outstanding teacher in Time Magazine for Kids for his work at Pelham Magnet Middle School in Detroit. He is the author of two earlier collections of poems: “Traveling at High Speeds” and “Yellow Haired Girl with Spider.”
Posted: Fri, March 14th, 2008 at 2:42PM