Prize Winning Poet, USAO Alum Visits for March 29 Reading
CHICKASHA – Everyone knows that Superman is journalist Clark Kent by day. But what if the Caped Crusader wrote poetry by night? Dr. Bryan Dietrich will reveal the Man of Steel’s poetic side on March 29 when he visits the University of Science and Arts for a poetry reading.
Beginning at 7 p.m. in the Davis Hall Amphitheatre, the 1986 USAO alum will read selections from his award-winning book of poetry, “Krypton Nights.” The evening is free and open to the public. A reception with refreshments follows the reading.
“It is exciting that Dr. Dietrich is coming home to USAO to share his literary voice with the community,” said Julie Bohannon, director of alumni development. “His poems are wonderful. In his poem, ‘Through a Glass Darkly,’ the final line reads, ‘we read too lightly.’ I believe this reminds us to look for deeper meaning in the arts, politics, history and the sciences. Ultimately, isn’t that what a liberal arts curriculum teaches us?”
Dietrich also will host a free master class March 30 at 3 p.m. in Davis Hall 201. He will speak about poetry, publishing and ways to improve writing.
Dietrich won the 2001 Paris Review Prize in Poetry for his first collection of poems, “Krypton Nights.” The award included a $5,000 cash prize, a reading in New York and publication of “Krypton Nights” by Zoo Press in 2002.
Dietrich’s first book of poetry includes 29 poems from Superman characters, including Clark Kent, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane and Jor-el (Superman’s biological father from Krypton).
A professor of English at Newman University in Wichita, Kan., Dietrich anticipates the publication of his next book of poetry, “Universal Monsters,” later this year. During his poetry reading, he will read excerpts from the unpublished book as well.
The poetry reading is sponsored by the USAO Alumni Development office and the Lecture Committee of USAO’s Student Activities Board.
Lawton English junior Sarah Powers said she is looking forward to Dietrich’s visit.
“Bryan was my teacher at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute in 2005, and he is an incredible poet,” Powers said. “I am so glad he decided to visit USAO, both because he is an alumnus and because I am so impressed by his ability to meld pop culture and poetry.”
Dietrich received a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in English from the University of North Texas. He joined the Newman University faculty in 1994 and became chair of the English department in 1997.
He has won several writing awards, including the Isotope Editor’s Prize and the Eve of St. Agnes Prize. Dietrich has been a finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Series, the Walt Whitman Award and has been nominated for both the Pulitzer and Pushcart awards. His poetry has appeared in multiple publications, such as the Harvard Review, Yale Review, The Nation, Weird Tales and many others.
Dietrich lives in Wichita with his wife, Gina Greenway, and their son, Nick.