In Focus: CLC’s “Verse Like Water” Brings Renowned Poets To Brainerd Lakes Area


OF THE WAY.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH, AJ.>>>FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, CENTRAL LAKES COLLEGE HAS BEEN INVITING RENOWNED POETS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO SPEAK AT THE SCHOOL. ON FRIDAY, IRANIAN-AMERICAN POET KAVA AKBAR KICKED OFF THE 2019 VERSE LIKE WATER SEASON AT CHARLBERG THEATRE. WITH THIS WEEK’S IN FOCUS, RACHEL JOHNSON HAS MORE.>>FOR JEFF JOHNSON, POETRY IS MORE THAN JUST WORDS ON A PIECE OF PAPER.>>POETRY FOR ME IS AN EXPERIENCE WITH LANGUAGE. YOU GET TO INHABIT SOMETHING MADE OF WORDS. I JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH IT WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY, AND I’VE NEVER LOOKED BACK.>>THAT’S WHY HE STARTED THE VERSE LIKE WATER SERIES EIGHT YEARS AGO AT CENTRAL LAKES COLLEGE.>>FOR A SERIES THAT I RAN AT MY OLD HIGH SCHOOL, AND I LOVE WATER, AND I LOVE POETRY, AND SO TO CREATE THE TITLE, I JUST CRAFTED A LITTLE SIMILE.>>IT BRINGS IN POETS FROM AROUND THE WORLD WHO REPRESENT ALL VARIETIES OF AGES, BACKGROUNDS AND STORIES.>>ALL THE POETS BRING SOMETHING REALLY UNIQUE TO THE COLLEGE. EVEN THOUGH THE POET IS ONLY HERE FOR A DAY, WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT HIM AND ABOUT WHAT HE WAS TRYING TO DO WITH HIS LANGUAGE ALL THE WAY THROUGH CHRISTMAS.>>THIS WEEK TO KICK OFF THE SERIES FOR THE 2019, 2020 SCHOOL YEAR, IRANIAN AMERICAN POET KAVA AKBAR SPOKE TO A PACKED THEATER. THE VERSE LIKE WATER SERIES IS UNIQUE BECAUSE IT INTRODUCES RENOWNED POETRY AND THE POETS THEMSELVES TO STUDENTS WHO MAY NOT OTHERWISE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE IT >>THE STUDENTS DON’T OFTEN GET TO SEE TIER ONE LEVEL POETS. THEY DON’T GET TO SEE THE KINDS OF PEOPLE WHO WILL SOON BE IN THEIR TEXTBOOKS. THEY GET TO COME AND SEE AND TALK WITH A LIVING BREATHING POET AND IT REINFORCES THE IDEA THAT POETRY IS SOMETHING THAT COULD BE IN THEIR LIVES.>>FOR THE ORGANIZERS OF THE VERSE LIKE WATER SERIES, IT IS REWARDING NOT ONLY TO BE ABLE TO MEET AND HEAR FROM RENOWNED POETS, BUT TO SEE HOW IT HAS A WAY OF CHANGING THE STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVES.>>FOR ME ONE OF THE PLEASURES, EVENT AFTER EVENT, IS WATCHING PARTICULARLY YOUNG PEOPLE WALK IN, UNINITIATED, NOT REALLY HAVING ANY IDEA ABOUT WHAT’S ABOUT TO HAPPEN, AND THEY ARE SOMETIMES INSPIRED TO TEARS.>>WE’RE GRATEFUL THAT WE HAVE THIS IN OUR COMMON EXPERIENCE, THAT IT’S A COUPLE OF HUNDRED FEET FROM MY OFFICE. IT’S RIGHT HERE. IT’S ALIVE. AND IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.>>THE VERSE LIKE WATER SERIES EXEMPLIFIES THAT POETRY IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST ABOUT WORDS. IT IS ABOUT BRINGING PEOPLE FROM ACROSS AGES AND DEMOGRAPHICS TOGETHER. REPORTING FROM BRAINERD WITH THIS WEEK’S IN FOCUS, RACHEL JOHNSON, LAKELAND NEWS.>>WELL, IF YOU WATCHED LAST NIGHT’S SHOW AND YOU’RE A BIT CONFUSED RIGHT NOW, DON’T BE ALARMED. THANKS TO A SCHEDULING CHANGE, WE GOT ONE MORE GREAT STORY FROM RACHEL JOHNSON TONIGHT. THAT WAS DEFINITELY RACHEL’S FINAL STORY, AND I SPEAK FOR DENNIS AND THE ENTIRE NEWS STAFF THAT WE APPRECIATE ALL THE GREAT WORK SHE’S DONE AND WE WISH HER WELL IN HER FUTURE

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