June 23 – Kevin Zepper – Healing through Writing: A Poet’s Perspective
In many instances, the act of writing is connected to the spiritual aspects of release, surrender, and healing. Kevin Zepper read his poetry and discussed the parallels between the creative act and the spiritual one. A few years ago, he was ready to walk away from creative writing and public readings completely. He will share with you why he is pursuing his craft in a renewed, energizing light. Zepper is an Associate Professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
This was one of those services that made me very glad I came. I’m one of those people that usually avoided poetry. It was one of those things in school I had to do, but it never really caught on with me. I think my opinion may have changed after this service. Kevin did an amazing job sharing his poetry and creating vivid imagery in our minds. There were times that made us laugh and others that made us gasp. We were all left with something to think about and a new appreciation for poetry.
In the beginning Kevin discussed his experiences with his students and how they have used writing to express their feelings and to share painful experiences. He’s trying to work with others in the university system to discuss how they can recognize underlying issues that may be presented by writings, and how they can address those issues to find a way to answer what may be a call for help. It goes beyond judging grammar and punctuation and really digging into the underlying issue. Frequently a lot of emotion gets shared by the students who find comfort in writing and view it as a way to express their feelings without judgement.
That is why poetry or any writing becomes an effective tool for us to share our emotions. Paper doesn’t judge. It has no feelings. It can’t give you a strange or judging look when you share your thoughts of joy, or even the one that make you cry. You can pour your soul out onto a page and it just sits there waiting for more. Challenging you to let your emotions go. Soaking up your pain like a sponge, or gleaming with your happiness like the sun shining off of a lake. Poetry is a way for us to be creative and grow our minds as well as our souls. Each work can be an awakening.
The next time you find yourself challenged by the world and your emotions try writing them down. Spill your emotions onto the page without fear of judgement or rejection. Be creative as you write. Who knows, you may have the ability to write an amazing poem that someone else could identify with and maybe it will encourage them to do the same. As the saying goes, “you might be a poet and didn’t even know it”.