Poet Allison Blevins has written on many subjects such as divorce, motherhood, and working for her position as a PSU professor, and she shares these artistic works with the world.
On Aug. 1 at 7 p.m, PSU professor of women and gender studies Allison Blevins read from her most recent poetry collection entitled “Susurration.” Topics covered in the poetry include leaving her kids at school and daycare, dealing with her divorce, and the actions of her now ex-wife in relation to their family. In addition to “Susurration,” she also read from her collections “Letters to Joan” and “A Season for Speaking.”
“I keep a journal and so I write all the time,” Blevins said. “I write when I work, I write when I drive, and then I’ll sit down at my computer. Sometimes my poetry will start with just a title, or sometimes I write poetry based on current events. For example, the one about a school shooting was around the time I saw a school shooting in the news.”
Blevins teaches at PSU and is also an alumna. She received her Master of Arts in creative writing from Pittsburg State University and also holds a Master of Fine Arts from Queens University of Charlotte.
“I use everything that happens in my life,” Blevins said. “I use everything in the journal too. That’s one way (I write poetry)…”
While she has read poetry in public before, Blevins said she still gets nervous any time she gets up to read.
“I’ve been doing this for (11 years) and I never get better…” she said. “I don’t think there’s anything going through my head when I read my poetry… You have an idea of how it sounds in your brain, but other people hear it so, so differently… For me, it sounds a certain way and I want you to hear it that certain way: exactly how I think it should sound. When I listen back to it, I still think I’m listening for the way I want it.”
Blevins also serves as editor in chief for the “Harbor Review” and was a finalist for the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, as well as the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry and the Moon City Poetry Award.
“Blevins is really hitting big in the poetry world this year,” Laura Lee Washburn, professor of English and modern languages, told Pitt State news. “It’s rare to see someone have three collections come out in a matter of months. We’re very proud of Allison.”
Washburn has known Blevins and her poetry for many years, both having her as a student and hosting regular poetry readings in her home.
“I’ve also worked with Allison because we’re both in the women and gender studies program, and she team taught with me,” Washburn said. “It’s really impressive for someone to have three books out in one season, and it’s also really great to have such successful students… Allison had a really good education as a younger student and… after she started at Pitt State.., she worked hard and developed her talent.”