Former UT Professor returns to read excerpts of his poetry

Kenneth Pobo, a former UT professor, returned to Knoxville to read from his selected poetry works on Monday, Feb. 8.

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Former UT professor Kenneth Pobo returned to the Knoxville campus after 27 years to give a poetry reading on Monday, Feb. 8 for the Writers in the Library series.

Writers in the Library is an event that gathers writers from different genres to read their works. According to Marilyn Kallet, a poet and professor of English at UT, Writers in the Library has been going on for almost 20 years. Poetry writers are currently attending the events this spring semester, whereas fiction writers appeared in the fall.

Pobo, who is currently a professor of English and Creative Writing at Widener University, is the sixth writer to attend Writers in the Library for the spring portion. He has published 27 books, including 20 chapbooks and 7 full length collections.

Students, alumni, professors and Knoxville natives attended the reading to hear from Pobo’s 3 recent books: “When the Light Turns Green,” “Bend of Quiet,” and “Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt.”

His poems portrayed ideas from a variety of subjects such as nature, planets, gay rights, animal welfare and the ups and downs of everyday life.

An ending thought Pobo left for aspiring, young writers was, “There is one place in life that does not judge you. Your parents can judge you, your teachers can judge you, sometimes your friends can judge you, but the one place that doesn’t is an open page, a blank page.”

Aaron Guernsey, a former student and current writer of poetry and fiction, said that his experience at the reading was very enjoyable.

“You get to hear the actual author’s voice instead of always in your head. It’s a lot different than my quiet, monotone voice and that’s an exciting experience to do that,” Guernsey said.

The next event for Writers in the Library will be featuring a current writer in residence for the University of Tennessee English Department, William Wright. The event will take place on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium in Hodges Library.

Edited by Ben Webb.

Featured image by Thomas Delgado