Beverly Matherne – Writing and Publishing Poetry

On Thurdsday, November 29th, Victor R. Volkman and Tyler Tichelaar spoke with author, poet, and educator  Beverly Matherne. She is a professor in the Department of English at Northern Michigan University and a former director of its Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. Beverly has published two chapbooks and two full-length books of poetry in facing pages of French and English, including The Blues Crying, a collection of blues poetry. The work is available in both book and CD format, the latter featuring Beverly’s performance of the poems to slide guitar and fiddle. Beverly addressed key questions in learning to write poetry and the process of getting published including: what is poetry, wh
ere does poetry come from, how do you become a poet, and how to approach publishers about getting in print.
Beverly Matherne
Beverly’s poetry is also the subject of a dissertation on bilingual writers, also including Samual Beckett, by a student at the Sorbonne in Paris.  While on sabbatical last year, she completed a third full-length book, a bilingual collection of linked prose poetry about the founder of Detriot, titled Lamonthe-Cadillac: His Early Days in France.  This book, which required a residency and field research in southern France, as well as Blind River, another collection of prose poetry, are forthcoming in 2008. Beverly’s work is widely received. She has published in many English-language publications, including Great River Review, Runes, and Verse.  French publications include Eloizes, Feux chalins, and Langage et Créativité.  Her poetry appears in many anthologies including, most recently, French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets, published by Louisiana Literature Press, in 2007.  She also has a short, short story in Resurrecting Grace:  Remembering Catholic Childhoods, from Beacon Press in Boston.Also a poet translator, Beverly did the French translations of a bilingual portfolio of poetry by former U.S. Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz.  The portfolio, featuring original lithographs by Bulgarian artist Stoyan Tchoukanov, is now on exhibit in the Huron Mountain Club Art Gallery in Peter White Library.  In addition, Beverly won the “Best of Submission” award for her translation of a long prose poem by Charles Baudelaire, in Sojourn, a journal published at the University of North Texas.Beverly did an hour-long interview on National Public Radio with Grace Cavalieri on her show “The Poet and the Poem” and has performed three times in French on CBC Radio Canada Internationale.  From Tulane University in New Orleans to the United Nations in New York to venues in Canada, France, Belgium, and Germany, she has done over 145 poetry readings in English and/or Fr
ench. Most recently, in May of 2007, she read and performed at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, Wales.
The Cajun Blues

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