The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 18

THE GIST

Poetry in Motion
National award-winning poet Cathryn Hankla finds inspiration on the
greenway, translating her thoughts into two new poetry collections.
AS A TEACHER OF COLLEGE and graduate students in creative
writing and literature, Cathryn Hankla is a busy woman. That hasn't
stopped her, however, from recently publishing two new collections
of poetry, "Great Bear" and "Galaxies."
Hankla has over three decades of teaching experience, mainly
at Hollins University, and also with a couple of years as a visiting
professor at Washington & Lee University. She is currently in her
second stint as department chair at Hollins and has previously served
in administration as director of the MFA program and director of
the Jackson Center for Creative Writing.
"The pace is pretty wild during the nine-month calendar, with
events in the evenings as well as days in the classroom," Hankla says.
"I spend most of my downtime reading for classes and on writing
projects. I'm happy with this rather breakneck pace, which seems
so leisurely to those not in the same profession."
It's easy to see she's passionate about poetry, describing it as a
whole world of language reclamation, discovery and creation. Hankla believes many people have been encouraged to think of poetry
as a puzzle to be solved. This is one belief she'd like laid to rest.
"A poem is not a puzzle, even if it's puzzling at first. Instead, it's
a highly selected parcel or capsule of language meant to burst into
your psyche and change you in some way. Poetry is the life blood
of our language, and it's meant for everyone, not just academics or
young people in school. Poetry is in a word: consciousness."
She describes herself as a hibernating bear, burrowing in for a few
years on various projects and then several releasing at once. The collection "Great Bear," published by Groundhog Poetry Press, tackles
the cycle of grief and love and how they are necessary to each other.
"To love completely means to recognize love's impermanence on
the human scale, while partaking in the expansiveness of love on
the other hand. To put it bluntly, if you do not mourn, you never
really loved," she says.
"Galaxies," published by Mercer University Press, is what poets
might call a "project book," containing a number of imagined galaxies and by arrangement, a number of galaxy families. Just as galaxies
are diverse in terms of appearance, so are her poems. She says that
in thinking about galaxies, she could not help but also think about
the earth and our place in the scheme of things. It also made her
think about humans needing to treasure our home, stop "messing
around" with the air and water and giving so much rope to shortterm interests. Hankla believes it's quite simple: with no planet, the
rest doesn't matter.
When Hankla wants to find inspiration, she turns to running,
a five-year habit that clears her head. Many times it helps writ18 | MAY/JUNE 2017

Hankla celebrates two new
poetry collections, "Great Bear"
and "Galaxies."

er's block or finds a way around
stuck energy. It's easy to participate in (simply walking out the
front door and starting), and
gets her away from the desk.
She values our greenways, calling them a "giant contribution
to the character of our city."
Hankla notes that older people often connect to poetry because they may be more inwardly focused and have patience to
read for aesthetic joy and fullness as human beings rather than for
information.
"Poetry is where it's at, folks," she says. "You don't want to
miss out!"
Hankla's two collections, "Great Bear" and "Galaxies," are available for purchase at various booksellers and online at Amazon and
Barnes & Noble. -LIZ LONG
THEROANOKER.COM


http://www.THEROANOKER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker May/June 2017

Worth a Click
From the Editor
Lunch With
Streets of Roanoke
The Gist
Events Calendar
Best of Roanoke 2017
Architects on our Architecture
Fun & Functional: Inside the Glickfield Home
Roanoke Valley Health & Wellness: The A-Z
Tacos ā€˜nā€™ BBQ: A Great Spot for Each
The Dish
Where are They Now?
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Intro
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover1
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover2
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 3
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 4
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 5
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 6
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 7
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Worth a Click
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 9
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - From the Editor
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 11
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Lunch With
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 13
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Streets of Roanoke
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 15
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 16
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 17
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - The Gist
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 19
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 20
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 21
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 22
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Events Calendar
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 24
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 25
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 26
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Best of Roanoke 2017
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 28
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 29
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 30
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 31
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The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 72
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The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 74
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 75
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Architects on our Architecture
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 77
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 78
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 79
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 80
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 81
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 82
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 83
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Fun & Functional: Inside the Glickfield Home
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 85
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 86
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 87
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 88
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 89
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 90
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 91
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Roanoke Valley Health & Wellness: The A-Z
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 93
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 94
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 95
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 96
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 97
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Tacos ā€˜nā€™ BBQ: A Great Spot for Each
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 99
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 100
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 101
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 102
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 103
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 104
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - The Dish
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Where are They Now?
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover3
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover4
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