Dr. Tom Hunley speaks at Dixie State University
- Dillon Miller
- Monday, April 8th, 2019
On April 3, Dr. Tom Hunley of the WKU Department of English attended The Southern Quill Festival at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. This event is hosted by Dixie State University as a fundraiser for The Southern Quill, a student literary journal. The event featured a silent auction, two guest speakers, and a performance by the local band NVM.
One of the guest speakers was Dr. Tom Hunley, a Professor of Creative Writing with the WKU Department of English. Dr. Hunley read several of his creative works to guests such as “Leaving” and “Will Be Done.”
Dr. Cindy King and Dr. Stephen Armstrong, both professors of English at Dixie State University, personally invited Dr. Hunley to attend the event along with Dorothy Allred Solomon, an award-winning writer who has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live. Along with reading his works, Dr. Hunley had the opportunity to guest-teach a class, which he describes as “an absolute pleasure.”
Dr. Hunley’s appearance at The Southern Quill Festival coincides with National Poetry Month, a time where poetry is celebrated across the nation. The WKU English Department is holding a month-long celebration of poetry by encouraging students, faculty, and alumni to submit videos of themselves reading short poems.
While Dr. Hunley says he “lives poetry 24/7/365,” he notes that “the videos that the English department is making for National Poetry Month are pretty cool. People should check those out. They feature WKU English professors reading or reciting favorite poems, and they're a great starting point for people who are interested in poetry and unsure where to turn.”
Dr. Hunley encourages students to find their own voice and to express it in creative writing. When asked to give advice to aspiring creative writers, he replies with sage words:
“Any writer is a reader first, a person who has taken in so many words that the words start itching to come out in a different order. If you aspire to write poetry, the best way to find inspiration is to read a lot of poetry. Maybe start with an online daily poetry site such as Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor, or The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith. Then, if you come across a poem you like, read a book by that poet.”