He read Nov. 8 at Scuppernong Bookstore, with many members of the UNCG community in attendance. His poem “Birdsong After a Sleepless Night,” which appeared in the New Yorker in the Nov. 2 issue, was among the ones he read. (See it and hear him read it here.)
His appearance was another reminder of how storied UNCG’s Creative Writing program is. After the reading, he recalled a conversation he had with Randall Jarrell in the mid 60s at a gathering at Peter Taylor’s home in Fisher Park. (Jarrell was what we’d now call US Poet Laureate. Taylor was a Pulitzer recipient.) Ruark recalled how Randall Jarrell would be very attentive to whomever he was speaking, with great focus. A student that evening told him she liked the writings of WB Yeats. Jarrell did not take that as small talk or idle talk. He pressed her on the particular works she liked.
UNCG has quite a history, of great faculty making an impact on our world.
By Mike Harris
Photo of (l-r) Ruark with Jim Clark; Terry Kennedy in background.