Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University’s RichLyn Library will host Dr. Del Doughty, associate professor of English, for the fall “Focus on Excellence” colloquium. The event will be held at 8 p.m. on Monday, November 21, 2005, in the Johnson Conference Room of the library. Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served.
Doughty will discuss the writing process and haiku, a form of poetry originating from ancient Japan. He also will read selections from his book “Flow,” published last year.
“The title poem is about our struggle to find ‘happiness’ in this life—what Aristotle would call eudemonia, I suppose. The other poems in the book continue to explore that theme, albeit in 17-syllable bursts. I don’t mince words,” he said.
Doughty became interested in haiku after he read an essay on imagery by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass.
“(Hass) discussed a lot of different haiku, and I really liked them. I realized that what I had often dismissed as a minor league literary genre was in fact the white hot center of the universe, or at least the literary universe. I ordered his book of translations from Amazon.com, read it through voraciously several times, and began writing my own ’ku. I couldn’t stop. I soon became an embarrassment to my family and colleagues, going around and finding wonder in everything and trying to put it down in three lines of five, seven, and then five syllables. Fortunately, with the publication of ‘Flow,’ I was able to ‘get on the wagon.’ I now think of myself as a recovering haiku poet,” he said.
Doughty earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Penn State in 1995. His professional interests include writing and information technology, hypertext poetics, haiku, and film. His first poetry collection, “The Sound of Breathing,” won the Virgil Hutton Memorial Haiku Prize in 2000. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Indiana Arts Commission, and Eli Lilly Endowment for both his research and his poetry.
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