Gordon in the News: last updated 06/13/2011

A Poem a Day: Gordon College Celebrates National Poetry Month with Third Annual Poetry Podcasts

March 29, 2010

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA—Though Irv Levy, professor of chemistry and computer science at Gordon College, was selected as one of the Salem News North Shore 100 outstanding residents in 2011 for his green chemistry efforts, there are other creative reasons to celebrate Levy’s accomplishments. Two years ago Levy joined colleagues from the English Department to cosponsor a poetry contest using only symbols from the Chemistry Periodic Table, an event captured on video and resurrected now for Gordon’s third annual celebration of National Poetry Month.

Levy’s video is being featured on Gordon’s newest blog, All Things Poetry, which celebrates the rhymes and rhythms of Gordon College, and also includes daily audio podcast recordings of faculty and staff reading poems. Each day throughout April a new poem will be posted on www.gordon.edu/poetry and available for listening beginning April 1 (no fooling). Recordings from 2010 and 2009 poetry podcasts are also available to download through the new site.

This year poems were chosen and read by a diversity of Gordon faculty and staff members, and include poets such as Emily Dickenson, Charles Olson, Robert Frost and Elizabeth Jennings.

All Things Poetry also features links and announcements for poetry events such as poet Paul Mariani’s upcoming visit to campus, April 12, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. in Jenks Library, room 237. Mariani, an essayist, poet, biographer and distinguished scholar, will read and discuss his poetry and vocation. The event is free and open to the public.

“Poetry offers a unique experience,” says Mark Wacome Stevick, assistant professor of English and an award-winning poet who has recorded poetry podcasts each year for Gordon. “At certain times everyone needs to turn to that kind of dense, raw poetry for the expression of something you cannot express.”

Stevick helped spearhead the poetry podcast project three years ago and has again read for this year’s recordings. He says the poems can be appreciated and pleasurable--even if the meaning isn’t immediately clear--simply because of the use and rhythms of language.

Cathy Thiel, administrative assistant to Gordon’s academic dean and a reader of poems for the podcasts, agreed. “I have been transported, enlightened and comforted by poetry and am always on the hunt for new ‘voices’ to listen to. Poetry month (at Gordon) provides me with that,” she said. “I look forward each day during April either to be introduced to a poem I have never heard before, or to enjoy one that has been an old friend to me, being read by someone else.”

According to its website, the Academy of American Poets inaugurated National Poetry Month in April 1996; its purpose is to “bring together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.”

To celebrate All Things Poetry at Gordon, visit www.gordon.edu/poetry.


Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 38 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu