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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 10:09am

Garrison Keillor Reads Georgia Poet

A west Georgia professor is getting national attention for his poetry.

Nick Norwood teaches creative writing at Columbus State University. On Wednesday, A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor read Norwood’s poem “Jarring Honey” on Writer’s Almanac for public radio.

The poem comes from Norwood’s 2012 book The Gravel and The Hawk. It’s a collection of poems inspired by his childhood in east Texas.

While his previous work is written in an ironic style, Norwood decided the poems in The Gravel and The Hawk should take a more sincere tone. “That led me to writing sort of earnest poems about my own childhood, my life and some of the major events that took place,” said Norwood. He says “Jarring Honey” was inspired by looking at the air bubbles in a jar of honey.

While Norwood enjoyed Keillor’s reading of his poem their recitations are different. “He changed the pauses from the way I wrote it,” said Norwood.

Norwood has published three books of poems since 2003 including The Gravel and The Hawk, A Place For the Heart and The Soft Blare. He won the Hollis Summers Prize in Poetry for The Gravel and The Hawk.

He is writing a new book of poems inspired by the historic Eagle cotton mill on the Chattahoochee River where he lives.

“The Eagle mill was burned down in 1865 when the Yankees laid siege to the town,” said Norwood. “It was rebuilt and renamed the Eagle and Phoenix because it has risen from the ashes.”

GPB’s Ellen Reinhardt talked to Norwood about his work and what inspires him.

You can hear the poem read on Writer’s Almanac by clicking here.

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