Response: Visiting Writer – Allison Funk

The Purdue Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing, the English Department, the Thomas H. Scholl Fund and the College of Liberal Arts.

Visiting Writer: Allison Funk
Date: March 10, 2015

This was my first live poetry reading ever, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s a whole new experience when you have the poet reading his or her work, hearing the inflections and pauses exactly as they were intended to be. And then to get inside the poet’s head–to hear the inspirations and stories behind the poems was very enlightening, and in some ways, mind-blowing!

Allison Funk, we learned, has a tie to Purdue. It turns out that her grandfather graduated from Purdue. So her family has a fondness for Purdue and West Lafayette. It seems that much of her family life is the inspiration for a good deal of her poetry.

There were some situations that I could relate to and some that were beyond my understanding. Though she tried not to make it appear so, I felt that there were some situations with her son that left indelible marks on her, if not mental scars. She shares those experiences in her poetry, a brave gesture. I couldn’t help but feel the tragedy that came through in her writing in spite of the attempt to make her life and situations relatable.

The historical information about one of her poems was intriguing, but I failed to bring my notebook with me and did not write down any names of historical figures she had researched. It was something about the south of France… sorry to be so vague.

An enjoyable experience overall, and I look forward to doing it again.


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