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MFA grad explores poetry as bridge across boundaries

December 18, 2012

What does it mean to be human and how do we interconnect with each other and the world around us?

These are the questions that inspire Heather Poole, as she graduates with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“I believe the arts and beauty are essential to the human soul and as a bridge across boundaries, that unites, inspires and allows us greater communication and understanding with one another,” says Poole. “Art assists in developing creative win-win situations where all benefit in positive ways.”

A collection of poems – Fledglings of Anani – are Poole’s master’s thesis, a project that encountered unexpected delays due to life events.

“After completion of my coursework I was unable to return to ASU for seven years,” she says. “I helped with family illnesses and death which took me away from school. Yet, in the end, this time enriched my life and the work I am now writing would not have been possible without these experiences.”

Fledglings of Anani, completed in the last year at ASU, embraces the complexity, tenderness and vitality of life, says Poole. “The subject is beauty. Beauty is harmony and an essential ingredient to the individual’s psyche as well as the growth and expansion of community and society.”

“My hope is that Fledglings of Anani uplifts, nourishes and expands the readers’ thoughts to embrace the depth and subtle connections between self, people, places, and inter-relationships, and appreciate how these things, often the most ordinary, are what give substance and meaning to our lives.”

Poole received a Graduate College Completion Fellowship for fall 2012 to support the impressive quality of her work. “The graduate fellowship enabled me to focus solely on the work and give it full time and attention in order to bring it to completion and was invaluable,” says Poole.

When she first arrived at ASU, says Poole, “I did not know I was entering into a program with reknowned writers and some of the best poets of our time.” In addition to the kinship and sense of community the writing department engendered, she experienced an unwavering dedication in the teachers who helped her and each student develop their voice and vision to their highest potential.

“Graduation is a day of deep appreciation for everyone who has been a part of this, from my mentors, my department, and to students and all who are a part of ASU – for I could not have done this without the aid of so many people.”

After graduation, Poole intends to keep creating “work that celebrates life and our interconnectedness to each another and to the world in the spirit of beauty, peace, and compassion.”

“Art is available to everyone. There is no ‘wrong’ art, and I would like to see others utilize it as a tool of empowerment for themselves and for society, as a channel that supports constructive dialogue, opens minds, extends our boundaries, and allows humanity to grow in concrete and harmonious ways that benefit all.”

Michele St George,
Graduate College