Friday, March 7, 2008
Chester Alumni Success Eric Crapo, a recent graduate of Chester College, is now back as the professor of Introduction to Poetry. After finishing his Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree in December of 2006, Eric went on to a Master of Fine Arts program in poetry at New England College.
New England College nurtures the individual in the art process as well as putting an emphasis on peer critique and group workshops. Their low residency program allows a writer to generate ideas and drafts alone fully immersed in life, not isolated in an academic environment. This promotes a more organic root to writing.
The two week residencies are a form of poetry boot camp where one can be expected to wake in the middle of the night with a fully formed poem that must be written.
Eric’s writing is frequently in meter, but its formal approach tends to end there. With subject matter that stretches from God, to bodily functions, Eric’s writing has something for everyone. During his senior project Eric presented a play he wrote to analyze friendship and romantic urges in a diner setting. His play was presented at the end of a semester and is remembered still as an avant-guard display.
At the last Spoken Word event in Dalrymple, Eric read a poem especially for his students, about a cheeseburger: " force it / into your mouth / grease dripping across / your fingers, down / your chin, onto / the plate where crumbs are saved / to fill in the cracks.
Spoken Word is a regular open mic on the Chester College campus. Every other Sunday, students gather to share their work and hear what a guest reader presents. After his twenty minute set, Eric Crapo found his seat through a loud applause and stayed afterwards to answer questions and hear the response to his work.
Student response to Eric’s class is overwhelmingly positive. They feel comfortable and inspired. Ashley Kreutter, one of his students, came to the reading. Afterward she hung out in the room and joined in the conversation about meter. Students were quizzing Eric on the scansion of specific words. Words were thrown out or used in a sentence and on the spot Eric turned it into a lesson, not only calling out the stresses, but over emphasizing them and asking students to identify the type of foot.