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Photo Credit: T-Fizzle Photography

Matt's Publishing Success

  • Poem Lazarus won first place in poetry for the 2013 edition of Calliope

  • Short story At the Hour of Our Death was a finalist for 2013 undergraduate contest in fiction at Lex Allen Literary Festival (held annually at Hollins University, Roanoke, Va.)

  • Short story The Virgin Martyrs won first place in fiction for 2012 edition of literary journal Calliope

The Summer Scholar Program provides a funded opportunity for Baldwin Wallace University students to pursue a project of their own design, in any major, in order to learn the process of research and scholarship under the supervision of a faculty member.

From Sonnet to Stage

When English major Matt Gesicki ’14, began his Summer Scholar’s research on the poetry of Pablo Neruda, it was to refine his own writing while delving into the poet’s style. Through the network created in the undergraduate research community, he was able to bring his poetry to the stage through fyoo zh ən, Baldwin Wallace’s Dance Concert.

By A. Paige Greene '14

The collaboration began when Sara Whale, a dance professor who was helping another student participating in Summer Scholars, approached Gesicki. She suggested using his poetry as a theme for the 2013 concert.

Gesicki had spent the summer creating a sequence of prose poetry inspired by Neruda's One Hundred Love Sonnets. He titled his Scholar's work, Ancient Cinders of a Heart: In Poetic Dialogue with Pablo Neruda. His BW mentor for the project was Sharon Kubasak, professor of English.

“The initial stages of the dance concert included an improvisation activity," explained Gesicki. "The dance students in the concert based their individual dance phrases on the emotions or sensations they experienced when hearing one of my poems."

The result was fyoo zh ən, an interdisciplinary effort that blended Gesicki's poetry with original music by BW composition majors and interpretive dance choreography.

The concert was a hit and played to full-capacity audiences.

"As a English major, I am awed by the opportunity to have my scholarly interests and poetry be the inspiration of such a fantastic collaboration," he noted. "This experience is something I can put on my resume that shows the creative process from start to finish. It has been an honor and privilege to have been involved."

Posted April 2013

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