For Department of English lecturer Alison Jaenicke, poetry is an artistic way to express her experiences as a mother, wife, sister and friend.
Jaenicke presented her lecture, “Motherhood and Other Acts of Nature,” to a small gathering at the Palmer Museum of Art Wednesday afternoon as part of the museum’s “Art of Poetry” reading series.
While she has written and published numerous essays and works of short fiction, Jaenicke has taken interest in prose poetry in recent years.
“I like to consider myself a poet-in-progress,” she said.
Surrounded by colorful American modern art on the walls behind her, Jaenicke shared a dozen poems that reminisce on memorable life moments.
Many of the poems that were featured captured moments that encompass personal life events, including her childhood and seeing her own children grow up.
Other poems painted simple, yet profound pictures of her relationships with her family and friends.
“I use a lot of imagery in order to say something in a poem,” Jaenicke said, adding that it was up to the listeners to figure out what those images represent.
Danielle Dickerson said that she enjoyed hearing Jaenicke’s “flowing, beautiful” poems.
“I really liked how she expresses her personality in her writing,” Dickerson (junior-human development and family studies) said. “Her poems were very realistic and easy to relate to.”
Dickerson thought that the Palmer Museum of Art was a perfect backdrop for the poetry reading.
“It’s very calming, in a way,” Dickerson said. “The art on the walls and quiet atmosphere really enhance the entire experience.”
Alyse Bensel agreed, adding that the small, intimate space makes a great combination of different art mediums.
Bensel, an English lecturer who will present her poems next in the “Art of Poetry” series, encouraged her students to attend Jaenicke’s lecture.
“This is a great way to showcase Penn State poets in a way that’s accessible to students and other members of the community,” Bensel said.
Bensel is set to read her own work in a lecture titled “Shift” at 12:10 p.m. March 13 in the Palmer Museum of Art.