The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    Weisner, literary instructor/adviser, publishes book of poems

    Ken Weisner teaches De Anza College’s future poets English and poetry as an instructor and adviser for the student literary magazine Red Wheelbarrow. Recently, his book of poems, “Anything on Earth” was published.

    He often writes poems about everyday life. Weisner was able to turn an ordinary bus trip last summer to the Ashland Shakespeare festival into a critical review of American history. He recalls “colonial enslavers, arrogant landowners, rapacious loggers, miners, and missionaries,” while the bus was heading to its destination, it “dragged now half-slumbering over wheel ruts of older roads.”

    However, not all his poems are serious. Some are humorous and ironic, such as “A Proclamation Concerning a Bowl of Apples.”

    Simple things, living nature and music are the three pillars of Weisner’s poetry, who minored in music in college. This is why his poems follow a complicated rhythm and contain “flowing” images.

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    “I’m interested in poetry in the way that it overlaps with dozens of other things that also interest me like psychology, music, irony, politics, comedy, healing, and the search for meaning and love,” he said. “Poetry is all about passion and mystery and music and unlimited imagination.”

    Weisner has always loved language and writing. He recalls being in fifth grade and one summer and writing a novel about a secret agent.

    “After my father died unexpectedly of a heart attack when I was fourteen, I wrote my first poem,” Weisner said. “Poetry has pressure on its language. It’s not uncommon for something intense like love or death to push one’s language into poetry. And sometimes even just plain sentences can be poetry.”

    During this spring quarter, under Weisner’s guidance, students in EWRT/JOUR 65 compile and evaluate works other students submit to Red Wheelbarrow. At the end of spring quarter, the students have a poetry reading event and awards ceremony celebrating the publication of the journal.

    “I think everyone who writes creatively should send in work each year,” Weisner said. “Remember, true writers will always wallpaper their rooms with rejection slips. Boy, have I had my share. Just keep at it, keep writing, and never give up.”

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