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Diane Seuss writes "weird" poems and that's okay

Diane Seuss reads from her poetry collection,

Diane Seuss reads from her poetry collection, "Four-Legged Girl," during her campus reading on April 12 (Northern Review photo/Kasy Long).

Diane Seuss readily admits that some of her poems could be considered quite unusual in nature. Or, better yet, they may be downright weird, but that's alright with her.

The Pulitzer Prize finalist encourages literature enthusiasts to listen to, as well as read, what she's trying to convey throughout her innovative poems. 

“Writers want you to listen,” Seuss said during a campus reading on April 12, hosted by Ohio Northern University’s Department of English.

The poet from Michigan's Kalamazoo College also had meetings with students while visiting a variety of classes, and advised three students during one-on-one workshops.

Seuss' poetry has filled three literary collections, including her most recent "Four-Legged Girl," a Pulitzer finalist in 2015. She writes on her childhood experiences, reflecting on these times as an adult. Childhood is not a wonderland, but it has its many wonders, she writes.

What’s cool about poetry is that you’re making something. You’re bringing ‘magic’ to something that may have been overlooked,” she said.

The natural world is another topic that fascinates the poet, stating, "I wish more young poets would put down their [cell phone] screens and look at the world around them. I'm happy to hear that a lot of students [at ONU] are fascinated with nature, because it's a great source of inspiration." 

Seuss read four poems during her campus session, including "Laundromat hit by Tornado," "Toad," "Oh, I'm a stone," and "I can't stop thinking of that New York skirt, turquoise sequins glued onto sea-colored cotton." She didn't elaborate about the poems, allowing the written words to speak for themselves. 

Her session was accompanied by senior creative writing student Emily Walkerow, who read an excerpt from her work-in-progress novella, "Black Wings."