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Pulitzer Prize finalist reads poetry in Park Library Baber Room

A Pulitzer Prize finalist visited Central Michigan University on Thursday to read her work and share knowledge to aspiring writers.

The Meijer Visiting Writing Series and Women and Gender Studies presented Diane Seuss at the Park Library Baber Room.

Seuss read poems from two of her books. The first few poems were from “Four-Legged Girl," which is the book that deemed her a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist. She gave the audience a preview of some poems from her new book that will be released later this year.

The book Seuss is currently working on is the hardest book she has worked on in her career, she said. She added it is very difficult to write multiple poems and then try and piece them together into a book,

“It’s not like telling a story because you have to create this feeling throughout the entire book," Seuss said.

Seuss said that the death of her father impacted her writing indefinitely.

“A lot of times, artists of any kind have experienced a trauma, or a loss, in childhood," she said. "You almost spend the rest of your life trying to figure it out and trying to make sense of it. It isn’t possible to fill the hole but writing helped me understand it.”

Seuss’ advice for upcoming writers was to keep an open mind and continue to read.

"Read everything," she said. "Don’t isolate yourself. Get feedback, get a mentor. Allow yourself to be influenced by what you are reading.”

Carson senior Jonabel Durga said this was the first time she has heard of Diane Seuss but she is very excited for her next book of poems to be released.

“It was really inspiring to hear her poetry read out loud," Durga said.

Lake Orion sophomore Sydney Lindquist said she heard about the event through her English professor. Her class was offered extra credit if they came to see the reading, which she enjoyed and wished could have been longer.

"I enjoy her work; she obviously loves what she does," Lindquist said. "(Seuss) was very enthusiastic reading her work to everyone.”