Written by Tamara Murga, Editor-in-Chief
To some, the thought of writing a poem or anything that requires the collision between pen and paper is cringe-worthy. When it comes to the act of writing, many simply stick to the making of their grocery list, or typing a long, angry text message.
The cliché but honest form of writer’s block begins with the staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen. When these moments linger long enough, the anxiety soon unfolds. The truth is, however, that even experienced writers go through this overwhelming process. The difference with Dr. Katherine Brueck, author and English Professor at the Mount, is that she knows how to defeat it: write even when you cannot.
Through the power of strong sentiment, Dr. Brueck proudly presents her most recent work “Voiceless Love” at Chalon on March 15.
Dr. Brueck’s relationship with writing originates with being a John Carroll University undergraduate student. She then continued for her M.A. at Purdue University and pursued her PhD in Comparative Literature at University of Illinois. Though she grew up in the Midwest, she returned to where she was originally from, California. In 1980, she began her trajectory at the Mount and continues to do so presently as the Chair of the English Department.
“When we started we had about 15 students in the department and now, we have more than double that,” she continues, “Since then we also started ministering a broader group of students, which is simply wonderful.”
Now in 2016, she holds her very first creative writing publication. She testifies that, “…it feels very good to see it all come together and feel it in [her] hands.” Though she has written other literary pieces, “Voiceless Love” is undeniably her most special work.
When asked how she comes about writing a poem, she shared that there is usually a strong feeling, often an unpleasant one, and expresses it on paper in the form of poetry. This publication is a collection of 25 sonnets based on different people in her life, including her friends, children, mother, and father, to which her sections are titled. She ends with a section titled God: The Crucified. She notes that she came to see through the philosophy of Simone Weil that Christianity is a religion of the cross. From this, she said her own theology is a theology of the cross, which helped her title the last section. Her sonnets are pretty “naturalistic,” as she says herself. The poems deal with difficult and unpleasant issues, but she mentions that the sonnet form is so difficult she hopes people will not understand what she is saying as they are very personal poems.
The beautiful collection of sonnets in “Voiceless Love” has inspired many, however, as she conveys topics that anyone can relate to at some point in their lives. She adds:
One of the poems in here that people seem to respond to is Nightmare, under the Children category. It’s about a parent’s relationship with their child that is not biologically their own. My husband and I adopted two children. Nightmare is about the moment you think about when your child is growing up. It just envisions her going off with the birthmother. You have these moments of nightmare. But other people came up to me and they responded. They said, my children are biological but I have just the same nightmare because now they’re out of the house. I don’t know if I’ll ever see them again. A father told me that. And then a woman, who didn’t necessarily say but I believe was a foster mother had the same emotion. I think this poem is one many people can relate to.
Dr. Brueck and the English Department delightedly invite you for an afternoon celebration of “Voiceless Love.” The event will be hosted by Professor Villatoro on Tuesday, March 15, in Humanities 402 at 1p.m. There will be a reading and a Q&A section. Light refreshments will be provided and copies of “Voiceless Love” will be made available at the reading.