David Eye’s Reading at OWU

This past Wednesday, Ohio Wesleyan students, faculty, and guests joined visiting assistant professor, David Eye, for a reading from his book, Seed. The reading took place in the Bayley Room of Beeghly Library. The event commenced with Professor Amy Butcher’s introduction of Eye and his previous works. 

David Eye is an award-winning poet, former actor, and professor. Eye spent four years in the military before moving to New York to embark on a seventeen-year acting career before earning his MFA from Syracuse University and beginning his time as a professor. This academic year, he has joined the OWU community as a visiting assistant professor of English and teaches courses in poetry, literature, and academic writing in the English Department. Eye’s work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including The Queer South, “Hunger Mountain,” and “Lambda Literary.” 

We had the pleasure of hearing David Eye read from his most recent book Seed. Before he began his reading, Eye explained that the book itself was not arranged in any chronological order, but instead tied together thematically. The poems, he explained, are an amalgam of forms and subjects. Some are set in rural New York, others take place in New York City, and others reflect on Eye’s youth in rural Virginia. The poems within Seed span from childhood to adulthood and explore themes of sexuality, race, and historical events. 

Amongst the titles shared, Eye read his poem “All I Have” which gave a beautiful and heartbreaking perspective of the AIDs epidemic in New York during the 80s. The emotion that Eye is able to capture within his work is truly inspiring and not lost within other works he read. From a narrative villanelle to an aubade about the BLM movement and the spring of 2020, Eye’s reading was a powerful experience.

Following his reading, Eye graciously answered audience questions about his process, inspiration, and poetic journey. When asked about his inspirations, authors such as Robert Hayden and Elizabeth Bishop were named, though Eye admitted that there are many additional authors who have shaped his poetic journey. 

We are so thankful that David Eye was willing to share his time to give a beautiful reading of his book, Seed, and some insight into his life and creative process. 

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