By Anders Carlson (’12)

On December 2nd, the English creative writing faculty put on what will hopefully be the first annual faculty reading of new works. Professors Kevin Koch, James Pollock, and William Jablonsky read from their recent writings in order to show Loras that they actually do write and not just teach.

Professor Jablonsky took the podium first. In his fourth year at Loras College, Professor Jablonsky is from Rock Falls, Illinois, and graduated from Bowling Green with a MFA in creative writing. His work has been classified as magical realism, steam punk, and science fiction. The Indestructible Man is his first book, a collection of short stories that came out in 2006 from Livingston Press, and his second book, The Clockwork Man, came out in 2010 from Medallion Press. Professor Jablonsky read his short story “Leviathan.” The story centers on a story a mother tells to her child about the kid’s father. It is the grueling tale of the child’s father battling a catfish over several days as it drags his boat down the Mississippi River.

Next up was Professor Pollock. He has been at Loras College since 2002, making this his tenth year. At the University of Houston, Professor Pollock earned  his M.A. and Ph.D. A native of southern Ontario, he has a passion for Canadian literature. Currently he commutes to Dubuque from his home in Madison, Wisconsin. Professor Pollock was awarded the John Woods Scholarship in poetry which allowed him to study at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Next year, Professor Pollock will have two books hit the market. The first is You are Here which is a book of literary criticism focusing on Canadian poets, and the second is his first book of poetry called Sailing to Babylon. Professor Pollock read many poems such as “Radio,” “Amelia Island Florida,” and “Northrop Frye a Bowles Lunch.” Though all his poetry was vivid and insightful, the one that sticks with the audience is his title poem, “Sailing to Babylon.”  In the poem, Pollock uses clever rhyme that highlights ancient places.

Introduced as the “Bestest Chair in the Whole Wide World,” Professor Koch finished the faculty readings. Though Koch has not aged in 30 years, Professor Jablonsky cleared up to skeptical audience members that Professor Koch is not a vampire. Koch graduated from the University of Iowa with his M.A. and Ph.D. He has been teaching at Loras for the past 29 years and is currently the chair of the Language & Literature Division. There are two books on the market by Professor Koch. The first is Skiing at Midnight, published by Loras College Press in 2002, and the other is The Driftless Land: Spirit of Place in the Upper Mississippi Valley, published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2010. Professor Koch read his work titled “Home Fire.” The essay is about his house in Dubuque catching on fire on July 22, 2010. He writes about an electrical fire started by hot wires that touched the house from a tree branch falling on a power line. Within his piece, Professor Koch references Scott Russell Sanders, one of his favorite writers, and puts in witty humorous comments fitting of his personality.

There was a big turnout of people for the faculty reading, and no one left unsatisfied. The English writing professors showed their craft and proved that they can do what they teach.





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