Former literature instructor Barbara Schmitz returns for Visiting Writers Series


Bryce Wheaton

Northeast Community College students and members of the community gathered at Hawks landing in the student center of the Norfolk campus on Wednesday to hear the poetry and stories of Michael Catherwood and Barbara Schmitz. Michael Catherwood is an award-winning poet who has appeared in numerous journals including AGNI and Borderlands. He opened the event by reading his poems about work and family life to the audience.

Barbara Schmitz is also an award winning author and poet and former literature teacher here at Northeast Community College. Schmitz was actually the person who started Visiting Writers series all the way back in 1975. The crowd laughed, smiled, and thought deeply as she read her poems of love, life, and growing up in the psychedelic era of the sixties.

Following the readings by both writers, they fielded questions from the crowd. People asked them about their favorite authors and influences, asked them for their best advice when it comes to getting rejected, about what challenges they face as writers, as well as many other questions. They were also happy to hang out and talk with anyone who wanted to continue their conversation when the event concluded.

The next Visiting Writers Series will take place on Wednesday, November 8 at Hawks Landing in the Student Center and will feature another poet by the name of Sarah McKinstry Brown. The event will start at 7pm and conclude at 8.