Poet Claire Bateman tells students she once had doubts she could be a writer to literature students at Troy last week

Beth Hyatt
Copy Editor

On Thursday, Oct. 2, poet Claire Bateman came to Troy University.
Bateman’s arrival drew quite a crowd as students from different literature classes and honor societies, as well as faculty members, flocked to Hawkins Hall.
Bateman’s writing is considered prose poetry and, according to her, it is one of the easiest ways to start writing.
Bateman made the trip to Troy from Greenville, South Carolina, in order to present to the students and faculty, as well as see her longtime friend, Patricia Waters.
Bateman’s career started in her 20s when her book of poems “The Bicycle Slow Race” was published. Since then, she has had eight books of poetry published and has presented at numerous readings.
Bateman began her journey into writing as a small child and, as soon as she learned how to read, she dove into the multitude of books that were around her house.
“I had gone to college to become a writer, but I had read so many great dead masters like T.S. Elliot and William Shakespeare and I realized that I couldn’t write like that,” Bateman said. “So, I figured that I probably wasn’t a writer.”
She said that she was convinced her writing was subpar until the discovery of prose poetry.
In order to expose more of Troy’s students to this form of art, William Thompson, Ben Robertson and a few other university literature and English professors offered extra credit to students who attended.
Meagan Berry, graphic design major from Troy, attended the reading by recommendation of Robertson.
“I thought it was great,” Berry said. “I really liked the really different way she thought about things and how it was just things I would never, ever come up with.
Bateman’s different and intriguing view on poetry inspired many students and increased awareness of events like these. Her poetry was not only entertaining to listen to, but “it was its own adventure to write,” Bateman said.
“The book called ‘Locals’ was definitely the most fun to write,” Bateman said. “I just couldn’t stop writing realms. Each section of the book takes place in a different imaginary realm.”
The English Department faculty expressed hope that, in the future, more students will be inspired to attend these kinds of activities.
Bateman’s performance piqued the interest of many students and solidified the love of the written word for others like Lauren Wiggins, English major from Troy.
“I thought it was a very interesting experience and a wonderful thing to have right on Troy’s campus,” said Wiggins. “I thought most of her poems were quite humorous.”

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