Keaveney – Reading at the Nick

Sara Levering, Staff Writer

One of Linfield’s very own presented his poetry collection entitled “Your Eureka Not Mined” as part of the Readings at the Nick series.

Professor Christopher Keaveney teaches Japanese language, East Asian literature, and film courses. He joked that he is known as the Japanese guy at Linfield, “but my story is how the Japanese guy at Linfield became a poet.”

The collection of poems are reflective of his background and of his life. He gave brief explanations as to where the ideas came from. He wrote one poem about his grandfather’s, one being Irish and one being American. And as a grandchild of immigrants, he thought this poem was notable.

When he was in college in New York, the creative writing major didn’t exist and if it had, Keaveney would have likely majored in creative writing. He mentioned that he would submit various pieces and did not receive positive feedback. He went abroad to take time to grow as a creative writer.

An audience member asked about his evolution and growth as a poet and he responded that he needed to get away from submitting to return as a better writer. He called it a “tremendous evolution,” because it brought him to a place at working hard at revising as something he was willing to work toward.

In another poem, Keaveney reflected on the complicated relationship he had with his father and after he got dementia, he decided to compose a poem from a person with memory loss’ perspective. He mentioned that his father had an excellent memory, until he suffered strokes and as a result had dementia.

He thoughtfully dedicated his book of poems to his wife, due to her patience with him. His best ideas came at odd hours of the night and he would reach over and write them down to assure he wouldn’t forget it and haphazardly waking up his wife. Though, he joked that when he woke up he wouldn’t be able to decipher his own handwriting.

Keaveney wrote a poem to his INQS students and joked about the importance about grammar. It was his most humorous composition of the evening. He would compare grammar terms to mundane scenes.