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‘Seuss’ and company celebrate National Poetry Month at Lamar

Kelly DraperApril is National Poetry Month, and “Dr. Seuss” visited the Lamar University Writing Center Friday to help celebrate.

The program featured a dramatic reading of works by Dr. Seuss, performed by Kelly Draper, associate professor of theater at Lamar. Draper selected three lesser-known poems by Seuss: “The Zax,” “What Was I Scared Of?” and “The Big Brag.” He said he counts Dr. Seuss among his childhood influences, along with Charles Schultz, Walt Disney and Jim Henson.

Lamar faculty members Jerry Bradley, professor of English, and R.S. “Sam” Gwynn, professor of English and poet-in-residence, also read from their poetry collections.

As part of National Poetry Month at Lamar, LuAnn Viesca of Del Rio won the Seussian student writing contest sponsored by the writing center.

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991) was an American writer and cartoonist widely known for his children’s books under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone. He published 44 children’s books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme and frequent use of trisyllabic meter. His best-known books include bestsellers “Green Eggs and Ham,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hears a Who!” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Readings were presented in the writing center, on the first floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. Melissa Hudler is director of the center, which provides individualized tutoring sessions that, Hudler said, aspire to be more than the short-term goal of improving a particular paper. “We seek to improve the student writer’s composing skills so that he or she can approach any writing assignment in a progressively more skilled and, thus, more confident manner. Overall, our goal is to provide authentic learning of the writing process.”