By Debbie Gillum, News Editor Emeritus
The Beck Lecture Series event on Feb. 6 at 8 pm in the Barney-Davis board room began with a night of poetry. But these weren’t your stereotypical poets. Maggie Glover ‘05 and Paige Hill Starzinger both have full-time jobs, not related to poetry, but both just recently published their first book of poems.
Despite visiting campus together, the two women have radically different work. Before their poetry reading, the women also gave a talk that afternoon.
English professor David Baker introduced the two poets, describing Glover’s poetry as “direct and voice-driven.” He joked that, “It is best to read Maggie Glover with a seatbelt on.” He said that Starzinger’s poetry was “visual art, likely to splinter and the product of a researcher.” He again joked that listeners should still keep their seatbelt on for Starzinger’s reading.
Glover is currently the Director of Brand Marketing at Ipsy, a beauty website, and lives in San Francisco. After getting her MFA in poetry at West Virginia University, she worked as part of the fashion startup website called ModCloth. She read eight of her poems from her book How I Went Red including one about her admiration for Marc Jacobs and another one called “Refrain” that she wrote while staying in a hotel on what she called a “writer vacation.”
Starzinger read six of her poems from her book Vestigial. She added that her “poems are built like nests” and that “they often have braided narratives.” Some of her poems were about her time living in New York City.
In the afternoon chat, Glover gave a presentation on the marketable skills that English majors inherently possess and how those skills can translate into the job market.
When an audience member asked how she finds time to write with her job, Glover joked that, “I don’t have dogs or children so I have time to write poetry.”
Starzinger displayed some of her work from her time at Vogue. She said that she “loves to hire poets, writers, Buddhists, and history majors because they bring their passion to their work.” She explained how writing captions for fashion magazines can be a challenging and fun job for English majors.
Isabel Randolph, a sophomore from Columbus, Ohio thought it was “really cool” to listen to Glover and Starzinger.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to hear them because I’m an English major who wants to go into business, so it was super relevant,” said Randolph “I thought they were fun and personable and I liked getting their tips about things like combining work with writing.”
Caroline McCauley, a senior from Hartville, Ohio, attended the afternoon talk about the poet’s careers.
“Their presentations on their careers not only gave insight into the fashion and beauty industry, but also touched upon how to find success in any career,” she said. McCauley also took some advice from Starzinger, who said “the smaller your frame of the reference, the smaller your range.” McCauley said it was “applicable to all aspects of my daily life and wise words to live by.”