On Thursday, February 16th, Dustin Pearson will read his poetry as part of the 2023 Prout Chapel Reading Series, hosted by Bowling Green State University. The reading will take place at 7:30 at Prout Chapel at BGSU.

Pearson is the author of A Season in Hell with Rimbaud, Millennial Roost, and A Family Is a House. Dustin also has work which appears in The Nation, The Boiler, Blackbird, Bennington Review, Poetry Daily, The Literary Review, The Cortland Review, among other publications. Dustin is an Assistant Professor teaching creative writing at the University of Toledo.

Pearson’s work explores themes of love, loss, abuse, trauma, and hope. His work is both raw and honest, and while woeful at times, still carries grace and hope in its folds. Pearson views his writing as a way to artfully call on his lived experiences and observations, zooming in on them in the process. In an interview with Florida State University’s English Department, Pearson iterates, “I like to think of the writing as holding a magnifying glass to different aspects of that experience. The aesthetic presentation of the resulting writing is determined by how much I prioritize my internalized perception of what I’ve experienced or a more assimilated or recognizable one, which I think people most often call reality.” Indeed, there is a malleability to truth, experience, and the expression of them; in his poem “Souls Side by Side” Pearson writes to that end:

“He creeps

around us


like he hadn’t died

when he first left.

Father, why

are you dying?

We killed you.

You should be dead.”

(from theboilerjournal dot com)

With the pain in Pearson’s writing, however, love and tenderness comes hand-in-hand. In “A Difference,” a brother’s broken arm is bandaged. In “Fossil Fuel,” hope is within reach: “The loss is overwhelming, but ahead of you, there are tracks. You want to fall but think not again, and you think: no matter the man the tracks belong to, you must find him.”

—Mays Kuhail, MAR

(Poem excerpts courtesy of The Boiler and The Account Magazine, biographical information from dustinkpearson dot com)