‘The power of words’ not lost on Lee’s Summit resident

tporter@lsjournal.comMarch 12, 2014 

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    Date in March that Lee’s Summit resident William Trowbridge will release “Put This On, Please,” his sixth collection of poetry. Trowbridge is the current poet laureate of Missouri.

William Trowbridge prefers the bright lights and bustling sounds of the big city.

His wife of 50 years is more of a small town girl.

After 27 years living and teaching in the northwest Missouri town of Maryville, William Trowbridge decided he wanted to return to the city. Born in Chicago but raised in Omaha, Trowbridge craved the urgency of city life.

In a compromise with his wife, Sue, the Trowbridges decided to relocate to Lee’s Summit in 2010 for the best of both worlds: access to city life and the quaint quietness of Missouri’s sixth largest town.

“I’ve always liked Kansas City and I’m a city boy,” Trowbridge said on a recent afternoon. The state’s poet laureate for 2013-14, the 72-year-old Trowbridge will officially release his latest book of poetry March 15. The collection, “Put This On, Please,” is published by Red Hen Press and will be available on Trowbridges’s personal Amazon.com page. “Maryville is a town of 10,000 and I didn’t feel like staying there after I left full-time teaching.”

Trowbridge, who was the poet of record at the Midwest Poetry Series March 11 at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, will appear at the Lee’s Summit branch of the Mid-Continent Library from 7-8 p.m. April 24. The appearance will be the second for Trowbridge at a Mid-Continent branch following an appearance April 3 in Parkville.

“Having Mr. Trowbridge share his knowledge on the art of writing poetry and sharing his poems with our audience well definitely give our (patrons) insight into the power of words,” said Paul Smith, community program manager for Mid-Continent Library. “It’s an honor to have the poet laureate of Missouri share his work with our audience.”

The appearances are just two of nearly three dozen Trowbridge has or have planned during his time as poet laureate.

“It’s an incredible pleasure,” Trowbridge, currently a part-time professor at the University of Nebraska’s low-residency MFA program, said of writing poetry. “I think it’s a way of making things; a pleasure you get out of making things that didn’t exist before. It’s the same kind of kick I think a good carpenter has or somebody who is building something or making something. That’s the enjoyment I get out of it, anyway.”

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