Keizer New Port Richey University professor inspires students with ‘Worrisome Creatures’ poetry book
Having worries is part of being human.
Memories of the distant past, relationships with family or friends, or even encounters with new creatures can bring disturbing feelings to the surface.
But for Dr. Kate Sweeney-Postle, these experiences are inspirational.
Last spring, the Keizer University New Port Richey English professor published Worrisome Creatures, her first poetic novel. Sweeney-Postle describes the book as a decade-long collection of poems, all falling under the related theme of “disturbing creatures”.
“[The book] encompasses literal creatures, but also human creatures, and different disturbing interactions within family dimensions,” Sweeney-Postle said.
Originally from New York, Sweeney-Postle moved to Florida to complete her MFA at the University of Florida. She remembers moving to this new world and how that experience inspired many of the poems in the book.
“I was very fascinated by the environment and the change from what I’m used to in New York, to the wild, almost outlaw nature and animals of Florida,” Sweeney said. -Post it. “There are a lot of images of Florida’s wildlife and scary creatures.”
But “worrying creatures” can take on many shapes and forms. Sweeney-Postle says she was also inspired by personal experiences and relationships. She explores the multigenerational experience between her grandmother, her mother, and herself, and the many things we can learn from family members, both good and bad.
“There’s a section just about the gender of our relationship and the struggles of that relationship,” Sweeney-Postle said. “There are disturbing creatures that are ideas, and also other humans, not just the animal type.”
An English professor at Keizer University in New Port Richey, Sweeney-Postle is also the writing studio coordinator. She says she hopes this post can inspire her students to continue writing, but also to find their own meaning in the text.
“I love listening to other people’s stories, so hopefully this might be a poetic approach that someone could take. Seeing how I use news reports, or just listening to people who have had interesting experiences, and just this idea of listening and trying to make something of it that’s own and unique,” Sweeney-Postle said. “When students learn that I write poetry and I write creatively, they come sometimes to me with their own writing. It’s nice to know they’re interested and have someone to share it with.
Sweeney-Postle says she started writing poetry in college while studying with a wonderful and supportive teacher, which she says is part of why she wanted to become a teacher herself. She says this book is a long-term goal, but she hopes her students can achieve their own goals along the way.
“I try to connect students with publications that might just publish a poem or two, especially for beginning writers or undergraduates, or enlightened magazines that publish certain themes,” Sweeney-Postle said. “You work so hard to write and to be able to share it with the world basically, and anyone who will read it. It just makes you feel like you’ve really accomplished something.
“Worrisome Creatures” is available online, via Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Madville Publishing.
Keizer University is a private, independent, nonprofit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and at two international locations. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees ranging from associates to doctoral degrees. Keizer University is a designated Hispanic-serving institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked #5 in the United States in social mobility by US News And World Report in 2022.