Trey Seal/Staff Writer
The Del Mar Poetry series has been a soapbox for big name poets around the nation to show off their talent for the past 8 years. Allan Berecka, the head coordinator of the event and Sara Kaplan, a creative writing teacher, are both published poets who will be featured in the showcase.
Berecka grew up in Utica, New York where he lived in a strict catholic household. Bereckas’ poetry deals a lot with the relationship between he and his father and the blue-collar lifestyle that they enjoyed. As a young man, Berecka left and moved to New York City as a young man to follow his dreams of becoming a comedy writer.
After a few months of learning how hard getting into the entertainment was, he decided to go back to college. He moved to Irving, Texas where he began a degree plan in Shakespearean studies, but he eventually found interest in creative writing. Much of Berecka’s work is published in Christian magazines, according to him is puzzling because most of the work that is published has to do with his trying to understand the dogma of religion.
“You know that if somebody writes poetry that they truly love it because it is not something you can make a career off of” mentioning that his compensation from various magazines is generally just a copy of the magazine. He said he is very excited about the second event on March 22 with award winning Poet Nathan Brown, a friend of his coming in from Oklahoma to perform on the campus.
Berecka said, “In creative writing you can teach what you do but it comes down to each individual poet.” Speaking to Sara Kaplan was a very different experience and showed that poetry comes from many different backgrounds. Reading Dr. Kaplan’s poetry shows a very interesting observation of the world around us.
Born to a Rabbi, she has a deep love of the Jewish faith from her love of the Hebrew language that she said “flows like beautiful poetry when spoken” to the interesting stories she has about life with her father. She learned to write from her father who would sit her down in the basement and teach her the fundamentals of capturing an audience.
Paragraph-by-Paragraph she learned about structure and flow. “When it comes to telling a story it’s not about what happened but how it affected the people there,” she said. One story in particular had to do with Kaplan’s father bringing home an urn when she was twelve. “He set the urn on the table I was sitting as he casually walked to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich, I asked what it was and he responded Dr. Wolf.”
Dr. Kaplan said what makes a good story is “people should be able to interpret different messages and when they ask if they’re right, you lie. Just tell them I don’t know, don’t spoil it for them and keep the reader shrouded in mystery.”
She said, “Poetry always has stories and we love them whether you’re a radiologist, a nurse or an engineer. Writers are the one’s who tell stories. It’s always nice to hear other people’s narratives to get outside of yourself.” The first Del Mar poetry featuring Alan Berecka and Dr. Kaplan will be February 22 from 11am-2pm in room 433 of White Library. Nathan Browns’ reading will be on March 22nd at 11am in the same room.