Poet Marybeth Niederkorn On Humor, Frustration, And Students Who 'Just Can't Get Their Fonts Right'

Apr 24, 2019

Credit Courtesy of: Marybeth Niederkorn

You may recognize Marybeth Niederkorn’s name from her plentiful bylines in the Southeast Missourian newspaper. Or, you may know her now as the content manager at Recruiters Websites, a Codefi member.

She just recently published a poetry book called Times Knew Roamin’, a play on words of the popular font. The prologue says this book will “take you on a journey down the narrow, winding Highway 32W, and along the way you'll visit Bugs Bunny in drag, the unpublished Rene Descartes musical, and students who just can’t get their fonts right.”

There’s a lot to discuss with that kind of introduction. Those students are college students Niederkorn taught as a writing lab assistant at Mineral Area College, and Highway 32W was her long, daily commute for the job. A drive, she says, that provided plenty of alone time to bring her “face-to-face” with things she had been trying to push aside for a long time.

“It was important for me, and I hope I helped a student or two along the way,” says Niederkorn.  

Her creative process?

“When I write a poem, it’s usually something that bothers me. It usually comes from a place of deep frustration, or something that just nags at me, just galls me,” says Niederkorn. “There was a lot that frustrated me about this particular time in my life."

In our interview for National Poetry Month, we speak about these sources of inspiration, which also include Niederkorn's two cats: Black and Grey.

Credit Lindsey Grojean/KRCU

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