Boundaries, Borders, and Freedom: The Fence as Symbol and Metaphor
Fences, like photography and poetry, serve as powerful metaphors for many of the complex structures through which we understand our lives and the often ambiguous landscapes within which we live.
Fences offer the suggestion of safety, security and connections, as well as a means of separation, exclusion, and distancing. Culturally and politically, we find both visible and invisible fences that define borders and communities; we write and sing songs like "Don't Fence Me In" yet imagine an ideal home to have a picket fence around it. We speak of personal and communal spaces, of public and private, of boundaries and borders, gates and doors that open and close and swing both ways.
Using poems that evoke thoughtful exploration of these topics, participants will reflect on the various personal and communal aspects of fences-physically, symbolically, and metaphorically. Reading, writing, and sharing poems are all a part of Glaser's engaging presentation.
Michael S. Glaser is a former Maryland Poet Laureate. Recently retired from St. Mary's College of Maryland where he served as both a professor and administrator for 38 years, Glaser also served as Maryland State Arts Council Poet-in-the-Schools for more than 20 years. He is a recipient of the Homer Dodge Endowed Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Columbia Merit Award for service to poetry. Widely sought as a speaker and workshop leader, he has edited two anthologies and published over 500 poems in a variety of venues. His most recent books are Being a Father, and the chapbook "Fire Before the Hands" which won the 2007 Anabiosis Press Chapbook contest. His next chapbook, "Remembering Eden" will be published by Finishing Line Press. Glaser has five grown children and six grandchildren. He is married to the educator, Kathleen W. Glaser, who works with the Center for Courage and Renewal.