Powell publishes poetry, prose collection

Powell publishes poetry, prose collection

Larkin Powell, professor of conservation biology and animal ecology, recently published "Cursed with Wings," a poetry and prose collection. (Mekita Rivas | Natural Resources)
Larkin Powell

Larkin Powell may not be an English professor, but he has a soft spot for the subject taught by his colleagues in Andrews Hall.

"I took creative writing classes in college, and I've always enjoyed writing as a stress relief or a way to escape reality for a bit," said Powell, professor of conservation biology and animal ecology in UNL's natural resources school.

Most recently, Powell published "Cursed with Wings," a collection of original poetry and prose that captures quiet moments of life and death within and among nature.

"There is a quote in the beginning of the book by Mordecai Richler that I've known I would use for a long time: 'Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here and the frustration that it creates,'" Powell said. "'Cursed with Wings' is divided in three parts – about life's flickering moments, about frustration and about loss and grief."

Although Powell's interest in writing is deep-seated, a year abroad in Namibia in 2009 as a Fulbright Scholar helped him tap into poetry as a means of self-expression.

Powell's work as a conservationist and professor greatly inspired the content of "Cursed with Wings."

The collection's titular poem, for example, is about a moment when Powell was walking between dunes in the Sandhills and watching a flock of geese fly in single-file over the crests of dunes into a head wind. "They literally seemed to be cursed with wings that day," he said. "Life would have been easier if they could have walked, instead of flying into that north wind."

Namibia remains an essential part of Powell's life, as it's the site of his education abroad program offered in the summer.

The next Namibia trip is scheduled for May 2015. An informational session will take place from 5-6 p.m. Oct. 6 in Hardin Hall, Room 163. Any interested students are welcome to attend.

Additionally, all proceeds from the sale of "Cursed with Wings" will support children at Future Professor Preschool, where Powell's wife Kelly volunteered during their time in Namibia. The school teaches English to children from rural areas so they may attend elementary school in the city.

"Cursed with Wings" can also be purchased online at http://go.unl.edu/n2o3.