Aura publishes artist spotlights to provide readers with the opportunity to get to know the authors and artists published in Vol. 48 Issue No. 1 of Aura Literary Arts Review. In this artist spotlight article, we introduce Duane Anderson and Erren Kelly…
After graduating from Augustana College, located in Rock Island, IL, and working at Union Pacific Railroad for 37 years, Duane Anderson retired in 2013 and currently lives in La Vista, NE. After his retirement, he started writing poetry again after too long of an absence. He has had poems published in Poetry Quarterly, Fine Lines, Cholla Needles, Tipton Poetry Journal, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Aura Literary Arts Magazine, and several other publications. He is the author of “Yes, I Must Admit We Are Neighbors” (Cyberwit.net 2021) and “On the Corner of Walk and Don’t Walk” (Pacific Poetry Press 2021). His latest poetry book is “The Blood Drives: One Pint Down” (Cyberwit.net 2022).
Duane started writing poetry after his English teacher taught about the various forms of poetry in his sophomore year of high school. That class planted the seed, although he didn’t have any formal training in writing. In his earlier days, he was influenced by the works of several Midwest poets, such as Dave Etter and William Kloefkorn. Now, some of his favorite poets are Matt Mason, Barbara Schmitz, Greg Kosmicki, Marjorie Saiser, and William Trowbridge. He is working hard to use more imagery and to create a more unique voice in his poems.
Duane’s two publications in Aura, “Missing Person” and “Petals on the Floor,” are a part of an ongoing series of poems about the three families in his life and looking back at the human experience of being a part of a family. Duane finds that it is like recording a part of his family history in poems. “Petals on the Floor” is included below.
Erren Kelly just likes to write. He acknowledges that he’ll likely never get rich or famous as a poet, but he doesn’t care; he believes his 32 years have been better spent as a poet than as a lawyer. He has lived in at least 10 states and visited 45 others, and he’s traveled to Europe twice and plans to be back this year.
Erren doesn’t want to give a grandiose explanation of his motivation for becoming a poet, simply stating that he just gets a feeling and writes. Sometimes, it’s like catching “lightning in a bottle,” and other times he has to work a little, but it’s always worth it to him.
Erren listens to Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl” and “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot at least once a month since the pandemic began because he believes that these works capture the terror and desparation that this time period has wrought. Although he didn’t read much last year, he plans to get back into books again this year. He has a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University, but he deems the world to be a “cool classroom,” too.
His parting words: “I’m 54 and I’m not trying to change the world, just my part. I miss my dad… still want to thank him for the typewriter.”