Poet Lawrence Raab at Butler University’s Writer Series

Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series schedules thought provoking writers year round to add to a continued dialogue for students and the Indianapolis community about what it means to write. Tuesday, March 23 Indianapolis college, Butler University, welcomes poet Lawrence Raab to the podium to read his free verse and answer questions. This distinguished author was published seven volumes of work, and certainly has a way with words. As always, this Indianapolis event is FREE to all Indianapolis people.

Lawrence Raab uses simplistic language to explore a range of difficult issues in his poetry. For example, a meditation on the natural world (i.e. dogs, birds, trees, etc) in What We Don’t Know about Each Other leads to a complex speculation about the supernatural world (i.e. angels, ghosts, aliens, etc.). Publishers Weekly describes his success saying, “While such topics prompt mediocre poets into cliches, Raab’s highly lyrical meditations are so concrete that readers are sucked into his magical netherworld.” With a “voice that puzzles over everything,” Raab’s writing has been described as “gentle and robust.”

However, he is not without criticism. Boldly sharing his mixed reviews on the first page of his website. Raab seems to revel in offering critics a conundrum, in seeing a debate rage about his own work, as he debates the world around him. His topics range from current events to spirituality and even death. With a refreshing breath of honest, he states his fears, his hopes, his anxieties throughout his writing. In a poem on death he writes, “Think of the truck out of control. . . Think of the terrorist planting his bomb. Not one of us is spared such imaginings.” On critic reprimanded Raab for failing to fully exploit his “potentially volatile subjects.” While another commented on his ability to create “transcendent moments. . . in language that’s plain as day.”

Critics cannot, however, argue that his work is inaccessible. His use of simple diction and stylistic plainness opens his subjects up for even the most anti-poetry reader. In a conversational tone, he asks he readers to move beyond their understanding of the world around them, deftly pulling them into his own world.

Raab has worked as an English professor at a number of different major universities across the United States since the beginning of the Seventies. These include American University, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Williams College. He has been including in anthologies such as The Norton Anthology of Poetry, The Best American Poetry 1992 and 1993, A Book of Luminous Things and countless more. He has also been seen in several national literary publications like Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Poetry. With seven publications of his own work, Lawrence Raab has reached an incredibly large literary circle.

Hear Lawrence Raab’s work in his own voice this Tuesday, March 23 at 7:30 pm. This Indianapolis art event can be found in the Krannert Room of Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University, and is sponsored by NUVO Newsweekly.

Before the reading, head to the nearby Indianapolis cultural district, Broad Ripple Village, for a bite to eat. With a diverse selection of Indianapolis restaurants and Indianapolis bars, there is something for every taste bud in Broad Ripple. Stay tuned to Indianapolis News, Event and Information on Fun City Finder.com for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. Get out in Indy and find some fun!

Lawrence Raab
Tuesday, March 23 at 7:30 pm

Clowes Memorial Hall
Butler University
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208