Sinclair Community College English professor Charles Freeland said that he has always written poetry, but it wasn’t until his time at the University of Arkansas that he became interested in prose poetry.
“I started exploring prose poetry in graduate school (at the University of Arkansas) when I was studying French writers and surrealists,” the Germantown native said.
Freeland released a full-length collection of poetry titled “Through the Funeral Mountains on a Burro” this year.
“I sort of combine the two fields – poetry and philosophy – in my work,” Freeland said. “Or, I try to.”
Freeland graduated from Valley View High School and attended Miami (OH) University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. He then went Arkansas to study writing.
During his time at Arkansas, he taught composition classes, where he realized that he loved teaching it.
In 1996 he returned to Dayton and applied to teach part time at Sinclair.
“I really wasn’t looking to be a composition teacher, but once I started, I knew that was what I loved more than anything else,” Freeland said.
Freeland said the students are his main reason for loving his job.
“People will joke with me that when they come by my office; there’s a line of students,” he said. “My favorite thing is (to) sit down with a student and talk.
“We talk, not just about the work they have, but we also talk about whatever else they are interested in.”
Freeland said what he wants students to get from his classes is that “education is not a traumatic experience.”
Freeland also said his philosophy professor at Miami, Stan Kane, was one of the influences on his teaching style.
“I observed him even before I knew I was going to be a teacher,” he said. “I observed his classes and how calm he was in the face of whatever was going on in class.”
As far as Freeland’s writing process, he said that he writes every day.
“I usually sit down (at the keyboard) with a completely blank mind,” he added.
Freeland said that he tries to wait sometimes weeks or months before looking over what he has written.
“If I fell in love with it when I first wrote it, I’m no longer in love with it to the point where I can’t chop it to pieces, because that’s what I think good writing comes from,” Freeland said.
If you are interested in finding out more about Freeland’s work visit his Web site at www.charlesfreelandpoetry.net