Poetry News

Patrick Culliton in Conversation After Winning an Ohio Arts Council Award

By Harriet Staff
Patrick Culliton, Sams Teeth, cover

Ohio's Geauga County Maple Leaf talks to poet (and former Harriet staff writer) Patrick Culliton, whose book, Sam’s Teeth (Subito, 2017), recently received an Individual Excellence Award from the 2018 Ohio Arts Council. Culliton is currently the marketing specialist for the Geauga County Public Library, after years in academia. "Culliton started writing verse in high school and later became an English professor," writes Rose Nemunaitis. More:

Culliton said he was surprised to win the award.

“It’s been challenging working on a new collection of poems,” he said.

“Sam’s Teeth” took almost 15 years to come together.

“Patrick’s poetry speaks to me as a neighbor,” Club Ink’s Shawn Cunningham said. “I feel like he is discussing the same world in which I live. The beauty of having contact with a published, contemporary poet is that his interaction with the world is next to my own, and I can hear that in his words.”

He added, “The poets we know from literature classes are far less real than the poets we know from our local library. Patrick’s gift to me and our community is art in the present life, and not just in the afterlife of anthologies and museums. “

Culliton said to start back at square one was a little intimidating after his first collections were published in his book.

“But, I can’t not write and so the poems started to come, slowly,” Culliton said.

“For me, the arts, regardless of medium, are a way for a person or group of people to tell their story, or tell a story. We learn about other people and, ultimately, ourselves through reading, listening to and viewing other peoples’ stories. This is an essential part of the human experience, of becoming a more compassionate and empathetic person. This is important to me and many people have helped shape these beliefs. Naturally, I want to pay that forward.”

Read the full piece right here.

Originally Published: February 12th, 2019