Bukowski’s Polish-American reflections

Marvanna Avery-Cash

English faculty, majors, minors and members of the Lawrence and Appleton community gathered for a literary short story reading by Anthony Bukoski Thursday, Oct. 9. Bukoski, a well-established Polish-American writer and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, read selections from his new book of short stories, “North of the Port.” The reading took place in Harper Hall.
Bukoski read for 30 minutes and followed his reading with a brief question and answer session.
Assistant Professor of English David McGlynn said that one of the motives behind this literary event was to bring to campus a uniquely “Wisconsin writer.
McGlynn was especially drawn to Bukoski because he felt Bukoski would be able to relate to people within the Wisconsin community, as well as to the Polish natives here.
As McGlynn and Bukoski had previously shared the same publishing company, they already knew each other as writers, and had communicated by e-mail.
After successive e-mails, Bukoski was delighted to be invited to the Lawrence Campus to share is story. Bukoski, a native of Superior, Wis., is frequently described as a “down-to-earth” and “genuine” writer and reader.
McGlynn said that traditional literary events such as the Bukoski reading share two important purposes, “bringing well-regarded readers, [and] bringing in new readers.”
During the question and answer session, some good questions from the audience gave Bukoski the opportunity to share more of his personal experiences and thus his genuine personality.
Bukoski linked several of his consistent inspirations as a writer to various close-knit family relationships, family experiences and military memoirs.
At one point, he jokingly said, “I write exclusively about Polish people.”
He also cited Tennessee Williams as an inspiration, referring to a picture of the author, which alone adorns the wall of his home office.
After the reading, there was a reception in the lobby, where Bukoski autographed copies of his new book and chatted with attendees. The catering department offered beverages and a special Polish cake for dessert.
Bukoski also spent time in McGlynn’s creative writing and literary analysis classes.
Additionally, during a recent weekend at Bjorklunden, Bukoski held one-on-one manuscript consultations with students in McGlynn’s novel-writing course, allowing students to receive individual feedback and brainstorm with Bukoski.

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