Editorâ€™s Note: The following is the first of a two-part series on the poetry of Columbia City native Bruce Snider.
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Bruce Snider, a Columbia City Joint High School grad from the class of â€™89 who currently teaches creative writing at Stanford University, has a new book of published poems called â€śParadise, Indiana.â€ť
While he no longer lives in Columbia City, Snider said he is thankful to the many teachers who encouraged him to grow in creativity and influence his writing.
â€śI first wrote poetry in high school, and I feel lucky to have had some amazing writing teachers when I was at Columbia City High School, especially Bob Brittain and Laurel Steill,â€ť said Snider. â€śBefore that, I was lucky to work with Frances Stuckey and Pat Janney, both amazing teachers, at Thorncreek Elementary and Middle School.â€ť
Snider grew up on Big Cedar Lake at Tri-Lakes, and lived there until he went to college at Indiana University in 1989.
Unlike his brothers, who were serious hunters and fisherman, Snider admits he was a bookish kid, who spent his time inside reading rather than in the woods.
â€śIâ€™m really grateful for growing up where I did,â€ť said Snider. â€śIronically, now that I no longer live there, I spend much of my time remembering, imagining and missing Indiana.â€ť
Snider earned his MFA in creative writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.
â€śIâ€™ve taught creative writing at a number of universities, including Stanford, where I currently teach, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of San Francisco, Saint Maryâ€™s College in Moraga, Calif. and Connecticut College,â€ť said Snider.
Sniderâ€™s first book of poems, â€śThe Year We Studied Women,â€ť was published in 2003, winning the Felix Pollack Poetry Prize from the University of Wisconsin Press. He described this book of poems as an experimentation where he was trying on a lot of different hats, discovering writing techniques.
His second book of poems, â€śParadise, Indiana,â€ť recently published this year, makes Indiana the center of his creative work as an adult.
â€śParadise, Indiana is more mature and focused both stylistically and in terms of subject matter,â€ť said Snider.