“We hear the same words, same music, an experience modified by personal expectations. We come to worship, a little; come to be challenged, but not much. For a moment, God, help us to forget the ills of the world ...” — An excerpt from the poem “Sunday Worship”
Emerson Wiens is, by his own admission, not one to “mince words.” He wants his poems and other writings to be open and honest — a reflection of the way he sees the world. “I don’t mince words,” he said. “I address things as I see them.” Wiens is releasing two new works — a book of poetry called “Coming to Terms and Other Poems” and an autobiographical novel called “Mad Bulls, Skinny Dipping and God.” He will be featured at an event at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at Pages Books and Coffee in downtown Newton. Wiens grew up on a tenant farm in Marion County, and his career has included 23 years of teaching at Bethel College. Wiens’ passion for writing began when he signed up for a creative writing class at the age of 52, an item on his “bucket list.” While he said at first he was intimidated by writing poetry, it now has become one of his favorite forms of writing. “I was scared to death of it,” he said. “Now that’s all I write.” Most of his poems are in free verse. He describes his style as straightforward, and he tries to write poetry people can easily relate to. Life and death are some of the common themes in his poetry, and he illustrates some of his poems with pencil/pen drawings. “At the center of Emerson’s work is his keen eye for whimsical observation and his keen ear which hears another’s voice and heart,” Raylene Hinz-Penner, Wiens’ creative writing instructor, writes in a foreword to his book of poetry. For more information about Wiens’ work, contact the Pages bookstore at 283-1596.