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Visiting Writer At Artist House Program
HQ Phone:  (240) 895-2000
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18952 East Fisher Road
Saint Marys City, Maryland,20686
St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary's River ... more.
MN…creative Writer, High School Teacher
Moorhead , MA English
Creative Writer, High School Teacher
U of MN
Artist In the Schools As Well As Artist
Lake Region Writers Network
Board Member, Board Member
Central Lutheran Church
University of Minnesota
For David BengtsonPublication of a book 20 years in the making is a dream come trueFor David Bengtson, the publication of his book "Broken Lines", a collection of prose poems 20 years and countless trips on Highway 71 in the making, is a dream come true and an affirmation of his belief that many people are at the core of any writer's success."Broken Lines", 71 narrative poems meticulously crafted by Bengtson in the classroom, at the kitchen table, in various coffee shops and in his head while driving to points north and south on Highway 71, was recently published by Juniper Press of St. Paul.Bengtson, who lives in Long Prairie with his wife Marilyn, taught English at the high school in Long Prairie for more than 33 years, retiring in 2002.His desire to be a better teacher brought Bengtson into close contact with the world of poetry and once he was in that world, Bengtson became an enthusiastic teacher, writer, nurturer, and supporter of poetry.Just a few years into his teaching career Bengtson felt "inadequate" when it came to teaching poetry and was motivated "to do something about that".He signed up for a week-long extension course designed for "teachers afraid of poetry".That connection with Browne turned into a mentorship and friendship that spiraled into many more connections and friendships for Bengtson, leading him in many directions and leading, serendipitously, in the direction of the publication of "Broken Lines".Olson and Bengtson have maintained a close friendship ever since.Olson called and asked how many more pieces there were and when Bengtson told him there were more than 100, Olson replied, "I think we might have a book here".Said Bengtson, "I always hoped these pieces would become a book, but I had no idea how or when that would happen.Several of Bengtson's "Broken Line" poems live outside the pages of the book in video poems by Mike Hazard and George Aguilar and in a collection of photographs and poems.Bengtson has also used the pieces to create five video poems.In his "retirement", Bengtson is writing, developing video poems and conducting writing, video poetry and teacher education workshops."Who would have guessed that within two years of retirement, two books would come out.That is beyond anything I could have imagined," he said.He will be a visiting writer at St. Mary's College of Maryland Artist House program in October.While a teacher, Bengtson played host to one of St. Mary's most beloved instructors, poet Lucille Clifton.Bengtson said many, many people have provided encouragement, support and guidance on every step of his journey from teacher to writer and he is very grateful to all of them.He added, "The one person who has always been there for me, and who has always been honest and supportive is my wife Marilyn.Bengtson was tutored by three writers who made a lasting impression, Linda Hasselstrom, Michael True and David Ignatow.As the years unfolded, Bengtson kept writing and also encouraged his students to write.He challenged their minds and helped them become better writers by bringing visiting writers into the classroom."Broken Lines" began as a journal.Bengtson wrote some of the poems in class, taking part in the same writing exercises he or the visiting writers suggested for his students.For Bengtson, the short prose format was a natural adaptation to having limited time to write.He didn't start out to write a book, but over the years Bengtson created numerous prose poems with the recurring unnamed characters of "he" and "she".Said Bengtson, "I felt that if I could select and arrange the pieces, that I might have a book.But through it all, Bengtson said, "It is clear that the characters care about each other, love each other and that the brokenness they experience will not destroy their relationship."He added, "I always wondered how I would know when I had written the last piece.Since I retired from teaching I haven't written anything about these two characters.Often what was driving the writing was connected to things going on inside and around me during the last 20 years of teaching."The pieces started out as lined poems, but Bengtson felt they worked better as blocks of prose.Bengtson was drawn into the form when he took a class called "The Prose Poem" while completing a masters degree at the University of Minnesota.Through the course, taught by Browne, Bengtson discovered that there is "a rich history of prose poetry".
Board Members |
David Bengtson grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and moved to Minnesota to attend Concordia College in Moorhead.
From 1968-2002, he taught English at the high school in Long Prairie, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, Marilyn. In addition to three chapbooks and a collection of 71 prose poems, his writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and has been heard on "The Writer's Almanac. In 2003 at "Poetry Hour," sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service on the Mississippi River Stage at the Minnesota State Fair, he handed out his first batch of "Poems-on-Sticks. Since then, he has given away more than 7000 "Poems-on-Sticks" at readings, workshops, and presentations.
About The CIE
- David Bengtson, poet and teacher, Long Prairie Grey Eagle High School
You will see videos featuring Robert Bly, George Stoney, Thomas McGrath, Phebe Hanson, Paulo Freire, Roy McBride, Esther Horne, star quilts, Peace House, Carol Bly, Mickey Chance, Everett Parker, Monica Rudquist, Tiger Jack, Jim Northrup, a peyote song, Frederick Manfred, pre-emptive violence, Bill Holm, David Bengtson, Marcel Duchamp, Anya Achtenberg, Margaret Hasse, Pelican Rapids, Circle of Nations School, Jerome Liebling, the Ghost Dance, and more.
Watch poet David Bengtson go ON THE ROAD with Jason Davis. Bengtson has hand made and handed out more than 12,000 poems-on-sticks illumined with photographs by Mike Hazard. This is a video poem made by David Bengtson and Media Mike Hazard with a class of students. The video was created by Jackson Burger as part of a MITY class with Media Mike Hazard and David Bengtson. Wednesday, August 12, 2009 A CINEPOEM BY DAVID BENGTSON Click to read an article by David Bengtson on this theme.
Author's Bio.: David Bengtson grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and moved to Minnesota to attend Concordia College in Moorhead. From 1968-2002, he taught English at the high school in Long Prairie, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, Marilyn. In addition to three chapbooks and a collection of 71 prose poems, his writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies and has been heard on "The Writer's Almanac. In 2003 at "Poetry Hour," sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service on the Mississippi River Stage at the Minnesota State Fair, he handed out his first batch of "Poems-on-Sticks. Since then, he has given away more than 7000 "Poems-on-Sticks" at readings, workshops, and presentations.