CCCC faculty member receives grant
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Ty Stumpf, chair of the Humanities Department at Central Carolina Community College, has received ... (more)
SANFORD - Ty Stumpf, chair of the Humanities Department at Central Carolina Community College, has received a $1,200 grant from the Regional Artist Project Program to pursue a passion he has enjoyed for many years - writing poetry.
Stumpf's poetry, which he describes as "realistic," has been published in "The Nashville Review," "Passages North," an American literary magazine published by North Michigan University, and "Kakalak," an annual publication of poetry and art by North and South Carolina writers and artists. Stumpf will soon complete a book-length manuscript with aide from the Regional Artist Project grant.
"I tend to write about everyday issues, small moments," Stumpf said. "For example, being on a beach with my son, just looking out. These are small situations but ones that strike something notable, too, or that can tell a bigger story. These moments are touchstones to a larger exploration. They are ordinary enough to resonate with a wider audience, but still extraordinary in what they can reveal."
One of Stumpf's poems, "My Father's Obituary," centers on the details of a father's life:
"My father kept a folder labeled 'When I Die' in his desk.
The top sheets, a two-page typed autobiography with a blank for the last date.
His yearly calendars, long and lean, hugged his breast pocket like love letters.
Each November 18, three little words, 'Anniversary. Send flowers.'"
Stumpf's poems explore reality like a father's desk contents, but also the relationships between a parent and child or a husband and wife.
"My inspiration comes from my children, from the challenges all people face, and from the dramatic situations and questions we all have," Stumpf said. "These everyday moments are fodder for poetry - a good place for the artist to play."
Stumpf started writing poetry again about eight years ago when a student asked him to speak at an event. "The request forced me to write poetry, something I had not done in many years," he said.
Influenced by American poets like Robert Lowell and Yusef Komunyakaa, Stumpf's poetry deals with similar themes but isn't bound by formal structure. "I enjoy working with the language itself," he said. "I think poetry has the greatest capacity for impact with language. You can work more closely with the sound of the language and because poetry is image-based, you can focus on your idea and not be quite as concerned with telling a full story."
The audience is just as much a part of a poem as the writer, Stumpf explained. "A poem isn't just a piece of paper, but a way of reaching out and connecting with someone," he said. "Good poems connect us - with sound, ideas, meaning, or emotion."
Ty Stumpf lives in Sanford with his wife Bianka, son Jude, and daughter Cora. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., and a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from North Carolina State University.
Regional Artist Project Grant funds provide financial support to a broad range of exceptionally talented visual, performing, literary, and interdisciplinary artists by funding a project that will have a significant impact on the advancement of their professional artistic careers. The applicant must have a strong record of artistic accomplishment appropriate to the stage of his or her career. The North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, supports this project, with additional funding from local arts councils in Cumberland, Moore, and Robeson counties.
For more information about Central Carolina Community College, visit the college website at www.cccc.edu.
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