Posted on Thursday, June 04, 2009
Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr. '51, native Genevan and accomplished poet, will present poems of the Colleges, Geneva, nature, peace, social concerns and family, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 5, in the Seneca Room, 603 S. Main St. His reading will be followed by an open mic for any visiting poets.
A prolific poet, Wheat is the author of "Art Gallery," "Following Their Star: Poems of Christmas and Nature," "God-Hawk," "Iraq" and "Other Killing Fields: Poetry for Peace," and co-author of "A Sisterhood of Songs." Four of his poems appear in 80 on the 80s: A Decade's History in Verse, an anthology. He is the recipient of the 1990 Poetry Prize of Appalachia.
A post-war student, Wheat was an English major and education minor at Hobart College, served as president of Canterbury Club, and was involved with Kappa Alpha and Chimera Honor Society. Of his undergraduate experience, Wheat has said that "It was the entry of a Genevan into the world of intellect and literature because of the great Western Civilization and Political Economy curriculum and its vast teachers...who enabled me to think of myself as a person who could handle the important concepts."
He received his BA in English in 1956 from Hobart, and his Master's in English from New York University and M.S. in Education from SUNY New Paltz. He is to married D. Virginia Rasche '50, a William Smith alumna and former psychiatric social worker. With Rasche, Wheat has three children.
Putting his degrees in both education and English to good use, Wheat has taught for Taproot Workshops and Journal for older writers through SUNY Stony Brook, as well as in the Farmingdale Public School District, and was honored by the New York State English Council as a Teacher of Excellence. In 2007, he returned to his alma mater to teach a poetry workshop at the Finger Lakes Institute.
Active in conservation organizations, Wheat has served as chair of the Natural History Advisory Committee. He has worked with press section of the American Cancer Society's headquarters in NYC and has served as editor of New York Birders and contributing editor of Ripples and the Long Island Forum.