Luke Hankins, an accomplished local poet of Asheville, took part in a group reading on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in Montreat College’s Hamilton Gallery. He also sold and signed copies of his recently published book, Weak Devotions.
Last semester, Mr. Hankins’ poetry endeavors brought him to Montreat College. He and Dr. Kimberly Angle, Assistant Professor of English at the College, co-designed and co-taught an explorative course on poetry. The focus of the class was to learn and gain practical experience with the metrical systems of poetry and other traditional forms of English-language poetry. They also addressed fundamental questions about what defines poetry and why humans seem to have the intrinsic desire to create.
Mr. Hankins comments, “One of our foundational principles was that as a created being, made in the image of our Creator, we innately desire to create as well, and we are perhaps most fully realized as human beings when we are engaged in creating.” He continues, “The class was a rewarding experience for me, and I hope it was for the students as well.”
Luke Hankins was born in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1984 and grew up outside of Alexandria, Louisiana, before moving to his current home in Asheville. He began his poetry adventures in high school, where he first became passionate about poetry while reading classic poems in the Western tradition.
Mr. Hankins comments, “I was deeply moved by many of these poems, as they seemed to express thoughts and feelings I had had, but in a much more powerful way than I ever had.” He recalls it to be “an experience of fellowship that transcended time and space.” Hankins found encouragement from an exceptional high school English teacher. He soon realized that poetry was to be a passion and a calling for him.
Mr. Hankins continued to learn and explore poetry in college. He began writing in both traditional form and free verse. He studied English and French at Lee University, and indulged in poetry courses when he could. It was at Lee that he learned that one could study poetry in graduate school, and that’s exactly what he did.
After he completed his undergraduate studies, he attended Indiana University’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program, where he held the Yusef Komunyakaa Fellowship in Poetry. Mr. Hankins also began working as an intern at Asheville Poetry Review, an international literary magazine, the summer before attending graduate school. After graduating from Indiana University, he moved back to Asheville and continued working at Asheville Poetry Review, where he is now Senior Editor.
For more information on Luke Hankins and his book Weak Devotions, go to http://www.lukehankins.net/.