The intersection of art, music, and poetry

News | July 23, 2015

Poetry, she says, allows her to focus on little things that are overlooked, to slow down.

Holly Norton writes about the satirical, the funny, the sad, the joyous, the absurd. “You slow down and end up really learning about the people around you. You hear their stories.”

Holly, a writing student at St. Ambrose University, will serve as the resident poet at the Midwest Writing Center this fall. She will create and host events to encourage others to look into the art of poetry – featured readings, workshops, school visits, curating an online poetry journey. They will be for all ages – kids, teens, adults. The center also will publish a limited-edition letterpress broadside of one of Holly’s poems

The goal of the residency will be to encourage community-based poets who are developing their craft outside of a formal academic setting, and to provide a forum to showcase their work.

The focus, she said, is center on the intersections of art, music, and poetry, and how these different mediums can inform and inspire each other.

“Poetry is not just on paper,” she said. “With other expressions, we will not just read it, but see it, hear it, feel it.”

Holly’s bio shows her love of words.

“Holly Norton is a visual artist, creative writer, and poet. Her impetuous youth, coupled with traveling, reflect in her writing as a microscopic observation of humanity and its tendency to allow the small to influence and destroy. Her evaluation of minutia is a commentary on the unavoidable encumbrance to our human condition while giving high praise to the inane. Norton’s writing is a labyrinth of image, confession, and confrontation that often remains joyous in bleak landscapes. She lives by the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities with her three children and her head in the clouds.”

The Collins Poetry Residency is for regional poets who have not yet published a full-length poetry collection and who reside in the Quad-City area.

For Holly, her work ebbs and flows with the events of her life. Poetry settles her.

“Is it practical? No. But it’s good to have poetry in the world,” she said.

For information about scheduled events this fall, visit

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