All the Write Stuff, Visiting Writer: Jason Poudrier

All the Write Stuff, Visiting Writer: Jason Poudrier

By Brittney Payette

Managing Editor

At 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 in the Buddy Green Room in the McMahon Centennial Complex, Cameron alumnus and award-winning author Jason Poudrier read samples of some of his work. 

Poudrier is a U.S. army veteran and a purple heart recipient of the Iraq War. He currently has two poetry collections, including “Red Fields” and the chapbook “In the Rubble at Our Feet.” 

Assistant Professor Leah Chaffins welcomed Poudrier to the event and introduced him to the attendees.

“Jason Poudrier has been active in our community for some time,” Chaffins said. “Holding various roles from an instructor here at Cameron to his current position at the city of Lawton.”

Poudrier thanked everyone for attending the event and expressed his appreciation for some of his old professors and colleagues from Cameron who were present at the series.

One attendee was sophomore English major Kaley Muse, who said this was not her first time at a visiting writer’s series at Cameron. 

“I try to come to every single one of them,” Muse said. “I feel like there’s not enough reading and poetry type of events on campus. I just wish more people would come. “

Muse said her favorite reading that Poudrier did at the event was the poem about one veteran to another because she thought it was very insightful. 

Poudrier said he was excited for the opportunity to be a visiting writer at Cameron.

“I was a Cameron alumn,” Poudrier said. “I did my Associate’s, Bachelors, and Masters here, and then I taught at Lawton High a little bit, and I got to be an instructor here for several years. I don’t feel like a visitor here. I feel like I’m home when I’m here.”

Poudrier first read a newer poem of his called “Love Poem to a Perfect Stranger.” Then, he read a poem, “From One Veteran to Another.” The poem is in his book “Red Fields,” which is about his time overseas and then his return to civilian life. 

Poudrier also answered questions from the audience. He said that one thing he does to get through writer’s block when he experiences it is to write about his writer’s block and to explore why he feels like he does not have anything to say. However, writing about not knowing what to write about was not his only method of dealing with writer’s block. 

“Reading is like the best teacher for writing,” Poudrier said. “I always try to have at least one book going, and as long as I’m reading that, then that kind of keeps me going.” 

Poudrier also recommends that aspiring writers read books written by people who write the way they aspire to write. For him, this includes writers such as Tim O’Brien, Yusef Komunyakaa, Junot Diaz, and Ernest Hemingway.  

Poudrier said his favorite part about being a writer is connecting with people. 

“You’re creating something that lives on the page aside from yourself,” Poudrier said. “I believe it’s important to write about what’s on your mind and that you don’t try to suppress your voice when you’re writing.”  

Poudrier said his current job as the Arts and Humanities Administrator for the City of Lawton keeps him busy.

“What I get to do, ranges on a daily basis,” Poudrier said. “The emphasis is, you know, focusing on arts and humanities and trying to support entities and individuals in Lawton who are artists or art organizations.”

Poudrier said the Arts and Humanities division in Lawton is partnering with Cameron University and Rhonda Norrell, who is with Arts For All, to host organizational workshops. The first skill-building workshop will be next month and is about grant writing. 

For more information about future Communication, English, and Foreign Languages department events, contact Chaffins at and look at the university calendar at

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