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Assistant Professor of English, Literature and World Languages Reflects on Published Poetry Collection

GarretFerris State University Assistant Professor of English, Literature and World Languages Garrett Stack displays his recently published poetry collection, "Yeoman's Work." Bottom Dog Press, based in Mason, Ohio, has nominated Stack's work for inclusion in the Pushcart Prize "Best of the Small Presses" 2021 edition.

An eight-year creation and perseverance process is complete, as Ohio-based Bottom Dog Press recently published Assistant Professor of English, Literature and World Languages Garrett Stack’s poetry collection “Yeoman’s Work.”

In his fourth year on Ferris State University’s faculty, Stack said he started writing poems in 2012 to relieve the stress of his academic and scholarly pursuits.

“It helped me to deal with the demands of producing a thesis, then my dissertation,” Stack said. “As I built up my portfolio, I went from San Diego State University to Carnegie Mellon, in Pittsburgh. I was successful in earning my Ph.D. in Rhetoric by completing my dissertation, ‘The Sierra Club and the Rhetorical Sublime,’ while adding to my roster of published poems.”

Stack has various responsibilities on the Ferris campus, teaching Journalism and courses in Technical Writing and Creative Writing. He is also the adviser for the Ferris State Torch, the university’s student newspaper. As the COVID-19 pandemic advanced in early 2020 and brought about the end of face-to-face instruction on campus, Stack’s family grew with the birth of twin boys.

“Creating this compilation served as a welcome distraction from my quarantine at home in Rockford and the diaper duty that my sons presented,” Stack said. “Writing poetry is a great release and having ‘Yeoman’s Work’ accepted for publishing is a wonderful development. I have found this to be a labor of love, which does not require a level of involvement that would impact my teaching and my family responsibilities.”

His poetry submissions offered for consideration by academic and literary journals began several years ago, and Stack said he was aware of the level of activity required to achieve his goal.

“It is a hurdle that must be cleared, which meant amassing inclusion in around 25 journals, prior to making my submission with Bottom Dog Press,” Stack said. “I corresponded with hundreds of publications over the years to reach that point.”

Early this summer, Garrett received confirmation that “Yeoman’s Work” had approval for publishing.

“My publisher likes to focus on works pertaining to ‘blue-collar’ issues,” Stack said. “I am proud to be part of their Working Lives series.”

The continuing pandemic has altered what would be the typical activity for a new author’s presentation of his work. Yet, his efforts have a focus.

“I am not in this as a commercial endeavor,” Stack said. “This is a way for me to express my insights and empathy, which I think is very important at this time. I did have a Facebook live reading and discussion of my work with Rockford’s Epilogue Books, a store in my neighborhood. I would be very happy to work with Ferris’ University Bookstore if the situations allow.”

Stack has also had two short stories published and continues his work on a novel, “The Duke of Ash Avenue.”