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APSU student Conor Scruton to study poetry at summer house of Robert Frost

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A small, white house located on a farm in New Hampshire, the property now known as The Frost Place served as American poet Robert Frost’s summer home from 1915 through 1938.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A small, white house located on a farm in New Hampshire, the property now known as The Frost Place served as American poet Robert Frost’s summer home from 1915 through 1938.

It was on that humble plot of land where Frost formed many of the poems that would eventually earn him, among other honors, a Congressional Gold Medal and four Pulitzer Prizes. In 1977, 14 years after his death, the farmhouse was transformed into The Frost Place and became a retreat for emerging American poets.

This summer, Austin Peay State University graduating senior, and developing poet, Conor Scruton will have an opportunity to retrace Frost’s steps while studying his craft under the watch of some of the nation’s top poets.

Held every year in Frost’s hometown of Franconia, N.H., the Frost Place Conference on Poetry invites a handful of developing poets to spend a week in an “intensive poetry camp” environment, learning from distinguished poets.

Over the course of the conference, students work toward a deeper understanding of the writing and reading of poetry. The focus in 2015 is on the structure of poetry, examining syntax, diction, structure, pacing, tone, narrative development and other poetic elements to see just how writers manage their material.

Scruton is the third APSU student in three years to attend the conference, which typically invites just 20-25 people each year.

“Conor is the third student we have been able to send to the Frost Place for a week-long workshop,” Barry Kitterman, APSU professor of creative writing, said. “We are developing a strong relationship with their center, and our students have found it to be a richly rewarding time.”

Scruton, a senior English major, also studies music and French at APSU. He is also a member of APSU’s Creative Writing Club, and has served as a managing editor of The All State, APSU’s student newspaper, as well as Zone 3 journal.

“Conor’s poetry is mature, subtle and compelling, and it demonstrates some of the many skills our most talented writing students have to offer,” Dr. Amy Wright, APSU associate professor of creative writing, said. “He will represent our campus and writing community beautifully at the Frost Conference.”

Scruton is on track to graduate from APSU in May. Upon returning from The Frost House, the Tennessee native said he plans to begin his pursuit of a Master of Arts in English.

“When I look back at the writing I produced when I was a high school student, it looks almost like someone else had written that poetry,” Scruton said. “During my time at APSU, I have received such a high level (of mentorship) from the teachers here that it has allowed me to really grow as a writer.”

For more information, contact the Austin Peay State University Department of Languages and Literature at 221-7219.