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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Dr. Sara Pirkle Hughes presented her poetry at the Community Gathering event Oct. 24. Photo by Madelyn Montgomery

Sara Pirkle Hughes brightened the Community Room at Hill Freeman Library as she shared poetry from her first full-length collection of poems entitled “The Disappearing Act.”

The subjects of the poems ranged from contemplations on love and marriage and high school crushes to cancer and the importance of a mother’s affection. The room was captivated as she shared her poems and made a window through which the audience could see her heart.

“My favorite poems were the ones about her relationship with her mom and dad. She used such specific imagery, but somehow the themes still applied universally,” said creative writing major Jessie Fanczi.

She captivated her audience and made sure to share the story behind each poem. As with many artists, her poems stem from her past experiences and contemplations about life, how she was raised, and things and people that are near and dear to her.

“Dr. Hughes is a highly imaginative poet, exceptional at conveying to her readers the emotional connections she makes of her life experiences,” said senior sacred music major Daniel Strickland. “In each poem, she carries us along on a brief journey of the world as she sees it.”

There was laughter, as well as intense moments of silence, as her serious poems left the room speechless and contemplative. Hughes knew her audience and brilliantly captured their attention in every way.

Dr. Hughes is a Southern poet, an identical twin, a breast cancer survivor, and a university instructor. Her first full-length collection of poetry, “The Disappearing Act,” won the 2016 Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry and was published by Mercer University Press in 2018. Hughes earned a Ph.D. in English from Georgia State University in 2014 and an MFA in Creative Writing from Georgia College & State University in 2004. She is assistant director of Creative Writing at The University of Alabama, where she also runs the Pure Products Reading & Lecture Series.