Keiser University New Port Richey professor inspires students with ‘Worrisome Creatures’ poetry book

To have worries is part of being human.

Memories from a distant past, relationships with family or friends, even encounters with new creatures can bring worrisome feelings to the surface.

But for Dr. Kate Sweeney-Postle, these experiences are an inspiration.

Last spring, the Keiser University New Port Richey English professor published Worrisome Creatures, her first poetry novel. Sweeney-Postle describes the book as a collection of a decade’s worth of poems, all falling under the connecting theme of ‘Worrisome Creatures.’

“[The book] encompasses literal creatures, but also human creatures, and different worrisome interactions within family dimensions,” Sweeney-Postle said.

Originally from New York, Sweeney-Postle moved to Florida to complete her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Florida. She remembers moving to this new world, and how that experience inspired many of the book’s poems.

“I was very fascinated with just the environment and the change from what I’m used to in New York, to the wild, kind of almost outlaw aspect of Florida’s nature and animals,” Sweeney-Postle said. “There are a lot of imagery about Florida wildlife and creepy creatures.”

But ‘worrisome creatures’ can come in many shapes and forms. Sweeney-Postle says she also drew from personal experiences and relationships. She explores the multi-generational experience between her grandmother, mother, and herself, and the many things we can learn from family members, both the good and the bad.

“There is a section just of, kind of our relationship, and the difficulties of that relationship,” Sweeney-Postle said. “There are worrisome creatures that are ideas, and also other humans, not just the animal type.”

An English professor at Keiser University New Port Richey, Sweeney-Postle is also the Writing Studio Coordinator. She says, she hopes this publication can be an inspiration to her students to continue writing, but to also find their own meaning in the text.

“I like to listen to other people’s stories, so hopefully that might be a poetic approach somebody might take. Seeing how I use news stories, or just listen to people who have had interesting experiences, and just that idea of listening and trying to create something your own and unique from it,” Sweeney-Postle said. “When students learn that I write poetry and write creatively, they come to me sometimes with just their own writing. It’s nice to know that they’re interested, and they’ve got someone to share it with.”

Sweeney-Postle says she began writing poetry in college studying under a great, encouraging professor, which she says is part of why she wanted to become a professor herself. She says this book is a long-term bucket list goal, but she hopes her students can reach their own goals along the way.

“I try to connect students with publications that might just publish a poem or two, particularly for first time writers or undergraduate students, or lit mags that publish certain themes,” Sweeney-Postle said. “You work so hard on writing and to be able to share it with the world essentially, and anybody who will read it. It just makes you feel like you’ve really accomplished something.”

‘Worrisome Creatures’ is available online, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Madville Publishing.

Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associates to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a  designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked No. 5 in the U.S. in Social Mobility by U.S. News And World Report in 2022.

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