Sara Henning confesses family secrets through poetry

Some 40 people attended last night’s reading of a collection of poems by Sara Henning, at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art Jan. 31.

Henning, an assistant professor of English at Stephen F. Austin State University, gave the audience a strong and passionate reading of her collection of poems.

“I was very pleased to see that the audience was wonderful, and I can tell that many of the students in the audience are very curious, kind, and respectful,” said Henning, award-winning poet.

There was a wide range of people in the audience including students, faculty, and other members of the community.

“I hope that my reading tonight will keep people and especially the students curious, about reading poetry,” said Henning.“I want to generate interest and an appreciation of poetry, and for students to take risks such as I did and to speak their own truths in their writing. Everyone is an autobiography of secrets.”

Henning read multiple poems from her publication, View from True North published on Nov 22, 2018 and a winner of the 2017 Crab Orchard Poetry Open Prize award.

Haley Ferrell, business freshman, said, “I had heard that she [Sara Henning] was coming to the Wichita Falls Museum of Art from my english professor, and was very interested in her creative writing, her story and poems about what she has been through.”

Hennings autoethnographic poems were a reflection of her adolescence witnessing the effects of trauma from alcoholism and multigenerational trauma from closeting, and how it has not only affected her but other family members as well. Throughout her reading, Henning unravels the hidden truth about her deceased grandfather’s secret life.

“This was my first time attending a poetry reading and was very surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought that many of her [Sara Henning] poems expressed very deep and edgy themes that were very thought-provoking,” said Ethan Herdman, exercise physiology freshman.