Artist and poet provokes deep thought


Poetry is a genre of writing much admired by many, but it takes discipline and skill to be able to craft poetry of one’s own. Samara Harper does just that, and her multicultural poetry has been featured at Washburn University’s 2019 Apeiron.

Harper is a senior studio art major who loves writing poetry. She has always had an interest in it, and has been, writing poetry since her time in high school. For Harper, poetry is a great form for self expression for things she doesn’t always want to talk about in person. 

“Poetry is a good way to express things that I’m never going to say otherwise. I don’t really like to talk about things that are personal out loud to people. I’m just not very open in that way, so poetry is a really good outlet for me. You don’t have to talk about something explicitly, you can kind of say it in your own way,” Harper said.

One of Harper’s advisors for this year’s Apeiron was senior lecturer Dennis Etzel Jr. He praised Harper’s work both as a student and as a poet.

“She’s an amazing student and poet. She’s always making connections between art and words, and really deep thoughts, having deep thought in looking at creating her art. And, that’s what I’ve really noticed about her poetry is that she has a really good strength in imagery, which is art. The concrete image representing something. I think that’s what makes her a really good artist and poet; she’s really drawn to those things in her work,” Etzel said. 

Although poetry is not necessarily at the center of her major, Harper much enjoys blending art and poetry together. She has written poems about her art, and she also uses poems as inspiration for her art. Harper stated that her cultural heritage is behind much of her latest works. She takes time to explore her own heritage and write about her experiences.

“One thing that I’ve written about much recently is being mixed-heritage. Even though people can’t tell from how I look, my mom is hispanic and my dad is white, and that’s just kind of something that I like to explore in poetry. I do think it’s important for people to think about their heritage and the heritage of others and be respectful. Everyone has a unique experience,” said Harper.

When she graduates, Harper would like to work in graphic design, though she would still love to pursue her art and poetry in addition. She would eventually like to publish her works so that her art and poetry can be the center of her career.

Harper’s featured poem, “Past,” was also featured at Apeiron in Spring 2019. She said that it also focused on her family and her heritage. 

Edited by Adam White, Jessica Galvin