“I’m an entertainer, so don’t take me too seriously,” said University of Wisconsin–Stout alumni and poet, Connor Dahlin. Dahlin spoke at the Raw Deal coffee house in Menomonie on Monday, Oct. 2. He graduated from the Professional Communication and Emerging Media program at UW–Stout two years ago after studying philosophy in Athens, Greece.
Recently appointed the first Poet Laureate for the Honors College by Director Chris Ferguson, Dahlin now speaks about his ideas and philosophy on how words have shaped the world we live in today. Dr. Ferguson reached out to Dahlin after he read Dahlin’s poetry book, Uncertainly Formless.
During his stage set, Dahlin addressed his philosophy on words. “Words are magic, we are magicians. That’s why it’s called spelling,” he said. He discussed how the words we use today have created stereotypes and bias in our minds without even realizing it. Dahlin also talked about issues like censorship, saying, “[Society] needs [us] to keep ourselves tight and not do things that could offend anybody.” Dahlin further discussed with the crowd how the government only lets us know so much, but not enough to question the rules.
“Poetry is the only thing that speaks to the heart. If I did something like music, the music would distract from the meaning, and most philosophers are forced to write in prose, and only reach people’s heads,” Dahlin said.
Lately, Dahlin has also been a part of the underground painting scene. He said the people involved in that scene share similar ideas. “The people have radical ideas,” Dahlin said, “There are people who made a community and make things people don’t agree with, so they need to hide.”
Dahlin plans on writing a new book, selling his paintings and following whatever leads that give him more opportunities to spread his philosophy. He is considering teaching English abroad, or being self-employed.