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Kallet Stays Busy, Engaged as Poet Laureate 
Upon her induction as Knoxville’s Poet Laureate, Marilyn Kallet hit the ground running. 

Just a week after her induction, the recently retired University of Tennessee Professor and Director of Creative Writing had composed a poem entitled "Knoxville Love Song" and read it on stage at Festival on the Fourth at the World's Fair Park. 

Kallet Mayor July 4 2018Kallet uses words to explore emotions and the healing process. It’s an especially helpful skill in times of tragedy.
Just this week, she wrote the poem “Tree of Life” and read it during the vigil held at Arnstein Jewish Community Center for the 11 people killed by a gunman at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 27. 

Her recent sojourn to the West Coast was also motivated by episodes of gun violence. 

“I was in Paris during the terror attacks in November 2015,” Kallet said. “A few days after, I went to New York to give a reading and learned of the shooting at San Bernardino as we were deplaning.”

The attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, which included a bombing at the sold-out Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan concert hall, killed 130 people. On Dec. 2, a pair of terrorists opened fire at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and seriously wounding 22.

“Sick of violence, I made a commitment to myself to write an anti-bullet poem every day for a year,” Kallet said.

Some of those poems were published in her collection How Our Bodies Learned.

Kallet mailed her children’s book, Jack the Healing Cat, to San Bernadino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, who replied with a beautiful thank-you note. 

The exchange began a conversation that led to Kallet being invited to San Bernadino to meet officers and a special member of the SBPD’s community relations division. Sherlock is “just a dog” adopted by the department a week before the April 10, 2017, shooting North Park Elementary School in San Bernadino. 

Kallet with Sherlock

“Sherlock went in after the shooting, and the children ran over to pet him,” Kallet said. “Then the officers knew that Sherlock was in the right place.” 

Kallet Bruno UTPD Kallet is interviewing “dogs that help the community” for a series of children's books called Good Dog Tales that will also include the stories of UT Police Department K-9 Officer Bruno, a German Shepard, and Clooney, a seizure-alert dog trained for participation in the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine’s program H.A.B.I.T. (Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee). 

“I hope to create books that show children how the police can be our friends and not scary people.” 

For additional details on Kallet’s poems, projects and upcoming events, visit http://knoxvilletn.gov/poet and
Posted by ptravis On 07 December, 2018 at 1:08 PM