Creative Quill Award: La Crosse’s Newly Discovered Bard, Matthew Grenier

Who knew Matthew Grenier, Globe University student, developed a propensity to write poetry right here at the La Crosse campus?

And who knew that he would be so good at it?

Matthew recently won this year’s Globe La Crosse Campus’ Creative Quill Award for Poetry.

I sat down with Matthew recently to pick his brain about why and how he wrote his winning poem, “Endless Hills,” as well as how poetry came into his life. 

Globe La Crosse Campus Bard, Matthew Grenier

Matthew Grenier, Creative Quill Poetry Winner 2014

“I had just started to get into writing my own poetry before I had Introduction to Literature with Globe humanities instructor Angie Mellor,” Matthew said.

He never really appreciated poetry or spent too much time reading it, but because he had a hard time coming up with poetry ideas on his own, he started looking up writing prompts. 

“One of them was about ‘Your ideal place to live,’ so I wrote my poem about that,” he said.

Matt went on to say that “I don’t write a lot of poetry and I wish I wrote more.” When he does take pen to paper, it’s usually because it’s a great source for self-expression and catharsis. 

Matt is currently earning his bachelor’s degree in software application development and graduates this summer.  Working toward his degree has given him a future and a potential work life with many options. 

Matt decided to go back to school because he believes it is nearly impossible to get a quality career without a degree, and he picked Globe because of the small class sizes and shorter terms than those of traditional universities. 

Globe runs on a quarter system, so one of Globe’s perks is obtaining a degree very quickly.

“These factors were huge to me in my decision to come to Globe. I get burnt out way too fast in a more ‘traditional’ system,” he said.

I asked Matt if he would help those aspiring poets by recommending a place to start, and he was not sure recommending poetry was possible. Matt advised: “It’s all too subjective. I guess Robert Frost is pretty accessible and appeals to a wide audience, but other than that, it is entirely up to the reader what they do and don’t get attached to. The only thing I would say is go into it with an open mind, and don’t give up if you don’t find anything you like at first.” Great advice Matt!

Matt envisions his life in 10 years as “hopefully living in a big city, far away from the Midwest. I’m not sure other than that; I’m just kind of going through the motions at the moment.” 

He has developed a taste for writing poetry, however.

“I do write fairly often in my free time. I try to write something at least once a week,” he said.

If you want to read Matt’s winning poem, a copy will be up on the Globe La Crosse Library Guide at our library website and posted in the library.

Matt had one more piece of advice for those would-be poets and current college students.

“I would force my past self to enjoy pre-college life more, before all the responsibilities and stressors show up,” he said.

Now, Matt knows how to reduce those stressors! He just sits down and writes a poem.