Dr. Randall SmithFebruary 10, 2016 (Jackson, Miss.) - Creative Writing Chair Dr. Randall Smith will write one new poem a day during the month of Februaryto benefit the Tupelo Press, a nonprofit literary press. Dr. Smith, along with eight otherpoets, volunteered for the 30/30 Project and is considered the runners equivalent of a 'poetry marathon.'

“I've written around 160 poems in the past two years, but never 30 poems in 30 days. The pressure is real,but the creative benefits and the feeling of belonging to a writing community are the best parts of the whole process.”

Inspiration for Dr. Smith's poetry comes from a variety of places, “I always look to my roots, family, and current experiences for creative material. Growing up on a farm in southwest Georgia has provided inexhaustible imagery.”

Contributing writers also include: Diana Adams, J. Peter Bergman, ava m. hu, Matthew Landrum, Joan Leotta, Clyde Long, Mary Anne Morefield and Nancy L. Meyer. During the month, readers of the Tupelo Press are encouraged to support and sponsor a poet in order to raise funds for the publication.

Dr. Smith adds, “I hope my students will see a writer modeling what it means to be a writer-going at it every day, whether you feel like it or not, whether people 'like' your poems or not. I want to put myself out on a poetic limb and let my students see that the risks and rewards never go away. But we have to be on the limb.”