John Estes

Class of 1992

John Estes

John Estes directs the Creative Writing Program at Malone University in Canton, Ohio where he lives with his wife and sons. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri, where he concentrated in poetics and environmental literature. Recent poems have appeared in Tin House, New Orleans Review, Southern Review, Iron Horse, and AGNI. His first book, Kingdom Come, was published in 2011 by C&R Press, and he is author of two chapbooks: Breakfast with Blake at the Laoco├Ân (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and Swerve (PSA, 2009), which was selected by C.K. Williams for a National Chapbook Fellowship from the Poetry Society of America.

"There was no official creative writing major while I was a student at UE (1988-92). The addition of a fiction writer to the faculty and dedicated fiction courses allowed me to embrace the identity of being a writer in a way not possible in a multi-genre creative writing course, and it felt like the community of writers was also beginning to gain an independent sense of itself. The greatest gift I received at UE was the firm affirmation that being a writer was not only possible, but choice-worthy. Our gifts were taken seriously, and we were accorded a kind of respect and space to explore that was novel and life-giving. While the writer I've become is not the writer I envisioned myself becoming when 22, for better and worse, I credit the faculty at UE with instilling in me the confidence and courage to persevere until I became the writer I could or needed to be. I learned to be patient, and to read, and to work steadily at the art for the sake of its own completion. As Milan Kundera quotes Vladimir Holan in The Art of the Novel: "From the sketch to the work one travels on one's knees." This is the kernel of what I left UE understanding--far more important to my survival than anything else--and it saw me through many difficult years and phases as I struggled to find a means to write a poetry with which I thought I could I live, or live by."

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