“This Whistling Is for You There in the Dark.”: The Backstory
September 20, 2011
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I sat down and talked to Dr. Janice Fuller about her poem “This Whistling Is for You There in the Dark.” The poem was just submitted to the North Carolina Arts Council for the anniversary of 9/11.The council was looking for local poets who had written poems about 9/11 and found Catawba’s own Dr. Janice Fuller!
Janice and I talked about where she was on 9/11, what her poem is about, and how this poem came to existence.
“I was commissioned to write this poem in Wales during my fall 2001 sabbatical from Catawba College. The occasion was a joint poetry reading with Welsh poet Menna Elfyn on October 4, 2001, National Poetry Day, at an art gallery (Oriel Mostyn) in Llandudno in conjuction with the opening of an international exhibit on intimacy.”
“Going to Wales, I was leaving my kids and had just got into a relationship with a Welshman. It was a struggle between wanting what was best for my kids (even though I knew they were fine) and figuring out where this new relationship would go in Wales. I wrote the poem one week after the 9/11 attack. The poem was honestly a compilation and reflection of the time I spent in Wales and the experience I had taken from that venture.”
Dr. Fuller explained to me how she now felt about the poem and the recognition it is getting now.
“For quite a long time I had tried to avoid the poem simply because of where it comes from; the 9/11 attack, a bad relationship, and just a very personal time for me. When I was asked about the chance to submit this poem I looked back at it and was very proud of it. I remembered the main reason I wrote it and that was to forget differences in nationalities, sexualities, and race etc. It was to always remember to come to a common ground without war.”
We are so proud of Dr. Janice Fuller here at Catawba College. Dr. Fuller’s stage adaptation of As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner will premiere on September 27, 2011 through October 1, 2011 here on campus in Hedrick Little Theatre.
Here is the link to “This Whistling Is for You There in the Dark.”