by Cori Hilsgen
Local poet Larry Schug recently published his seventh book of poems, At Gloaming.
Schug’s poetry covers many topics including baseball, nature, dealing with grief and more. Most of his poetry is one page long.
He has been writing poems most of his life but began writing poetry for publication when he was in his mid 30s. He said he turned to poetry to help him deal with his grief of his parents’ deaths. His parents died within several years of each other.
Schug remembers his third-grade teacher telling him his poem about a rainbow was good. He said her comment he knew how to write poetry didn’t register until years later.
His first published poem, The Roots Know, was published in a magazine called Z Miscellaneous when he was in his mid 30s. Schug published his first book, Scales Out of Balance, in 1990. Other books he has written include Caution: Thin Ice, Obsessed with Mud, The Turning of Wheels, Arrogant Bones and Nails.
Schug has won two Central Minnesota Arts Board Individual Artist awards, a 2014 Central Minnesota Arts Board Established Artist award and a 2008 McKnight Fellowship for Writers award.
His book Caution: Thin Ice was a 1993 Minnesota Book Award finalist and Arrogant Bones was a 2008 Midwest Book Award finalist.
Schug is an avid reader and was able to read before he started school. An aunt who was a teacher and lived with his family when he was young taught him to read.
Schug was born in Glencoe and moved to St. Cloud in the second grade. He graduated from Cathedral High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in geography with a minor in environmental studies from St. Cloud State University.
Schug worked at the College of St. Benedict for 34 years. His positions included grounds-keeping, maintenance and he was the recycling coordinator.
He has been married to Juliann Rule for 38 years. They live in St. Wendel Township with their dog and three cats.
Schug currently volunteers as a writing tutor at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University Writing Center and as a naturalist at the St. John’s Outdoor University. He also speaks at area schools, including CSB, SJU, Apollo High School and more.
For more information about Schug, visit larryschugpoet.com.
Poem from At Gloaming:
By April, sour red stalks
push elephant-ear leaves
into near-earth atmosphere.
Rhubarb plans ahead,
years, decades even,
lives sustainably on the interest
of sunlight stored underground,
having folded up its solar collectors
when the days grow too short
to make sugar.
See how simple is a miracle.
Schug’s first poem published:
The Roots Know
wedded in the wheat.
The roots know where to go.