NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

 

 

View from Eldon’s compound in Harar

 

Nature’s Poetry  is an engaging, though none too rigorous, informal compilation of the author’s poetry and art. Black and white illustrations appear on almost every page. The nature drawings are snapshots from the author’s sketchbooks, some dating back to his Indiana youth and others recording his experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Harar, Ethiopia in the 1960s.

Eldon was Chair of the Department of Art Education and Crafts and Professor of Art Education at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He was also editor of SchoolArts magazine for 11 years and president of the National Art Education Association. In the 1950s he taught art in Park Ridge, Illinois and later in Needham, Massachusetts. As Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s, Eldon and his wife, Adrienne, taught at a teacher training school in Harar, Ethiopia and then worked for the Teacher Education in East Africa Project in Kampala, Uganda.

He always had a sketchbook and journal in tow. Eldon was the designer and co-author of several educational art games, including Token Response, and the co-author of Explorations in Art, an elementary textbook series for Grades 1-6 with Marilyn Stewart, and Art and Human Experience, a textbook series for middle school, published by Davis Publications. Inc. He was also the author of Multicultural Art Print Series II, published by the Getty Center for Education in the Arts.

His degrees include a Ph.D. in art education from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s degree in art education from the University of Minnesota, where he was assistant director of the Craft Center in the Kaufman Memorial Student Union, and a Bachelor’s degree with certification to teach art and journalism from the University of Evansville in Indiana. He also studied instructional media development at Indiana University and international education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Nature’s Poetry
by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia 1962-64)
CreateSpace
112 pages
July 2018
$5.99 (paperback)

3 Comments

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  • What a grand offering of art and poetry you describe. I’m going to have to see if the San Francisco public library has it and our great Mechanics Library? This guy’s amazing.

    • I found this online for the book: “The nature drawings are snapshots from the author’s sketchbooks, some dating back to his Indiana youth and others recording his experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Harar, Ethiopia in the 1960s. Some are photographs of paintings documenting his travels. One section of the small 100 page book is illustrated with the author’s hand-made paper pieces, highlighting recycling and the use of natural fiber materials in paper-making. For the most part, the poems are an octogenarian’s reflections on his youth in rural Southern Indiana, his eventual encounters with nature abroad, and summer vacations with family on Cape Cod. In some instances, the poems were inspired by his sketches and artwork, others were copied from his old journals and letters and paired with appropriate artwork. Nature, of course, is the theme of the causerie, subdivided into seven parts: place, time and weather, recreation, beauty, creatures, resources, and sketching nature. The collection serves as a reminder of the importance of sketching and journaling in the enhancement of memory. An appropriate sub-title for the book might well be “sketching and memory.”

      Sounds wonderful doesn’t it. Will follow up on it.

  • Congtatulations Eldon, your Christmas messages are always the best I’ve ever received and I look forward to
    sketches and poetry. Know I will enjoy and share with my 27 month old grandchild. Who knows I may even
    finally make it to Kutztown. You never know. Bill Donohoe, Ethie 1, DireDawa

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