Focus on Faculty: John Reinhart
After 14 years as a Denver Waldorf School student and a decade teaching in our high school, John Reinhart has seen many different sides of the school. In this Focus on Faculty, let’s take a look at Mr. Reinhart’s other sides.
What exactly do you teach in the high school?
I teach writing, some literature, some history and some art. As these subjects tend to intersect, I often get to teach them all at once. This past year I taught Transcendentalism in the afternoon while the Reverend Thomas Clark taught Optics in the morning, and there were many points where the science from the morning crossed paths, paused, then shook hands with the afternoon’s literature.
What inspires you outside of teaching?
I have been writing poetry since grade school, having returned to it in earnest four years ago. During that span, I have had more than 300 poems published, including four books.
Usually we think of poetry as the act of versifying. I ascribe to the understanding of poetry as a living conversation between my own inner being and the inner being or essential qualities of that which is outside my self. Developing this depth of perception is a source of constant excitement and fascination for me.
As part of my poetry work, I help edit a free weekly poetry contest at Poetry Nook, I am a Frequent Contributor at the Songs of Eretz Poetry Review and last year I was awarded the Horror Writers Association (HWA) Dark Poetry Scholarship. This spring, I’m off to Long Beach, California, to sit on the poetry panel at the StokerCon, the annual convention of the HWA.
This year, two of my poems were nominated for the Rhysling Award for best science-fiction poems published in 2016. I find myself in the company of Neil Gaiman and Jane Yolen, among others notable sci-fi poets.
How does your own poetry support and fuel your teaching?
Keeping in touch with other writers and writing trends as well as dealing with constant rejections/critiques keeps me honest about my own writing.
If all I did was teach, correct papers and plan for the next lesson, my lessons would be dry. Varying my experience engages me in the world beyond words, even if those aspects of my life do not directly enter the classroom (they frequently do!).
Poetry opens floodgates of perception that are usually closed to purely intellectual examination. Just as quantum experimentation demonstrates that human observation can alter the results of an experiment, poetry holds a lens to the world—inner and outer—and applies the human component—that which deals fundamentally in love, the highest of all human aspirations—to phenomena we most often take for granted. By seeing an earthworm with our hearts, we can experience the world from its perspective. Poetry has the power to save us.
Where can people find your poetry?
An internet search for “John Reinhart Poet ” yields bountiful results, and I had a wonderful interview with Marcia Epstein at Talk with ME . Additionally, I have penned four books of poetry which are available at the links below, directly from me, or at the school store.
broken bottle of time (Alban Lake Publishing, due out any day now March, 2017)
invert the helix (Pski’s Porch Publishing, just published! February 2017)
Horrific Punctuation (Tiger’s Eye Press, 2017)
encircled (Prolific Press, 2016)