December Great Books Discussion to Focus on the Animal World in Poetry 

Chip Chandler

University of North Texas portrait of Jeffrey Doty. Photographed on 29, June 2021 in Denton, Texas. (Sarah Stevens/UNT Photo) (University of North Texas Photog)

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]  


CANYON, Texas — A former West Texas A&M University professor will return to Canyon — virtually, at least — to delve into a trio of animal-themed poems for WT’s Great Books Series. 

Dr. Jeffrey Doty, associate professor of English at the University of North Texas will lead the discussion, casually titled “Three Contemporary Poems with Animals in Them,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 via Zoom. 

The discussion will focus on “Theory of Beauty (Grackles on Montrose)” by Mark Doty, “Why Some Girls Love Horses” by Paisley Rekdal and “Monomy” by Carl Phillips. 

Doty, who taught at WT from 2009 to 2016, said he wanted to showcase works by contemporary authors with the discussion group. 

“I noticed how so many of the poems I had under consideration had animals in them. One of the poems is very direct in paying heightened attention to the noisy grackles that gather in supermarket parking lots before sunset. It is about finding beauty in the ordinary,” Doty said. “The other two are more complex in how they use horses and dogs to meditate on relationships and perseverance.”  

“Together, the three poems should set up a discussion of what poetry, as a form, does that other forms cannot do,” he said. 

The discussion series — sponsored by the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages — is open to those who either have or haven’t read the book, said Dr. Daniel Bloom, organizer and associate professor of philosophy. 

WT professors and guest lecturers lead the monthly discussions. 

The series began in 2011 and is traditionally held in person on the second Tuesday of the month at Burrowing Owl Books, 7406 S.W. 34th Ave., Suite 2B, in Amarillo. It shifted to Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic; a return to in-person meetings is expected to occur in coming months. 

To register for the December discussion, email Bloom at [email protected]. 

The series is one way in which WT serves the region by offering engagement with a variety of literary and philosophical texts. Being a learner-centered university is a key principle of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. 


About West Texas A&M University 

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.