February 18, 2011
Writer: Writer: Brady Davies

Michael Tatum, a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Brigham Young University-Idaho, was recently named Idaho Senior Poet Laureate for his poem "Tuesday Night at the Movies."

He submitted close to 20 poems for the national Senior Poets Laureate Poetry Competition and was selected as the winner in Idaho. Tatum commented that he is humbled by the honor and was not expecting to win an award. "A lot of people that know me said, ‘We didn't even know you write poetry.'"

Tatum writes about everyday experiences and observations and uses daily poetry entries much like a journal. His inspiration for "Tuesday Night at the Movies" came while living alone for a month and a half in Micronesia. "I was president of the college system there, and my family was already back in the states," said Tatum. "I would go to the movies once or twice a week. I was alone, and I guess I was lonely."

The Senior Poets Laureate Poetry Competition is an annual competition inviting any U.S. citizen, 50 years of age or older, to submit their poetry. It is sponsored by the non-profit organization Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Foundation. For more information about the organization or to read Tatum's "Tuesday Night at the Movies," visit amykitchenerfdn.org/2010_spl/idaho_10.html.