Poet and musician debut results of their collaborative efforts Nov. 29

On Nov. 29, the Willamette Jazz Collective will premier a collaborative composition by Willamette music professor James Miley and Minnesota poet Katharine Rauk.

Rauk will read from her work at 5 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of the Hatfield Library, followed by a panel discussion of the collaborative process with Rauk, Miley and English professor Scott Nadelson.

The Willamette Jazz Collective will then showcase the collaborative efforts of Rauk and Miley at 7:30 p.m. in the Rogers Music Center. Both the reading and the concert are free and open to the public.

“This will be the first time anyone has heard this music or poetry, as each was composed specifically for this project and has not yet been published,” Miley says. 

During the past year, Rauk and Miley have collaborated to set Rauk’s poetry to music, which Miley describes as a complex and rewarding experience.

“Of particular interest for me as a composer was the process of working with a living poet,” he says. “I've set many texts in the past, but have never had the chance to work with someone with whom I can have a real-time dialogue about the poems themselves.”

Rauk adds that trust was an important part of the collaborative process.

“Neither of us had any preconceived notions about what the final set would be like, so the whole venture was definitely an experiment,” Rauk says. “I had to have faith that the mysterious or unexpected would arrive, which for me is often what art is.”

The event is sponsored by the Hallie Ford Chair in Writing.

For more information, contact Scott Nadelson at