Want to get to know some of the creative writing masters behind “Take My Word For It!”? Meet this month’s teacher spotlight, Wes Solether!

Name: Wes Solether

Hometown: Lombard, Illinois

Who is your favorite author? Paul Celan

What’s your favorite NOUN? Constellation

If your life was a book, how would it begin? I would hope it would begin in the present tense.

Did a teacher or another writer inspire you to write? How? 

I took up writing really late in my life, compared to most of my friends and classmates. My sophomore year of college I took an introduction course in English literature. My professor was a poet and gave us a little sample of every genre of literature out there. We went through a play, poems, short stories and a novel. He taught Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated. I didn't think anyone could write a book like that. It was experimental in the way it was composed, but it was still resonant and heartfelt in all the right places. I remember we once talked about pursuing a life in teaching and writing. He said very clearly it wasn't a calling he would recommend to anyone that expects money or fame. I remember it was the first time I said I wanted to write and teach and really meant it. I was inspired to try some creative writing workshops and now I'm finishing my MFA in Poetry at USF. Something must have clicked in that class!