Quad-City lawyer Dale G. Haake, described as “a man of the world,” is the Quad-Cities’ new poet laureate.
“But he’s ours, and he brings the world to us,” Ryan Collins, literary arts administrator of Quad-City Arts Center, said during the poet’s induction this week at the center.
Haake, 56, of Davenport read 19 of his poems and explained the inspirations for them to a packed room that included many friends.
As the Quad-Cities’ fourth poet laureate, Haake said, he knows his role is to elevate poetry and bring it to the public, but he called upon his audience to help, too.
“You’re deputized in that task,” he said.
He warned that his poetry isn’t ceremonial.
“(It’s about) the downtrodden, the forgotten, the defeated. I’m a poet; not a cheerleader,” he said. “I’ll throw in some lighter ditties for comic relief, but I must follow my own muse, shackled as she is.”
As someone who has traveled much and lived abroad, Haake has found poetry in many situations in different parts of the world.
His subject matter ranged from the amusing to the profound. From a geographical perspective, settings varied from Germany to Spain and Pompeii to Duck Creek Park in
His own family served as inspiration for some of his poetry. He humorously recalled his children’s activities with the poems “Alexandra at the Show Choir Dance” and “Pablo and Friends at Duck Creek Park.” He showed his romantic side with dedication to his wife, Conchita Lucas-Murillo, with “Earrings of Green Jade.”
Lucas-Murillo said that she is happy about her husband’s new title. “Poetry has been a passion of his for a long time,” she said.
She is learning to adjust to having poetry about her read to an audience. “I’m shy, but the more he does it, the more I get used to it,” she said. “He loves to write poetry, and he really loves to share it with an audience.”
Haake is used to speaking in public and being in the public eye. As a lawyer since 1979, he practices as a litigator for Katz, Huntoon & Fieweger in Rock Island.
Earlier this year, Haake read his poetry to the Advanced Placement Literature class at Davenport Central High School, said Katie Maxwell, a student who attended the event along with other students from the class.
“I think everyone who could come, came. He’s such a strong writer and speaker,” she said, describing his works as “emotional and evocative.”
The city desk can be contacted at (563) 383-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.