A Joint Reading from R.L.’s Own Mother-and-Son Poets

Dr. Kate Stearns (Photo by Richard Klug)
Nate Klug '04 (Photo by Richard Klug)

A pair of mother-and-son poets, reading from their newly published—and even newer, unpublished—work and representing the same school is, perhaps, a unique event. On Monday, 2 April, Roxbury Latin’s writer-in-residence and member of the English faculty, Dr. Kate Stearns, and her son, Nate Klug, R.L. Class of 2004, read aloud to an overflowing crowd at Newtonville Books, an independent bookstore in Newton, Massachusetts.


Introducing one another, Kate and Nate contextualized and read poems calling up images of home and highway, farm and passenger train, grandparents and babies in-the-womb, headless chickens and “Pokemon Go people,” and, ultimately, love—both just-budding and time-tested.


Kate’s newly published book of poetry, Then & Again, was the winning manuscript in the Slate Roof Press chapbook contest. Her previous book, The Transparency of Skin (New Rivers Press), was a Minnesota Voices Project Winner. Her new poems have been featured in Poetry Daily, Salamander, New Ohio Review, North American Review, and Yale Review. Her work has been anthologized in The House on Via Gambito: A Collection of Writing by American Women Abroad (New Rivers Press), and she has been a recipient of a Dana Award and a Loft-McKnight Award in Poetry. At Roxbury Latin, she teaches senior English and manages the school’s visiting writers program.


Nate Klug grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and graduated from R.L. in 2004. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Chicago and his master’s from Yale Divinity School. He is the author of Rude Woods (The Song Cave, 2013), a book-length adaptation of Virgil’s Eclogues, and Anyone (University of Chicago, 2015). In 2010 he was awarded a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation. A UCC-Congregationalist minister, he has served churches in Connecticut, Iowa, and now California, where he lives in Berkeley with his wife, Kit Novotny.

To learn more about these poets and their work, you can read this recent interview with Kate, from Mass Poetry, and an interview with Nate, from a 2016 feature in The Kenyon Review.