John WingPoet and comedian John Wing, seated, poses for a shot with the creative students he's been working with in Dillon Hall yesterday morning.

Creative writing students hone poetry of comedian John Wing

Many of those who have come to know John Wing are familiar with his work as a stand-up comic, but a group of literature students are getting to know him as a reputable poet.

Students in Marty Gervais third-year creative writing course are spending this semester editing Wing’s latest collection of poems, and next semester, will focus on publishing it as a book.

“Excellent,” student Dan Zompanti replied yesterday when asked to describe the experience thus far. “And not just because he’s had a lot of recognition lately. He’s actually a really good poet.”

Wing has become a regular in Las Vegas, a crowd favourite on CBC Radio's The Debaters and has made more than 150 television appearances, including a recent performance in the finals on America’s Got Talent.

Yesterday morning, the former UWindsor student met with the class in Dillon Hall to go over some of the edits they’ve suggested. He said working with the students has been extremely constructive.

“You have to be open to new perspectives,” said Wing, who was scheduled to read some of his poems and perform some of his comedy at a campus event last night. “Even if I don’t always agree with all of the suggestions, it’s been very valuable. I’ve gotten a lot out of it.”

Laura Sorge, another student in the class, said she’s been very impressed by the quality of Wing’s work.

“It kind of chronicles his trajectory,” she said. “It’s very honest.”