"A Little Farther" Brings Alumni Closer to Favorite Professor

October 04, 2013

The book may be called A Little Farther, but compiling the works of Sam Moon brought three alumni a little closer to their favorite Knox professor.

Dave Gustafson '63 read the English professor's poetry for the first time at Moon's memorial service on the Knox campus in March 2012. He was so touched by the beauty of Moon's work that he suggested to friend and speaker at the event, Jay Matson '65, that his work should be compiled into a book. They contacted Moon's daughter, Vicky Delaney, who gave them access to her father's work and, ultimately, designed the book's cover. David Lunde '63, one of Moon's most prolific protégés, stepped in to help with the project.

"The three of us were students of Sam's in the '60s and had great admiration for him," said Matson. "His teaching and friendship over the years impacted our lives in significant ways."

The works they chose to include in the book are primarily poetry, many of which appeared in prestigious publications like The Atlantic and Poetry. They also decided to include the last piece written by Moon, called "Dunes," a fable about many of the Buddhist practices that Moon studied through much of his life.

Matson suggested the title of the book, A Little Farther. "This comes from a line in the poem, ‘A Spring Rain.' It's a short poem, but has always been a personal favorite, showing a side of Sam that was both whimsical and sensual."

Moon was a member of the Knox faculty from 1953 to 1984. Professor Doug Wilson notes in the book that Moon, "Became a force in the teaching of creative writing, concentrating on poetry and playwriting, and helping to develop and strengthen a truly distinctive program in writing."

In the introduction to the book, Gustafson says that the work speaks for itself. "If you studied with Sam, perhaps you too, will be reminded of that gentle voice and inspiring wisdom, and if you didn't, maybe you can appreciate how the thousands of students who shared their lives with Sam were profoundly enriched by the experience."

Dave Lunde will have copies of the 220-page book for sale at the Homecoming Alumni and Faculty Book Signing at 11 a.m. on October 19 in the lobby of the Ford Center for the Fine Arts. The cost of the book is $15. The book is also available through the Knox College Bookstore by calling 309-341-7344.