MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry
Managing Editor, Center for Literary Publishing
What drew you to the Center for Literary Publishing and how did you first get involved?
While I was studying English and creative writing as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, there was a wonderful opportunity to intern with Algonquin Books, so I worked as their publicity intern for one semester, doing things like market research and preparing galley copy mailings to bookstores. Though the internship was unpaid, I was encouraged to take as many books home as I wanted. I loved my experience there and knew I’d enjoy any future opportunity to work in publishing, so when I was researching CSU’s MFA program and came across the Center for Literary Publishing, I made sure to visit and meet Stephanie G’Schwind, the director of the Center and the editor of Colorado Review. I’d already heard of Colorado Review, but I didn’t know it was published at CSU. Other MFA students bragged about how wonderful the experience of interning at the CLP had been for them, so I was excited to intern. Then, in the summer of 2016, Stephanie selected me as the Center’s Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence fellow, a one-year position serving as assistant managing editor, which came with a stipend and required me to be in the office 9 hours a week. So that’s how I began my journey in the fall of 2016.
Can you tell us a little more about your current role as the managing editor at the CLP?
As the managing editor, I am in the office 20 hours a week. I help train and manage all our interns, fellow graduate students in the English department, who are busy reading and processing submissions to Colorado Review as well as copyediting, proofreading, typesetting, and designing new issues and other books we publish here at the Center. I also correspond with our authors, poets, and book reviewers regarding their work and publication. Behind the scenes, I process subscriptions and work to keep our website interesting and relevant.
What’s been your favorite memory in the CLP so far?
Every year an outside judge selects one poetry manuscript for the Colorado Prize for Poetry, which we then publish. Last year, Mike Lala came to Colorado State University to give a public reading from his winning collection, Exit Theater. Meeting him, seeing how happy he was with his book, and watching him meet everyone who made it possible was so rewarding.
I heard that the CLP is moving locations in the future. Can you tell us some more about that? What are you most excited about with this move?
Yes, we are moving! Because the university is set to tear down Aylesworth, we had to look for a new home. The old Alumni Center, a quaint white house on the corner of Pitkin Street and College Avenue, opened up when construction on the new stadium finished and the Alumni Center relocated there. If all the renovations go according to plan, we should be able to move to the house along with our new housemates, the Public Lands History Center, after the Spring semester ends in May. Not gonna lie, I’m most excited about having my own office with a nice window! The location is great too, right on College. I also look forward to a quieter work environment without all the class-changing foot traffic we hear currently in Aylesworth.
For a student interested in the CLP, what is the best thing about the CLP? And is there a book/story/poem that has stuck out to you the most? Favorite issue?
There are several great things about interning at the CLP. If you’re at all interested in getting your work published or potentially working in publishing, the internship is an excellent way to learn about the industry from the inside while acquiring those 1-2 years of experience every job listing wants you to have. As an intern, you also get a broad sense of what kinds of work people are writing nowadays. Some of my favorite work we’ve published recently in the magazine include Kaveh Akbar’s poem “On Bridges and the Shadows of Bridges,” Mark Cox’s poem “Emergen(ce) of Feeling,” Jill Talbot’s essay “Transparent,” and Karin Lin-Greenberg’s short story “Touring.” I also love Christopher J. Johnson’s poetry collection &luckier, which we published in 2016.
I know that you’re in the MFA Poetry program. What are you reading/writing? Is there something you’re currently working on?
Outside of required reading, I’m currently reading Maggie Smith’s Good Bones, Wittgenstein’s On Certainty, and Timothy Morton’s Humankind: Solidarity with Non-Human People. I’m working on some prose poems that try to look at the human bodily experience in a holistic way, as well as a project on the environmental history of Western expansion through Wyoming as seen through our relationship with specific species of flora and fauna. You can read my poem about bison here. I plan to read poems from that project, which I’m calling “This Land Open,” at the GradShow on CSU’s campus on November 9.