~ from intern Joyce Bohling
Kelly Weber is a first-year graduate student in the MFA Poetry program and graduate teaching assistant (GTA) for CO150.
What projects are you working on currently?
(In my poetry,) I’ve been trying to explore different methods of form and also going back and forth between things that are more autobiographical and things that are totally fictional, using a lot of personas. I try to swerve back and forth between the two. That way every project I do is really different. I just finished up a collage work for one course, for example. I’ve never done a collage work before, and I’ve never done political work before, too; it turned out strangely political, which was very new for me.
How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall?
When I’m in Eddy, it tends to be for the classes that I’m taking, or printing. A lot of printing goes on in Eddy Hall.
Do you have a favorite English class or instructor?
I haven’t had a chance to take a class with every instructor, and it’s hard to pick favorites. It’s pretty tough to beat (fiction) workshop, obviously, for various reasons, but I also really love this Crossing Boundaries class that I’m taking. I’ve always been really interested in a lot of the themes that we talk about for this class. The thesis work that I did for my previous master’s was in that topic, and so now I get to take a whole class in, which makes my heart happy.
Could you describe Eddy Hall in one word?
Home. At my previous university, I also had to go up three or four flights of stairs, so it feels very familiar.
What’s your favorite book or poem?
It would be really hard to narrow that down to just one, and it always depends on what I’m reading currently. I think I’m always going to enjoy the poem “Howl.” It was the first poem (I encountered) that was not Robert Frost, so it was the first poem that I really liked. A book that I also really enjoy is Sarah Kay’s No Matter the Wreckage. Love that book. It’s a collection of her spoken word pieces. That really interests me in terms of what spoken word works on the page and what doesn’t. I highly recommend it for a book to read!
If you were to give advice to incoming CSU English grad students, what would it be?
I would say just finding a good work-life balance in terms of what’s manageable and what’s kind to you as you go through this process. Probably, too, just remembering: what were your incoming goals with a program in English in graduate school? What are you really hoping to get out of graduate school? And making sure that you don’t lose sight of that. Dan Beachy-Quick has used the phrase, “You can start to feel a little like a bee drowning in honey.” You have so many wonderful opportunities. And so I would say just to keep some kind of balance in your life, be kind to yourself, and keep in mind your goals and your priorities as you go through grad school.
That leads right into my next question, which is: What is your biggest goal or priority right now?
I think probably doing just that: finding a manageable amount. But really, my biggest goal in grad school and in general is just to get better at writing and take this time for three years to have a kind of focused laboratory, in a way. To have a group of people who are forced to read and respond to my work, which is nice. *laughs It’s really nice to have this time to take all kinds of work to them. A lot of that work will probably be a failure, but I think it’s beautiful in so many ways that we have this time to do that.
Is there anything else you wanted to add?
I love being around trees again! After living in Nebraska for ten years and watching the leaves get ripped from the trees, it’s really nice to see the beautiful autumn here. I really love this community and this campus, and it’s been extremely welcoming.