Previous Writer to Writer Mentees
Fall 2014 Session
Kira Taylor is a science graduate student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. She has been published in Tule Review and Catamaran Literary Reader. Her natural history weblog can be found at www.florafaunafungi.com.
Kira worked with the poet Lori Desrosiers.
What were your goals for the program?
I had so many goals! Poetry has always been an instinctual process for me. I wanted to learn how to be more of a craftsman. I also wanted to gain exposure to more writers whose work moves me. Most of all, I wanted to start exposing myself to the literary community in a more pronounced way. I am a science graduate student—my work does not afford me many opportunities to meet other creative writers. The modules we went through were well tailored to achieve all of these things!
What advice do you have for people entering the program next?
Be flexible, set aside as much time as you can to get as much out of the program as possible, and be willing to consider how a writer with a style different from your own might be able to offer a more unique and beneficial perspective than that of someone who writes much like you do.
What is something you learned from your mentor or this process?
I learned more profoundly the power of inspiration. Lori's appreciation for the writers she loves is deep and thoughtful and rooted in a careful consideration of craft and detail. Simply being privy to this connection has motivated me to be a more thoughtful reader, to get as much as I absolutely can from a poem. Paying adequate attention has really informed my own work.
What is something that happened that you did not expect?
I appreciated that Lori and I were able to connect outside of the realm of poetry. I also did not expect that I would gain so much from resource recommendation—having someone handpick reading lists and social media outlets and craft manuals for me has been invaluable.
Where do you go from here?
I will continue to hone my craft, send out submissions, and work my way towards a full-length manuscript. I look forward to meeting other mentors/mentees at the AWP conference, and I expect that I will always work on bettering myself as a reader and writer.