Senior | Chicago, IL
What made you decide to become an English major?
I knew that I liked reading and writing, and it seemed to make more sense than anything else because of that.
Which fictional character would you most like to meet? What would you two do?
Oh, um, is it bad to say someone from A Little Life? That’s the first thing that came to my mind. There are characters from other books but those aren’t coming to me right now…
I should say I’ve don't think I've ever read a book that made me care about multiple characters so much in the first fifty pages. I was alone in California doing archival research for my thesis when I was reading the book, and when I wasn’t in the library, I was in my hotel crying while reading it. It might sound silly, but reading that book was a really powerful experience. I totally see why some critics/reviewers/humans dislike it, but I really loved it.
That didn’t answer the question but… okay, so, there are lots of characters in the book; the two main ones are probably Jude and Willem. I can’t choose between the two, so I’d want to meet them both.
What I’d want to do with them? I’d be fine just eating a nice meal together. That’d be enough for me.
What is you ideal career? Where do you hope to take your English degree?
I just know I want to be doing something with books!
Right now, that means working in publishing, and I’m really loving it. It’s nice because I’m surrounded by great writing and great people reading always wanting to talk about books. It seems like an extension of a literature class, and I like that. I also want to make sure that I can do something that makes me want to keep up with my own writing, and this seems to be doing the trick.
Are you pursuing any minor, internships, or fields of interest outside the department that enhance or intersect with your study of English?
I'm minoring in creative writing, and I’ve been interning and working at various places since my freshman year. Am I allowed to namedrop a few? I interned at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe for a semester, working with their amazing events, which was so great, and I’ve actually stayed on as their podcast producer. Then I worked at the Fales Library, which is truly a great resource staffed by brilliant people and everyone should take advantage of it. This semester I left to start working full-time in publishing at Catapult! I’m helping to program writing workshops and other literary events and I’m also reading manuscripts and doing other really fun things.
What was the last book you read that was not for class? Why did you choose to pick it up?
I just read Ocean Vuong’s first full-length poetry collection Night Sky with Exist Wounds, which I’d been so excited for. He’s an amazing poet and I loved his book.
I also recently read The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, which is a really fun book to read. I picked it up because... I don't know—it got a lot of hype, seemed unique in both its story and its creation, and honestly has really pretty art on the cover and inside.
If you could have a drink with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Oh, Tim Dlugos, definitely. He’s a poet that I feel like no one reads but everyone should. My last college paper is on him, actually, and I’m loving writing it. David Trinidad (an amazing poet himself, who I got to interview for my thesis!) edited his collected poems a few years ago and I’m so grateful for that. In his early poems, Dlugos shares the excitement of living in big cities and being young, and his later poems—those written when he was dying of AIDS-related complications—are heartbreaking and really important historically, I think. His poem “G-9” is on the Poetry Foundation’s website and I really recommend everyone read it.
What has been your favorite English class so far?
I have two… I loved Professor Shaw’s class on the New York School poets, and I’m loving Professor McLane’s class on hybrid genres now. They’re both scholars and writers I really respected before I got the chance to study with them. Both classes—from the syllabi to the assignments to the conversations—have been amazing and have made me feel certain that I chose the right thing to study.
If you could create your own class, what would it be?
Whenever I read the major of the month interview I get to this question and love what everyone has to say. But I really have no idea...
What advice would you give to students considering majoring in English at NYU?
Do it! Studying English at NYU has been so rewarding and I can’t imagine having spent the last four years immersed in any other discipline.