Wake: Up to Poetry
Meet our new interns
Each year, we are pleased to have the assistance of student interns. This year’s crop has been diligently at work for almost a month, and already they’ve helped with proofing, e-book formatting, social media marketing, audience research, and good ol’ mass mailing. Together, they comprise our merry band o’ interns, and we’re so grateful for their help. Here’s a little bit more about each of them and how they came to WFU Press.
ABBY: When I was younger I was always writing and illustrating little stories for my elementary school library’s “bookbug” program where they would bind your “book” and put it in the library. Whenever anyone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always said an author (this was pre- and post- my marine biologist phase), but never really thought about the people who actually publish and make books happen. In college I became enamored with hearing and helping develop other people’s stories which led me towards publishing. Even though I had never done much poetry, I was drawn to WFU Press because of the passion of the people surrounding it. I found people just as excited about bringing new writing and stories into the world as I was. I am so excited to continue learning about publishing in this environment, and especially to learn more about our Irish poets because I’m already falling in love with their writing and wondering what I was doing all these years without it.
SOPHIE: During my first year at Wake Forest, I stumbled upon a poetry reading in Carswell Hall. I didn’t really have anything to do, so I went. The poet was Irish, and I remember liking what she read even though I don’t remember what it was. On my way out, I met two WFU Press interns who urged me to apply for the internship (“You know the Potty Poetry? That’s us!”). It wasn’t until I became good friends with Maddie (another current intern) that I actually did apply, but now I wish that I had listened to those other interns years ago. Like these others, I have a love for literature and poetry, and being at the Press is a way for me to express that love while also building a community with others like me. I love being connected with artists and getting to participate in the sharing of their work. WFU Press makes me want to go into publishing even though I know it would be nearly impossible to find another place as great as it is here.
MADDIE: I think about the quote “writing is algebra plus fire” a lot. Jorge Luis Borges said that. I’ve barely read any of his work. I am terrible at math, and subpar at camping. I often hold lighters at a wrong angle and end up burning my fingers. But I am good with words. I am in love with how they make me feel, and how that feeling changes when the words are put in different orders. “The rain fell” and “I fell like rain” mean totally different things. My experience at WFU Press has been jumping over the jungle gym of words and phonetics that seem to pour so effortlessly from our Irish poets’ mouths. I was drawn to this internship because there aren’t many poetry-only presses anymore. In a world of ebooks and Twitter and Fanfiction.net, brevity and lyricism get mopped away more often than soaked up. This press cares about the poet, the poem, and celebration and revelry of poetry. And I am so thankful I get to not only help them along in that act, but join them.
MARGOT: I have an intense love for the physicality of books. The first book I remember loving in that way was the collected Chronicles of Narnia. It was before the movie came out and it still had the original striking cover art. It was a massive paperback, the largest book I owned. At least 1,000 pages long, full of illustrations, maps, and wonderful, wonderful words. I loved that book, I carried it with me all the time. I read it over and over till the spine was worn out and the cover was ripped and the pages were wrinkled. I still refuse to replace it. It lives in a place of honor on my bookshelf held together with tape and a ribbon. I treat all my books this way, reveling in the softness of the pages, the beauty of the proportion of dark words to white space, the heft of the thing in my hands as I read. Narnia was the start of my specific love affair with books, a love I’ve carried with me to WFU Press. A press is a special place. It is where the words of a human get printed and bound and formed into a tangible object. A press creates vessels for art. It creates a thing that we can hold and touch and love because it allows us to experience the joy of reading. I am thrilled that I finally get to be a part of that process.
LENA: I don’t remember exactly how I was told to look into WFU Press—a couple mutual friends I didn’t even know well. I kinda applied on a whim to learn more; because why not? I thought I was getting something to pass the time and add to my résumé, and I was so completely and pleasantly surprised because my years here have been more encouraging and fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. I don’t wanna leave. I’m actually excited to go to work, to face a challenge and to laugh with friends. This place is so special. I’m just lucky to be a part of it.