Honors Students Get Published

by   |  03.24.11  |  Honors College News, Honors Student Achievements

Two ACU Honors English students have had poems accepted for publication in in two different literary journals.
The original story appeared on the English Department’s blog in  January of this year.

A new print journal, Fjords, has accepted for publication in its inaugural issue “weeping willow” and “Highway 285″ by Juliana KocisFjords has solicited poetry from around the country and plans to nominate its very best poems for the annual Pushcart Prize.

Juliana says the composition of “weeping willow” came about when “I had been out running one day, ran by a willow tree, and immediately thought of what became the first stanza–it just seems appropriate/ sitting beneath you/ to weep. The rest of the poem developed on its own and turned out to be one of the easiest poems I’ve written (and one of my favorites).”

As for her “Highway 285″ poem, Juliana developed the idea after driving  just outside of Salida, Colorado, past spectacular mountain landscapes. She notes that, “Having grown up in Colorado, I absolutely love it and have always just been amazed by some of the scenery, so I wanted to write a poem that captured that.”

It was a productive semester for Juliana because she just learned that Sphere Literary Magazine: An International Journal of Student Writing will be publishing another of her poems, “Liturgy, as witnessed by a statue of Mary.” Sphere is an on-line journal edited by students at Farleigh Dickinson University. Twice a year they publish undergraduate writing from around the globe.

Juliana wrote her Sphere poem after reading a news item about the bombing of a church in Baghdad back in November. She characterizes the poem as “a sort of lament” over the tragedy and a call for peace and religious tolerance.

Juliana is currently a junior English major and plans to graduate in May 2012. What she’ll do immediately following that momentous occasion is still a bit speculative, but she wouldn’t be surprised to find herself in graduate school working on an M.A. and thinking about maybe teaching postsecondary school. She’s also considering teaching ESL abroad for a year or two.

The other student who has had poems accepted for publication is Bethany Bradshaw. Her poems “Aubade” and “You Asked Me What It Means” will appear in Sphere.

Bethany, who is serving as one of the co-editors of the student literary magazine, The Shinnery Review this year, will graduate in May. She is waiting for acceptance/rejection letters from MA programs in English Lit. “to decide my fate.”

As the teacher of both of these young poets last fall, Prof. Al Haley was contacted for this article. He wished to contribute the following:

“I’m thrilled at how people are going to get read some of the fine poems Juliana and Bethany wrote in our class. At the same time, I’m not that surprised that their work was accepted. Besides evidencing keen imaginations as they looked for situations ripe for poetry and having a sharp ear for the sound of words, they worked themselves to the bone revising all their poems. The highest compliment I can pay any poet I offer to them: I read these poems and wished they were mine.”

As a final comment Prof. Haley suggest that anyone consider signing up for Poetry Workshop. He observes, “Everyone has something to say about life, and poetry is one of the best ways to do it. It’s a demanding but rewarding craft that anyone can learn. And from our annual poetry slam to workshopping our poems in the relaxed atmosphere of The Inkwell, we have so much fun in this class it could almost be illegal.”