MC Student Angela Benevenia Published in
“The Best Emerging Poets of New York”
By RikkiLynn Shields, Editor
Angela Benevenia is a senior English major from Essex County, N.J. She recently had a poem published in an anthology series by a small publishing company, Z Publishing, called The Best Emerging Poets of New York. The poem was written in the Advanced Poetry Workshop class she took with Dominika Wrozynski, Ph.D., last spring.
The Quadrangle: What are you involved in on campus?
AB: I am the president of MC’s comedy team, Scatterbomb, as well as the Editor-in-chief of Manhattan Magazine. I am also the secretary of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, a writing consultant at the Center for Academic Success and a Resident Assistant in Jasper Hall.
TQ: How did you decide to choose the major you did?
AB: I became an English major because I love it. It seems like a simple answer, but at the end of the day, I knew I would not be happy majoring in anything else. I love reading, I love writing, and I love critically thinking, and being able to discuss these things in the classroom is a dream come true.
TQ: How did you get involved in poetry/creative writing?
AB: I have been writing as long as I could remember. I devoured almost every young adult novel at my local library, and moved on to stealing “grown-up books” from my older siblings. I was swept off my feet by A Wrinkle in Time, Speak, and The Color Purple and decided that I wanted to write more stories to read, and they would be stories I loved since they were my own. My love of poetry came later, in high school, after my first British Literature course when we read “Dover Beach.” I was captivated by the lyrical language and explored more poetry, including a lot of spoken word. I started performing poems at my school’s Poetry Night and writing a lot of bad Jonas Brothers fan fiction, which all eventually developed into much better work in my college years.
TQ: What made you decide to publish the poem you did?
AB: I sent Z Publishing three or four poems, all of which I believed were my best work from my Advanced Poetry Workshop with Dr. Wrozynski last semester. “Some Thoughts While Brushing My Teeth” was the first poem I ever wrote that I felt incredibly proud of, because I had finally written about something that I was finding so hard to write about.
TQ: What is your writing process like?
AB: I don’t think I really have a writing process. I usually just write down little sentences or phrases that I come up with during the day in the notes in my phone, and they’ll eventually make it to the page at some point.
TQ: What are your plans for after graduation?
AB: Who’s to say, am I right? But in all seriousness, I am applying to writing fellowships for fiction that are way out of my league, as well as applying to a few teaching programs abroad in Japan and Thailand.
TQ: How has your time at MC impacted your writing career?
AB: The English department is so special here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into Dr. Koehler or Dr. Wrozynski’s office ready to quit the entire craft I’ve dedicated my life to, and they somehow say magic words that make me fall in love with writing all over again. Being able to take creative writing classes here has been life changing, as well as being able to submit to the magazine. I have met an amazing community of writers that I know I will take with me for the rest of my life, and I owe all of that to being a Jasper.
TQ: What does poetry mean to you?
AB: Writing allows me to say things better than I ever can out loud. I talk a lot, but it’s all empty things most of the time until I put it on the page. Writing gives me the chance to create worlds that are mine that comment on the real world we live in. I am a rule-follower down to the core, but art gives me a space to break rules and be commended for it. Fiction and poetry allow me to express myself on paper, and words are much more beautiful than we ever give them credit for.