The following is a guest post by Anya Creightney, programs specialist for the Poetry and Literature Center.
It is with much joy that I join the Poetry and Literature Center and now introduce myself on “From the Catbird Seat.” I am an editor by trade, originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and my journey to Washington, D.C., began by instinct and impulse. I knew I wanted a life charged by creativity. I wanted a diverse community committed to the restorative powers of literature. I wanted to test my artistic courage and capacity. Or put even more simply, I wanted to work hard and dream. Completing my MFA at George Mason University, my first major poetic undertaking, was not without challenge. I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to write in new and distinct form, but I was eager to learn. Soon opportunities presented themselves, the most important of which was an invitation to become a Cave Canem Fellow. In the midst of all this learning, I felt ebullient and humbled; giddy and reverential. Yet graduation peeped around the corner, and with it familiar challenges—namely finding work in a creative atmosphere. Imagine my elation when I was hired at the PLC as their first programs specialist!
Thus far, my role—planning and shaping the Center’s literary events—has proven energizing and engaging. It’s beyond stimulating to see an event go from an early-stage idea to a fully flushed-out event, complete with acclaimed poets and writers. Of course, the fact that my job coincided with the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera, the 21st Poet Laureate of these United States, was icing on the cake. He is not only deeply dedicated to our field but deeply moved—perhaps one could even say propelled—by humanity’s gusto. When I met the Laureate, he was so warm and welcoming. He instantly made me feel a part of his greater project: using poetry to talk to and beyond difference. By the time we discovered a shared connection to New Mexico and a longing for Hatch green chile, I looked around the PLC and knew I was home.
It is with much excitement that I embark upon my journey here in the Library of Congress, a legendary and beautiful institution. I couldn’t be more thrilled to contribute to an organization with such value and merit as the Poetry and Literature Center. Now I go forth with genuine curiosity and with a good dose of humor, eager to get to know you—the PLC community!