Kirsten Thorpe's remarks about the House

Hi, my name is Kirsten Thorpe. I'm a sophomore in the college, a poet and the newest addition to the Writers House Staff. Al asked me to prepare some remarks from the student perspective about the House, so here they are.

As a young, maybe budding, writer this House is one of the coolest things that could have happened to me.

Last spring I took a creative writing workshop as an elective out of curiosity, that gave writing a whole new dimension for me. Having a surrounding network of other writers who were easily available for feedback, inspiration, or just a conversation about writing was greater than i can explain, especially for me, being a person genuinely passionate about poetry. The atmosphere that that class provided helped to cultivate something inside of me that had long needed an outlet, but the semester ended too quickly, and I was afraid of losing that environment, that energy.

At that time last spring, my professor, Mike Magee, suggested that I should try to get more involved in this place that was happening right on Locust Walk, The Writers House. This was an idea that I hoped would at least somewhat continue to foster that creative spirit for writing that I was growing steadily addicted to.

I started by peaking in at readings, and sitting at jazz performances. I added my name to the listserve. Easily, I was hooked on this vibe resonating from the House. Then, at the beginning of this semester, I read on a Live at the Writers House, an amazing experience for me, and rapidly my involvement has grown since then.

Now, I look back and realize that I took Mike's advice to get involved and really embraced it head on by becoming a member of the staff that keeps the House moving on a daily basis. In a regular week these days I'm here so much of the time doing a hundred different things. I come here for the poetry writing course I'm taking. I watch the VHB play on a Thursday night. I work at reserving rooms for all kinds of groups, events, workshops, classes. I help make outrageous demands of Kinko's and then proceed to proliferate campus with posters and tell anyone who will listen what they're missing if they're not at the House. I say things to other members of staff not only about poems, but, that end up *in* poems. I buy grapes and put dishes away. I correspond with poets whose books I've read, and occasionally on a Sunday night I'll sit on the green couch in the living room and write a little poetry myself.

I feel like now I've really gotten into the (newly renovated) woodwork, and it's great!

To be surrounded by so many people who care as much or more than I do about good writing and great writers, to be sharing that love of writing with other students and faculty on campus by opening up and inviting them into the House constantly, and to be involved in the dynamic range of activity, education, and enthusiasm that drives this Writers House is exciting and wonderful for me, both as a student, and a writer.