Meet Poet Sarah Giragosian '06
'06 will represent Mount Holyoke at the eighty-third annual Kathryn
Intercollegiate Poetry Competition.
The event will be held Friday, April 28, at 8 pm in Gamble Auditorium
and Saturday, April 29, at 10:30 am in the Stimson Room of the
Williston Library. Begun in 1923 as a memorial to Kathryn Irene
Glascock '22, the competition has long connected talented
student poets with distinguished professional poets.
Glascock judges are renowned poets Eamon Grennan, Elizabeth
Spires, and Greg Williamson. A "Life and Letters" conversation
will be led by this year's poet-judges at 3 pm Friday, April
28, in the Stimson Room, and they will read from their own work
10:30 am on Saturday, April 29, in the Stimson Room.
will be vying for the top spot with Jessica R. Spradling of
Dartmouth College, Ashley Williard of Hampshire College, Rachael
Hudak of the University of Michigan, Sam Donsky of the University
of Pennsylvania, and Kate Broad of Wellesley College.
caught up with Giragosian to ask her about her passion for
poetry, the influence that Mount Holyoke has had
and how she felt about being chosen as a contestant in one
of the most
prestigious intercollegiate poetry competitions in the country.
and why did you start writing poetry?
I've always been writing creatively in some capacity, but
I didn't begin to write poetry seriously until college.
Poetry just seemed
to be the best medium for me. I find that poetry is the
only practical medium for one who writes with an air of finality
and often excruciating
fastidiousness. I simply would never complete anything
[were] a novelist.
Who are your
favorite poets? Why?
There is a handful of poets that I refer to constantly:
Adrienne Rich, Elizabeth Bishop, Hart Crane, Marianne
Kenyon, Gjertrud Schnackenberg '75, Robert Pinsky, Mary
and Robert Shaw are such poets. Their aesthetics are
all very different,
but I suppose that they share an enticing rigor that
draws me back to the same poems. I think it's also the familiarity
works that is most appealing and comforting.
your experience at Mount Holyoke influenced your poetry?
Mount Holyoke has made it really easy for me to focus
on my academic passions. Some people speak of the Mount
but there is something to be said for a place that
affords its students a zone free from the distractions and stratifications
(social, economic, racial, political, etc.) that become
apparent as soon as we leave the Mount Holyoke gates.
I also see the
nature of Mount Holyoke preparing me for the insularity
of the poet's community. Also, if I didn't have the
friends, and classmates that I have here, I simply
would not be producing
the work I am. So many of my professors and peers are
How did you
feel when you were chosen as this year's Glascock entrant?
Thrilled and terrified; the names of past Glascock
participants just sends my heart racing.
your plans for the future?
I'll be attending Boston University in the fall to
receive my M.A. in poetry. After that, I'd like
to staff a literary
try to publish my work.
of Sarah Giragosian '06