Knox College, creative writing
GSEF Fellow, Cohort 1
Research Placement: University of Wisconsin-Madison
“From my mentors at UW Madison, I learned to create the art that makes me happiest, not the art that I think will get me accepted into prestigious programs.”
How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
My name is Ari and I go to Knox College, where I am a creative writing major and the editor-in-chief of Catch, one of the campus’s literary magazines. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey that no one I’ve met in the Midwest has ever heard of. I like to write my many works in progress, pretend that I can play bass, and listen to My Chemical Romance without a hint of irony or regret.
What kind of research are you working on this summer? Who are you working with?
I’m working on a short fiction piece about growing up on the East Coast after the September 11 attacks. I worked with Professor Ronald Kuka at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
What have you learned so far?
From my writing, I learned how to stay true to my own voice and how to tell what parts of the story are failing and need to be replaced. From my mentors at UW Madison, I learned to create the art that makes me happiest, not the art that I think will get me accepted into prestigious programs.
What part(s) of this experience will benefit you most? How so?
I feel as though I have benefited most from the experience of editing my work, because I edited more heavily than I have before and in different ways. I have also benefited from my independence in Madison; I’ve learned what I need to do to stay sane while also getting my work done.
What do you want your faculty mentor and/or university to remember about you?
I would like my mentors at UW Madison to remember me as someone who tried to write a story that mattered, whether or not I’ve been successful yet.