A Summer in Verse
English major and creative writing minor Alex Vidiani ’15 is a poet himself, so when he was given the opportunity to work for the New York-based Summerset Review, he jumped at it. “I heard about the internship through the Career Center, and set up an interview with Meredith Davies Hadaway, then the Rose O’Neill Writer-in-Residence and the poetry editor for the journal. It all happened very fast and I am still in shock it happened it all,” he says.
Vidiani hopes to work for a literary journal post-graduation, and the internship gave him a preview of what might lie ahead. Luckily, he went into the job armed with the experience and attitude that he needed to excell. “My career at WAC seems to have been custom-tailored to this kind of work. This is thanks largely to dedicated professors who have given me the capabilities and confidence for literary endeavors.”
Vidiani’s work consists primarily of screening poetry submissions for the fall edition of the journal, contacting the poets whose work is accepted, and running the Review’s social media accounts. In addition, he has been writing a review of Sean Bishop’s upcoming book of poetry, The Night We’re Not Sleeping In. The privilege of reviewing an advance copy of a book has been the most exciting part of his summer internship. “Sean Bishop is a fantastic poet, and I am honored to be able to review his collection,” he says, though he adds that the overall experience has been “fairly terrifying.”
The chance to be passionate, which Vidiani immediately amends to “obsessive,” about poetry with like-minded people has been his favorite part of work at the Review, but most importantly for Vidiani, he has learned that “you can have an effect on the poetry world even if you haven’t won any awards or published a collection yet. It is crazy to think that I will have had some influence on the next issue!”
It’s a lesson that should serve him well in his future. From Washington College, Vidiani plans to head to graduate school to get his MFA in poetry, so he can continue his writing career. “I would say my work this summer will definitely help me accomplish this, and am terribly excited and grateful.”
Vidiani’s book review and the poetry he helped select will be published in the Fall 2014 issue of The Summerset Review, out on September 15.