Emma Sovich - Interview
I have to start out by asking what was it like to hear your named called on graduation?
I simply didn’t believe I heard right at first. I’m pretty sure the people sitting next to me
You have been pretty busy since graduation working at Johns Hopkins, Black Warrior Review, and pursuing your MFA at Alabama. How has this journey been for you and what do you think is coming up next? had to repeat it for me and urge me to go on up to receive the award.
Working at Johns Hopkins Press was a great first full time job out of college, and I was lucky to work with really smart people who worked hard and cared about introducing me to academic publishing. Working for a university is a good way to stay intellectually challenged, “in the loop” of cultural and creative events in the area. The creative life in Baltimore and around JHU is vibrant. I was sad to leave, even to pursue my MFA, but since arriving in Alabama I’ve really been able to focus on my writing as well as on publishing creative writing with BWR (I worked with books in medical ethics and gerontology at JHUP, a bit different). The community of writers here is strong and supportive, the classes are challenging, and of course working 20 hours a week frees up a lot of time for my own writing – even including classwork. I’m glad my funding here lasts another two years, because I have no idea what’s coming up next! I hope to get a book published, of course, but to make the bills… I could get my PhD (in an interdepartmental field like Media, Art, and Text), or teach, start my own journal or go work for an established one that’s hiring. My dream at the moment, though, is to mix teaching with publishing and the arts… to teach and run (or help start!) a program like the Literary House at Washington College, which was so necessary to my own growth.
What is your favorite memory from your time at Washington College?
All of my favorite memories at WaC involve the Lit House, especially the print shop. If I had to pick, it would be printing and binding a chapbook with Lindsay Lusby and Marian Robbins. We had the space and time to design the whole project ourselves, which was invaluable and impossible without Mike Kaylor and Kate Bursick, and generous financial support from the Cater Society of Junior Fellows. The best part was that it was an entirely extracurricular endeavor among good friends – and that I will always have that physical object to remind me of the experience.
What was the first book you read and loved?
The very first Nancy Drew book got me binge-reading, but I think the Hobbit was the one that embedded itself in me.
Who is your favorite author?
Tough question! At this very moment, it’s a tie between Italo Calvino, but some contemporary loves of mine include Lucy Hoang, Anne Carson, Jennifer Tamayo, Esvie Coemish, and Lucy Corin.