Reilly Cox

Class of 2016
Major/Minor: Double major in English and theatre/minor in creative writing


1.  What was the book from your childhood that has influenced you the most?

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince (well, Richard Howard’s translation of it) is a book that really affected me as a kid. My mother would read to us and I remember we had this old copy of the book I loved handling—I’ve always had a fondness for old books—and it was a silly, melancholy story that I enjoyed. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned the sad history that lead to the book’s creation, which can serve to remind me to make something beautiful when bad things happen.

2.  Of all the texts you have studied at Washington College, which has had the most powerful impact on you?

I’ve cried from several of the poetry collections I’ve read in Dr. Dubrow’s workshop this semester, so there have been moments of severe impact, but for me the most impactful text I’ve studied here has been Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I started studying it in high school and feel that it’s a part of me—I probably have twenty copies of it at this point. I have no desire to write like Shakespeare or to emulate any of his characters but, for me, Hamlet is one of many universal texts I could choose to revisit, and I do.

3.  Who are your literary or intellectual influences?

My poetry professors—Jehanne Dubrow, James Allen Hall, and Emma Sovich—all influence the way I approach and revise my writing and have irreparably strengthened my writing. There are also storytellers—Gabriel García Márquez and Sherman Alexie come to mind—who I try to emulate in the form and flow of my own stories. As for intellectual influences, there are Existentialists and Naturalists and Pacifists and the like that I read and discuss but the means by which I come to understand them are my brother.

4.  What are your plans for after graduation?

The first thing I’m doing after graduation is traveling—there are a couple trips I have lined up to get me to parts of the country I’ve been meaning to visit. Afterwards, I plan on living and working in Baltimore for a few years in order to get back to the fundamentals of writing. After those few years, I’ll be pursuing an MFA in either Poetry or Book Arts.

Campus Involvement

The Collegian Poetry Editor

Scenic shop assistant for the Gibson Center for the Arts

Winner of the 2016 William W. Warner Prize for Creative Writing on Nature and the Environment

Winner of the 2013 and 2016 Jude and Miriam Pfister Poetry Prizes

Awarded a Jacoby Endowment Grant and a Sophie Kerr scholarship

Cherry Tree screener