As a tribute to Centripetal and because the submission deadline for this semester’s edition is fast approaching (Friday, March 15th) I thought I would dedicate this blog to my experience here at PSU and what Centripetal has done for me as a writer. I would also like to encourage everyone who has thought about submitting their work to do so. Hopefully after reading this blog you will understand just the effect you can have on someone else.
I first transferred to Plymouth State my sophomore year. It was the fall of 2011. One of my first and most memorable moments at PSU was being at one of the student activity fairs and getting my hands on my first ever issue of Centripetal, which was Volume 12 issue 2 which came out that previous spring. When I got back to my dorm room I read over the poetry in that book and was just awestruck. I could not believe how beautiful and skilled all of the poetry and prose was in this college literary magazine. One poem in particular really made an impression on me. It was Abbie Morin’s (class of 2012) poem titled “Tagged.” I instantly connected with her style and the loved the simplicity of her words that came out so elegantly. This poem really struck something in me because it reminded me of the way I also write or try to write.
Up until that initial experience with Centripetal I had been what I refer to as a “closet writer.” I only ever shared my poetry with close friends and would have never dreamed of submitting to the school’s literary magazine or reading at an ‘open mic’ event. Strangely, I found myself seeking out these open mic events and sitting in to watch my peers perform while trying to build my courage to do the same thing. When I finally gained the courage it was one of the most euphoric experiences I had ever had. I always get nervous before I read even now; my disposition wouldn’t have it any other way. But now I attend every ‘open mic’ and I read at every one I can attend.
I went from a very soft-spoken and intimidated young writer to being a more self-assured and fulfilled one in what seems over night in retrospect. Since my first encounter with Centripetal as just an impressed reader, I have now been published in the most recent issue (Fall 2012). I feel a connection with the writing community and my peers. I have made many friendships I don’t anticipate I would have had it not been for Poets & Writers. Lastly, I’ve opened myself up to growing experiences I would have denied myself had I not found Centripetal and been so inspired. Now, I will be a student reader at the April 4th Eagle Pond Poetry Author Series reading casing Dick Allen at the Silver Center. I’ve even applied to Bucknell’s Seminar for Young Poets under the counsel of Plymouth State’s very own Liz Ahl (she also has done more for me as a writer of poetry than is possible to express).
I hate to expose my sappy-side but my whole life would be drastically different today if it had not been for that very first time I read Centripetal. So, for those of you who are on the fence about submitting your work, please remember this: you never know the impact you or your work may have on another young writer. Take a chance, submit, and I swear you’ll be the better for trying something you’ve never done before or never thought you could do.