Alicia Wright is from Rome, Georgia, and her poetry appears or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Ecotone, and jubilat, among others. She is a PhD candidate in English & Literary Arts at the University of Denver, where she serves as the Denver Quarterly Editorial Fellow (Associate Editor).
How did you first engage with poetry?
In the most beautiful and obvious childhood, then teenage way: I had many, many feelings and no form for them. So entered Emily Dickinson’s meter into my heart, which picks you up like an ocean wave and shapes your inner thought for you. It was a way of being held. I wanted so much to see myself in others’ lines and images—I’d found Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Marianne Moore—which I did fleetingly, but nothing compared to Dickinson’s drum and soaring scope, her singular voice. I wrote her lines as graffiti in my closet, on the planks of upper bunkbeds, over Phish lyrics and lewd verses scrawled in the back of a densely graffiti’d school bus. The more I loved her poems, the more I realized the experience I could use for my own poems was limited—so I decided to go out and get some.