Interning for Poetry Matters by Natasha Kinne

April is World Poetry Month and we've asked undergrad student Natasha Kinne to talk to us about her experience interning for Poetry Matters.

My name is Natasha Kinne, and I am a U3 student pursuing an Honours BA in English literature with a minor in French language and history. I am originally from Wisconsin and I decided to study in Montreal to improve my French. McGill offered another advantage as well; a celebrated English program with excellent professors such as Miranda Hickman, the founder of Poetry Matters.

Group discussion on poetry
During the 2022-2023 academic year, I was privileged enough to intern for Poetry Matters. The Arts Internship Office graciously awarded me a scholarship for my work in the amount of $1,500. Working with Poetry Matters allows students to make formative connections in the Canadian literary sphere. In December 2022, I interviewed renowned Canadian poet and editor Gary Geddes, who favored McGill University with a reading and poetry workshop in October 2022. In addition to forming a professional connection with Geddes, this opportunity trained me in formulating interesting questions for interviews. Creating questions that both compliment each other and provide a thorough portrait of the interviewee’s career can be difficult. This skill will likely benefit me in my future writing.

In addition to Geddes, I’ve worked with McGill alumni and current University of Toronto student Hillary Muller on behalf of Poetry Matters. Muller is engaging and active in the McGill community; our work together on her talk, “What Do You Mean? The Syntax of Analogy and the Language of Thought”, fostered a friendship between us which we maintain to this day. Most recently I’ve interviewed former Poet Laureate of Toronto George Elliott Clarke. I gained very interesting insights into the poet’s many works, including his most recent work, which is the third installment of his epic poem Canticles.

I intend to maintain the connections I made through Poetry Matters throughout my career. I’ve also gained technological skills through my work on Poetry Matters. I took part in several of McGll’s website training courses and ultimately earned site editor credentials, which definitely enriched my CV and merit as an intern.

My internship also involves producing my own research and writing related to the objectives of Poetry Matters. This year, the organization has paid special attention to poetic form in contemporary poetry. My research will center around patterns in women’s poetry throughout the past decade, with a concentration on images of motherhood. I will consider the work of poets such as Mina Loy, Marianne Moore, Maggie Nelson, Adrienne Rich, and more. I

hope in addition to noticing patterns in themes and imagery related to motherhood that I will be able to comment on trends in form and style. Like my experience with interviewing authors, this research will also enhance my experience as an English student. Being compensated for the time it takes to conduct the research is a rare privilege. I intend to make the most of it, and I encourage others who are interested in English as a field, or in poetry in general, to apply for a scholarship with Poetry Matters.

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