Artist Spotlight: Erin Kreycik’s life of poetry

by Kyla Parkins

Name: Erin Kreycik
Year: Senior
Major: English: Writing Track

Senior Erin Kreycik said she’s always communicated better on paper. She said it helps her express things she couldn’t otherwise process.

As a sophomore walking into her Intro to Creative Writing class, Kreycik had no plans to major in writing. Before that day, she said she wanted to study literature. Yet as her journey with Professor Thom Caraway advanced, Kreycik said she realized she would rather write.

“I just began to see it as a feasible future. I could go to school three more years and get involved with other people who actually do this for a living,” Kreycik said.

Speaking of people who write for a living, some of Kreycik’s greatest inspirations include the voices she’s been exposed to. These writers include B.H. Fairchild and Jack Gilbert.

Some of her inspirations deliver spoken word, as well as written word. Kreycik said she has never performed spoken word, but sees the importance of it.

“I think it’s probably the future of poetry because I think it reaches people in a way that just picking up a poetry book doesn’t,” Kreycik said. “I’d love to get involved in it eventually, but I’m not an actor and I feel like to be good at performance art, you have to have that aspect of acting along with the words. I only want to do it if I can do it well.”

From a non-performance perspective, Kreycik said attending workshops broadens her outlook and helps her grow as a writer. In this setting, she gets to comment on other people’s work, as well as receive input on her own.

“That’s really helped me to realize how the mechanics work, how the writing process goes, how you write it over and over again to make it the best that you possibly can,” Kreycik said. “Also, how you have to stop at some point because obviously it’s never going to be perfect.”

Kreycik said that traveling also contributes to her growth.

“As far as people that I know and places that I travel, I want to try and process that because it’s beautiful and I want to capture it,” Kreycik said. “I want it to mean something to someone else. Usually it’ll take me a few months to process and then I’ll finally write it out.”

Of her travels, Kreycik said London was the most interesting.

“It’s English-speaking so there’s not the language barrier, but it’s so culturally rich and there’s so much literary history there,” Kreycik said.

Even when she’s not traveling, Kreycik said the setting for her best writing varies.

“They always tell you to have this time where you sit down and write. It always happens to me when I’m riding a bus or sitting out in the middle of a field somewhere,” Kreycik said. “The words start to come together. I’ve also done some very good composing in the middle of thunderstorms.”

When she writes, Kreycik said that one of her main themes is mental health and the way it’s still a stigma.

“I think most messed up people become artists and writers,” Kreycik said. “Half the time their brains are eating them alive and they have to work through that somehow.”

Kreycik said the problem for these people isn’t lack of inspiration, but struggling to communicate effectively.

“That’s how it is to have a mind that doesn’t necessarily work the same as everyone else’s,” Kreycik said. “There’s pain but there’s also colors. It’s an odd sort of twisted beauty, so I want to communicate that to as many people as possible. “

Communicating through her writing, Kreycik said she enjoys passing ideas to other people and possibly changing their perspective.

“The interplay between life and artists is interesting to me.  You take life and turn it into art but I think it works the other way too,” Kreycik said.  “What you read and your influences are going to shape the way you live. You then take that and turn it around into more art which maybe someone else is going to read and that might change the way they live life.”

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