K Undergraduate Poet is Up and Going

Winter term 2013 finds sophomore Kate Belew working as an intern at the Poet’s House in lower Manhattan. Another stop on the creative journey of this English major. As a first-year student Kate received the Nature in Words Fellowship at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute for Environmental Education (Hastings, Mich.).

“It is an extraordinarily competitive fellowship,” says Kate’s mentor and Kalamazoo College’s Writer-in-Residence Diane Seuss. “And Kate made the most of the opportunity with her project, ’Voicing the Natural.’” According to Kate, the project sought to speak through the plants and animals she encountered during summer at the institute. “I planned to create the project using persona poems, inspired by Conrad Hilberry’s collection of poems, The Fingernail of Luck,” says Kate. “As I wrote, the project shaped itself into sections, and finally into a collection of poems that I named But That Was In A Different Life.” The poems are threaded together by Wild Woman, a voice of nature within a female human. Explains Kate: “I walked the trails, read books of poems, took notes, worked with Di, and took the time to witness what was happening in the natural world.”

Kate has also published poems in national magazines: “Prairie” in Outrageous Fortune; “Spoon Out Indigo” in Cliterature (on online magazine founded and edited by K graduate Lynn Brewer ’05); and “Yarrow” in the print magazine Straylight.