Student Presents Her Poetry at National Conference

Aspiring writer designs own Interdisciplinary Arts major.
Katelyn Hubbard sitting at library table with shelves full of books behind her
Katelyn Hubbard presented three of her poems at the 2018 National Collegiate Honors Council conference.

For as long as she can remember, Katelyn Hubbard had been writing, but she has become much more serious about poetry and nonfiction as a college student.

“I realized at some point that real life can be even more interesting/heart-wrenching/powerful than fiction,” says Hubbard, Class of 2020.

Hubbard presented her poems “For Nothing,” “And No One,” and “Not Even Myself” at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference.

“I love poetry because of how it can make you feel like you've been punched in the gut,” she said. “It's both the most forward and metaphorical form of expression.”

English Professor Leslie Eckel recommended that Hubbard submit her poetry for the conference, and her Creative Writing adviser, Professor Amy Monticello, reviewed the material and proclaimed Hubbard’s work an “outstanding fit” for the NCHC conference, which took place this past November in Boston.

“Katie's poems are just one example of her work that demonstrates her ability to think in interdisciplinary ways. They are formally challenging and whimsical, visually appealing on the page, and precise in their imagery and language,” says Monticello.

Inspiration for Hubbard’s poems comes from personal experience.

“My poetry is contemporary and honest and is inspired by my relationships, especially my experience with men, in a way that aims not to be exploitative but rather reflective,” she says.

As an artist, Hubbard’s goal, “is always to make whomever is reading/listening feel as I felt in the moment of time I'm depicting.”

The Suffolk honors student had never before presented her poetry before an audience, although she was published in literary magazines in high school, and five of her poems appeared in Suffolk’s Venture literary magazine.

Hubbard is the first Interdisciplinary Arts major at Suffolk, and she designed her own program, which combines creative writing, visual/fine arts, communication, and theater.

“The general move in higher education is to specialize more and more as you go,” she said. “This seemed silly to me in a world where students and workers need skills that are transferrable and educations that are versatile and useful in various applications.”

“I'm very excited to be able to cross disciplines and work as a more well-rounded artist.”

Hubbard allowed the University to share the following poem. 

"For Gail"

By K.P. Hubbard

8 and a half feet deep, I think what it’d be like to drown,
Water pressing harder than air, parents above won’t let me drown.

One year, two years, deep in us and we’ve always got each other around,
Four or five more and you’d love to watch me drown.

21 years of bliss called ignorance felt so safe and sound,
Now in a pool of all the wrong chemicals I have to sit while my brain drowns.

3am I sneak out of his sheets, by 5 I can’t pick his face from a crowd,
His silly pet fish swims on in the dark, not knowing what it is to drown.

One day I sit in the ceramic and let the water crash down, loud,
I watch it start to shape me like limestone, fixtures in the earth can’t drown.

8 years old when my grandma told me of the day in the ocean she almost drowned,
Said, sweetheart, she’d never felt more peaceful. If she has to go, she wants to drown.