Poet, Teacher, Student: Sarah Dravec
Alongside her recent academic and professional achievements, earning both a B.A. in English and a teaching assistant position at the University of Akron, Sarah Dravec has been busy passionately pursuing her dream of being a poet. Dravec recently read her poetry at the Big, Big Mess, which is a reading sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Master’s in Fine Arts (NEOMFA) program, featuring published and unpublished writers. She says she was “honestly very honored” to be asked to read her work at the event, citing Nick Sturm, creator of the reading series, as a “huge inspiration.” Dravec is not only a participant in the event, but a fan of it as well; she loves hearing her fellow classmates read their work and says she has always enjoyed going to readings “so much.”
Local exposure at the Big, Big Mess will hopefully act as a stepping-stone for Dravec on her path to being a published poet. She is currently unpublished, but she takes a lot of pride in her senior honors project, in which she took 50 of her best poems, polished them and turned them into a portfolio. She explains that she wants to work on new material, while keeping in mind those poems that were so monumental in her undergraduate career.
She explains, “A lot of my stuff is semi-autobiographical. When I’m writing poems, I’m largely putting myself in it.” For example, she says LGBT issues “definitely come into my writing” and “being portrayed as a lesbian poet is fine with me.” Another core aspect of her work is “vivid, emotional imagery,” which attempts to move the reader, she says.
As a student, Dravec is simply ecstatic to be in the NEOMFA program. She says it was something she knew that she wanted to do before she was even in high school. She enjoys the program because she is constantly around her peers and instructors who do the same thing as her: write all the time. She finds herself writing mainly in the evenings and admits, “Sometimes I do stay up and write all night.” Even though most of her “actual writing” happens after the sun goes down, during the day, she is constantly taking notes about things that will end up in her work.
As a teaching assistant and as a seasoned peer-tutor, Dravec says that one of the most important things she has learned about working in education is to “have an open mind.” Making the transition between tutoring and teaching will be scary she says, but since tutoring and teaching go hand-in-hand, she is not too worried about it. Even though she is “definitely intimidated” about teaching, she says, “The opportunity to work with students and help them improve in a subject that I love so much is rewarding for me.”
SAGES wishes Miss Sarah Dravec the best in her endeavors and thanks her for sharing her experiences with us.