Rebecca Bedell

Rebecca Bedell headshot


I'm an English major originally from Sarasota, Florida. I've known basically forever that I'd study English, but poetry has really taken off as a passion of mine since coming to Princeton, so finally knowing I get to do the certificate and write a creative thesis feels almost too good to be true. It feels like the culmination of a lot of introspection and many an emotional word-dump onto my computer to be sorted and whittled down later.

My writing is intensely personal and always a work in progress because I feel compelled to write about life events, friendships and loves, and my personal evolutions as they happen, before I've had time to process them through retrospect. With each workshop, it's been incredibly liberating and humbling in the best way to work with the program professors, peers, and realize just how much improvement my poetry still needs. My hope is to create a poetic style that's intensely honest and strives for elegance of language alongside raw representation of experience.

I feel an intrinsic duty to be a peer mentor because my experiences around queerness and gender transition are so central to my writing, that I want to help make room for my peers to freely explore their identities through art without fear of constraint. I was lucky to receive enthusiastic encouragement of my writing from my family growing up, but since coming to college I have been far more guarded about whom I share my poetry with, so I have relied heavily on my classes and the people in them. My poetry has been an indispensable vehicle for self-exploration, helping me know myself better, so I have often been at my most vulnerable in my workshops where I pour revealing personal detail into my writing. I want to make sure writers, especially queer and trans writers, know there is space for that kind of vulnerability in the arts at Princeton, and through that encouragement continue to make that space a reality. I often feel like my poetry is perpetually taking a risk or that it doesn't belong, because of my tendency towards straightforward, open confession, but the CWR program has been open to that, and I want to help maintain that openness.

I would love to be a resource for any and all students who want to talk about, and feel a sense of community in, art that serves as a reflection of one's marginalized queer identity, in the unique language which only those living the experience can bring to it.

Class of '17

Program in Creative Writing

Residential College


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