Hello! I’m Annabelle and I am a senior in the French and Italian Department, pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing as well as Gender and Sexuality Studies. Alongside my French thesis, I am also writing a poetry thesis under Monica Youn.
Coming from a high school where there wasn’t much of an emphasis on creative writing or the arts in general, I arrived at Princeton feeling unprepared and unsure of my place in the arts. Though I knew I wanted to write, I worried that I lacked formal education and experience in poetry and had a tendency to compare myself to my other writers — I always seemed to come up short. However, once I began taking poetry workshops, I came to realize that it was possible for me to grow into the impossibly big shoes that I wanted to fill. The professors and peers that I’ve been lucky to work with continue to challenge me to push my work in interesting, exciting, and sometimes intimidating directions.
As someone from an immigrant background who often feels trapped in the liminal space of oceans that divide and borders that separate, I am invested in the use of poetry as a means of investigating my own experience of diaspora, language loss, and citizen-making. I turn to poetry to articulate things that I find difficult to say otherwise. I’ve grown to be a little more fearless throughout my time at Princeton so far, and if there is any part of my own experience with finding a place in the arts (or Princeton in general) that might be helpful to you, I’m happy to share over email, a coffee, or a meal at my co-op!