Hello, I’m Crystal. I’m a rising senior in the Philosophy department, and I am writing a creative thesis under Tracy K. Smith.
Slam poetry was my entry point into creative writing at Princeton. I saw Ellipses perform at a preview event. The energy in that space, the honest and emotional pieces, and the deep love amongst the poets and their listeners drew me in. It was the first time I dared to imagine myself as a poet. I joined Ellipses in my first year, but I didn’t feel like a poet yet. It was hard—I felt like I had done something foolish, leaping into hot water and assuming that just by trying I could become a writer. That spring I began taking creative writing workshops and writing for the Nassau Weekly. I wanted to learn more, write more, to befriend writers and build a community. I gained a lot from reading with peers, and even more from the guidance of the stunning and generous professors who taught me. It was during a writing conference much later that I became convinced, contrary to what I had believed before, that strangely you can become a writer just by trying, just by doing it and telling yourself that you will do it.
As an advisor, I can share with you the lessons and stories I’ve gathered. I can tell you more about my experience, and I can help you begin to understand and shape your own. I’m also happy to chat with you about what it means to belong to a community of writers. You can’t always push through alone, especially at a place like Princeton. I owe much to the friends who have fought for me. Please reach out! I’m excited to speak with you.