Student Poet Laureate Sophia Griffith: Putting Pen to Paper

As National Poetry Month melodically comes to a close, we wanted to showcase our talented, insightful, and compassionate student poet laureate Sophia Griffith. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to do an in-depth feature on Griffith in fall of 2021, “The Pen is Mightiest At Building Community,” and would be remiss if we didn’t check in with her now, during the month of eating, sleeping, and breathing all things poetry. Griffith graced us with her thoughts on verse, the high points of her position, and her tip-top reading recommendations. 

Why poetry? What about poetry draws you in as opposed to other genres?

I found interest in poetry through a class in high school actually. It felt like a way that I could use the writing skills that I put into stories at the time to better use. My stories usually contained in-depth, deeply metaphorical descriptions that were honestly more fit for the medium of poetry. Plus, the community of people that I joined who really loved poetry was so inviting and gave me great advice and support. 

Do you enjoy reading your poetry, or do you prefer to write it for yourself?

I love to read and write poetry! The thing I enjoy most is listening to people perform poetry, I think it gives it more depth. 

What has been a highlight of your time holding the poet laureate position? 

The highlight has been running the poetry club. I get to listen to people’s very unique insights into why they love poetry and their different ways of creating it. This has created close bonds between us in this time that is marked by extreme separation.

What advice do you give to someone thinking about dipping their toe into the poetry world? 

I would recommend thinking deeply about what styles of writing you enjoy reading and why you enjoy them, researching different devices and poetry formats, and not taking it all too seriously because poetry is supposed to be fun, at the end of the day.

Any favorite poets/poetry compilations at the moment?Ahh! So many! Neil Hilborn and Shane Koyczan will always be my favorite poets. For collections, I recommend “Becoming the Villainess” by Jeannine Hall Gailey and “The Lumberjack’s Dove” by GennaRose Nethercott.