Poet Eleanor Boudreau AB '07 is a Kingsbury Graduate Fellow at Florida State University, where she is currently completing her Ph.D. Her first book, Earnest, Earnest?, will be published on September 8th; the book has also won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Boudreau's work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House, Barrow Street, and other journals. Follow Boudreau on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
Q. When did you first start writing and then decide to pursue writing as a career? Did your experience as an undergrad at Harvard factor into that decision?
A. I took my first poetry writing workshops at Harvard. I had wanted to take classes like that in high school, but they hadn’t been offered. The only problem was, at Harvard, you had to apply to get into the creative writing classes—you had to submit a number of pages of poetry—and I didn’t have any poetry to apply with. What I did have was a notebook where I’d written down images. It was mostly filled with things I’d seen while driving. I would drive with the notebook open on the passenger seat, then when I saw something I wanted to record, I would describe it in words in the notebook without ever taking my eyes off the road. I’m righthanded. Had I been lefthanded, this likely would not have been possible. Even so, my handwriting was atrocious. But I could read it. I typed up a few pages from my notebook and inserted line breaks, and it was good enough to get me into the beginner poetry workshop with D. A. Powell my first semester at Harvard (fall of 2003). I learned a great deal in that class and I wrote a few things that could more properly be called poems. I used those poems to apply and get into more poetry workshops.Read more