August 2014 – Marisa Donnelly

Waldorf College’s Writer of the Month, August 2014

Marisa Donnelly, Seniordaycare picture 2

Marisa Donnelly was chosen as the August 2014 Writer of the Month because of her dedication to writing this summer. From June to August 2014, Marisa worked on her summer internship as designer and creator of the blog websites you are reading right now. Her internship was focused on creating a useable website for current and prospective Waldorf students, as well as faculty and staff, to help promote the Creative Writing and English departments at Waldorf College and keep the community updated with literary events on campus.

Here is a list of the websites Marisa created. Feel free to browse through.

Creative Writing and English at Waldorf

Distinguished Visiting Writer Series

Waldorf Literary Review

Waldorf Writer of the Month

In addition to her work on the blog websites, Marisa also attended two writing workshops at the University of Iowa for the Iowa Summer Writing Festival: “I Liked Everything About the Ending” by Anthony Varallo, and “Turning the Poem Inside Out” by Elizabeth Robinson. When asked about her experience, she said,

“Being able to attend the Iowa Summer Writing Festival this summer was an incredible experience. I applied for the 2014 Alpha Chi Research Grant to put towards these workshops and I’m so thankful my proposal was accepted. Being in Iowa City was so uplifting because the environment and the people support writing and literature so much. I learned a lot about my writing style, my strengths and weaknesses, and met so many wonderful people–both classmates and teachers–that are all passionate about the same things that I am. There’s no greater feeling than that.”

Marisa is headed into her senior year with a triple major in Creative Writing, English, and Secondary English Education. Her future plans are to obtain a MFA in Creative Writing and teach at either the middle school or high school level.

Here is one of Marisa’s poems, “The Song” that received an Honorable Mention for the 2014 Salveson Prize in Poetry.

The Song

You love her in silence

like the cardinal on the frozen branch

puffing out its scarlet chest, full

heart expanding in cold morning air,

lima-bean lungs bursting with inhale.

You love her quietly. Eraser shavings

on seats of diner booths. Scrawled pencil markings

on white napkins, tracing patterned designs

of cloth, feeling each raised vowel

under fingertips. You love her unspoken:

a flower for each freckle above her left eyelid,

names carved into tree bark, initials on padlocks

secured to rusty metal bridges, a quiet brush

of lips on skin between shoulder blades. Then

your red chest widens, ribs bend as lungs

stretch like balloons. This kiss blossoming

into voiceless song.