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Olivia Heckroth, a junior creative writing and corporate communications double major at Lycoming College, recently had five poems selected for publication in the 2018-2019 edition of The Allegheny Review. Now entering its 32nd year of publication, The Allegheny Review is one of America’s few nationwide literary magazines dedicated exclusively to undergraduate works of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and artwork. Undergraduate students may submit up to five poems for consideration.
“To be accepted (for publication) is an honor; to have all five submissions taken is genuinely remarkable and speaks loudly to her gifts,” said Sascha Feinstein, professor and co-director of the College’s creative writing department.
“I really wasn’t expecting to have any of them published, so I was blown away when I found out they were all selected,” said Heckroth. “I started really getting into poetry as a kid. I kept a journal of poetry throughout high school, but I never really honed in on and improved my skills until coming to Lycoming.”
This is Heckroth’s first major publication in a literary journal (outside of Lycoming’s own, The Tributary). Many of the poems, written during her sophomore and junior year poetry workshops at Lycoming, are based on personal experiences and narratives but go beyond a mere “retelling” of events.
“Olivia understands that all lasting poems must have some kind of tension at the core. She knows how to amplify scenes to make her poems more complicated and engaging. I’m very proud of her,” said Feinstein.
After graduation, Heckroth hopes to pursue a career in copywriting and a postgraduate degree. She plans to continue writing and submitting pieces for publication with the hopes of eventually having an entire collection of poetry published.
“I love writing poetry because it allows me to explore my own (and others’) reactions toward memories and experiences,” said Heckroth. “Lycoming’s writing program and faculty are absolutely amazing and have pushed me to my full potential. I wouldn’t trade my experience here for the world.”