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Creative Writing and English Literature major Samuel Novoa ’20 (Byram Township, N.J.) recently had a poem selected for publication in The Allegheny Review. Now entering its 34th year of publication, The Allegheny Review is one of the few literary magazines nationwide dedicated exclusively to undergraduate works of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and artwork. Published annually, the periodical showcases some of the best literature the nation’s undergraduates have to offer.
“Sanctuary in Poplarville, Mississippi,” the poem Novoa had selected for publication, draws upon themes of religion and love as it explore the conflict and reconciliation of the speaker’s battling identities.
“I admire many things about Samuel’s poetry, including its unflinching exploration of the human psyche. What is the state of mind of a survivor who has witnessed a homeland’s destruction? What creates and swells guilt? That kind of psychological investigation fuels all great writers,” said Sascha Feinstein, Ph.D., Robert L. and Charlene Shangraw Professor of English and Creative Writing.
Novoa discovered his passion for poetry during his Introduction to Creative Writing class here at Lycoming College. After receiving encouragement from Feinstein to submit some of his poetry for publication, Novoa sent work to The Allegheny Review.
“I admit that I was a bit skeptical at first as to The Allegheny Review accepting my poems. So, I was elated to see that they accepted one. I would say it strengthened my confidence in my writing skills a little bit, too,” said Novoa.
Following graduation, Novoa would like to pursue a graduate degree and continue to submit poetry for publication.
“When I’m reading poetry, I like to enjoy the rhythm and emotion packed in each line. When I’m writing it, I strive to create a piece that has just as much rhythm and emotion as the poems I love,” Novoa explains. “The creative writing courses at Lycoming are excellent. Dr. Feinstein and Dr. Hawkes are amazing professors, and I believe they have changed my writing for the better.”
Novoa’s work, “Manuel Granero, Resting” was subsequently accepted for publication in The Blue Route.