Washington & Jefferson College Student's Work Featured in Two National Journals

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Danielle Pelletier's poetry was published in "The Susquehanna Review" and "Permafrost."

Danielle Pelletier's work was published in two national journals.

Danielle Pelletier's work was published in two national journals.

It really is a special thing that she’s accomplished. - David Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at W&J College.

Just days after her college graduation, Danielle Pelletier’s writing career is off to an auspicious start.

Poetry by Pelletier '17, a Pittsburgh, Pa. native (high school: Barack Obama Academy of International Studies), was published in "The Susquehanna Review," a national magazine for undergraduate students, and in "Permafrost," a national professional publication where she is published alongside graduate students, professors in the field, and professional writers. Pelletier graduated from W&J College during its May 20 Commencement Ceremony.

The budding writer submitted her work to the literary journals as part of an advanced poetry course taught by David Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J). She was pleasantly surprised when after a few months, she received letters from both publications stating they would feature her poetry.

“I’m really happy,” Pelletier said. “Even when I got the acceptance letters, it didn’t really hit me until I actually got the books and saw the titles and my name.”

Clark acknowledged that it’s an impressive feat for an undergraduate student to be published the first time they send their work to literary journals, let alone in two publications. As Clark told his class, it can take years of submitting work before a writer gets something published.

“It really is a special thing that she’s accomplished,” he said. “I have never had a student do this in 10 years of teaching.”

Pelletier remains humble and is focusing on continuing to evolve her craft. Currently, she’s looking into M.F.A. programs in creative writing to develop her poetry skills further. She said she draws inspiration for her work from her own life, and her poem “Healing Stones,” which was published in The Susquehanna Review, is based on her childhood experiences with her mother.

Prior to attending W&J, Pelletier didn’t have a keen interest in writing poetry. She began writing poems in an introductory creative writing course taught by Clark and found she enjoyed the format. As she explored her interest in poetry, Pelletier discovered a favorite poet and writing inspiration in author Sarah Rose Nordgren when Nordgren visited the campus for a reading.

Being at W&J gave Pelletier multiple opportunities to grow as a writer. Clark encouraged her by having her write a poem a week this semester, she said, which has helped her push past her self-admitted tendency to procrastinate and consistently produce creative works. Through this process, she’s been able to learn more about herself and her writing style.

Pelletier intends to continue submitting her work to literary journals in the future. For those looking to find a way into poetry, Pelletier recommends reading poets and finding authors that resonate with the reader. For a younger audience, she suggests checking out slam poets.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit http://www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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Erin Jones
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