The Knox Student (TKS): Where did you go to college?
Elizabeth Marzoni (EM): I went here at Knox. I’m a proud graduate of the class of 2004 and I did my graduate work at Western University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
TKS: What did you study at Western Michigan?
EM: I earned my Ph.D. in English with a creative dissertation, so I studied creative writing and particularly poetry, a lot of American and contemporary British poetry.
TKS: What was your major at Knox?
EM: I was an English Literature major and a history minor.
TKS: What brought you back to Knox?
EM: I like this place. Galesburg has always, actually from the first time I came to campus, felt like a home to me. I’ve never shed that in all these years. Gratitude brought me back, the grace and the generosity of my colleagues. My real love of Knox as a learning community brought me back. I love the students here and I really have enjoyed teaching here. The crows did not bring me back.
TKS: What aspects of Knox or the Galesburg community feel like a home to you?
EM: Maybe it’s because I, in part, grew up here, right? We grow up in college. I feel like my value system is in line in many ways as a place. Maybe it’s familiarity, maybe it’s a moment of recognition. I like the humor of Galesburg; I like its modesty. I like the trains, all of that.
TKS: What would you consider your greatest accomplishment prior to coming to Knox?
EM: Hmm, I don’t mean this to sound flippant, but I make a really good pie and I’m really proud of learning how to make a really good pie. I started a journal last year, which I’m pretty proud of. I like it when I do something good, like after I taught a good class. I’m a pretty easy girl to please, I guess.
TKS: Your greatest ambition?
EM: It’s vain, but to have some real “fancy pants” tell me that they like my work. It’s vain, it’s totally vain, but why not? What, publish a poem in Poetry Magazine? No, nothing like that. Yeah, that would be nice.
TKS: What kind of work do you predominantly do? Is it poetry or fiction?
EM: Poetry mostly. I’ve also started essays by which I mean creative nonfiction essays and I’m working on a scholarly book/manuscript right now.
TKS: Why were you interested in English?
EM: I like telling stories; I like thinking about why we tell stories; I like language. You know the way painters say they like paint? I like words. There’s that. I grew up in a house where we read a lot. We were big readers and there was always nostalgia in that and a joy in that so it became a habit for me in some ways. It just made sense to me, that way of the world being mediated. I guess on some level it felt natural.