Mosaic / October 5, 2016

Adams reflects lifelong interest in poetry

Senior Parker Adams sits in the Alumni Hall patio discussing their work in poetry and art. (Julian Blye/TKS)

Senior Parker Adams sits in the Alumni Hall patio discussing their work in poetry and art. (Julian Blye/TKS)

When Parker Adams writes poetry, they often write about their 6-year-old niece. They think about the ways that prejudice and racism have affected their own life and reflect on the fears that they have for her.

Adams, a senior, has explored these fears regularly in their poetry Ñ especially after their niece was born.

About a month ago, Adams was inspired to write a poem addressing their niece’s comments on her own skin color and hair texture when she was younger.

“It was kind of like a series of affirmations addressing various insecurities. It was inspired by various things that I had heard my niece say,” Adams said. “I remember when she was really little she had friends with straight hair and would talk all the time about how she would want hair like them or how she would want hair like her Barbies.”

Adams is double majoring in Creative Writing and Psychology. They want to be a marriage and family therapist, but also hope to continue writing after college.

“One of the reasons that I chose Knox was because I couldn’t imagine going to a university and not being able to study Creative Writing,” they said.

They said that their interest in people and relationships often bleeds into their creative work. They often write love poems or poems exploring the various relationships that people form throughout life.

Adams has been writing since they were young. On a New Year’s Eve in early elementary school, they distributed personalized cards with poems and drawings to each of their cousins.

In seventh grade they took a literature class and became more interested in taking poetry more seriously.

Ultimately, Adams would like to get their poetry published and release a book of poems. While poetry is their main focus, they are currently taking a fiction class and have experimented with other genres as well. A few years ago they set a goal of writing a children’s book by the time they turn 25.

They drafted an outline awhile ago for a story about children who don’t get visited by Santa Claus. They wanted to write about children whose parents are financially unable to give Christmas gifts after having a conversation with people who never believed in Santa Claus because their parents were unable financially to give them extra gifts.

“So I kind of wanted to write about a Christmas that was fun or had meaning outside of gifts,” Adams said. “This is what it looks like Ñ we’re not missing something because we don’t have Santa Ñ it’s just like a different Christmas.”

Adams said that they usually spend at least a few hours a week working on their writing. Every Tuesday at 7 p.m. ABLE hosts poetry nights. Adams said they often spend this time working on their writing or helping others revise work.

During their freshman year, they performed on campus regularly. They hope to do that more again this year and have already done so a few times.

“I’m still doing a lot to figure out what it means for me to be a writer or an artist. I’m doing a lot of exploration,” Adams said. “Remembering that writing can be fun and it doesn’t always have to be this intimidating thing.”

Rachel Landman
Rachel Landman graduated in 2017, majoring in creative writing and double mimnoring in journalism and environmental studies. She was editor-in-chief of TKS her senior year and worked for TKS for a four years as a News Editor her sophomore and junior years and as a volunteer writer as a freshman. Rachel is the recipient of two first place awards from the Illinois College Press Association in 2015 for investigative reporting and news story. She also won second place awards in 2016 for news story and sports feature story. She saw her staff win general excellence for 2016. In addition to The Knox Student, her work has been published in the Galesburg Register-Mail and Catch Magazine. She studied abroad in London during Winter and Spring Term of her junior year. Twitter: @rachellandman_

Tags:  able Adams children's literature Parker poems Poetry

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