Katana Smith, senior, knew that coming to Knox meant she was going to end up pursuing an arts-related degree.
“When I came to Knox I wanted to be a creative writing major or do English Lit because those are the only things that I really feel this strongly about and I’m not trying to do something I’m not passionate about,” she said.
A big thing that also helped her in her decision to major in creative writing was that she would have the support of her parents no matter what.
The support system surrounding the writing program was something that Smith found a lot of value in and was something that really drew her to the program.
“We have a really great community surrounding the writing majors here,” said Smith. “That’s something that makes it so important, each person in the program contributes to that community and it’s very supportive and nurturing. We make each other better writers. It’s a very beautiful thing to be a part of.”
Along with the supportive environment, the creative writing program also benefits from programs such as Milk Route which gives senior creative writing majors the chance to share their work in front of a group of their peers.
Smith enjoyed her experience with Milk Route this year. Though she found the leadup nerve-wracking, once it was her turn, the nerves went away and she enjoyed being able to share her work and feel the reactions to it from everybody in the room.
“I remember going to my friends’ Milk Routes in my sophomore year and being like, ‘Oh this is so exciting, someday that’s going to be me’ so it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” she said.
Coming to college to study creative writing wasn’t something that Smith wanted to be treated as something fun to do for four years before having to go out and get what is seen as a real job. She wanted creative writing to be treated as something she could make a career out of. The creative writing program at Knox provided that space for her.
“I just got more and more into the program and everyone I met here was very friendly and kind of has that weird Knox energy. That just drew me in,” said Smith. “I felt like it was a place where I could really pursue the art I wanted to make and be taken seriously.”
As for the future, Smith doesn’t exactly know where she will end up. She is currently looking into graduate schools and the kinds of opportunities those would offer her.
Despite not having a solid idea, knowing that she has support from the Knox community and her family has helped her in a lot of ways.
The support that she receives from the people around her is also something that Smith finds influences her writing.
She values that writing gives her the outlet to show others how the world looks to her and to be able to share her experiences with others.
After coming to Knox her focus in writing has shifted away from fiction to poetry because of a class she took which allowed her to take in more poetry and understand it in a deeper way. She finds that all the freedom writing poetry offers has really drawn her in.
“There’s a lot of freedom you have when writing poetry that you don’t necessarily have when you’re writing fiction which I really dig,” she said.
Smith believes that studying creative writing has done a lot to make her a more well-rounded student. Since coming to Knox and deciding to pursue her degree, she has found that she is able to communicate more and understand the world better and that is something that she will value forever.