Two Colorado School of Mines undergraduate students can add a new line to their resumes: Poet published in a statewide anthology.
Olivia Cordova, a senior in electrical engineering, and Coleman Hoyt, a senior in computer science, were among the 80 up-and-coming Colorado poets chosen for “Colorado’s Best Emerging Poets,” an anthology published in January by Z Publishing.
Both Cordova and Hoyt were contacted last fall by Z Publishing about the poems they had written for the 2017 edition of High Grade, Mines’ literary arts journal. They were both asked to send new work to the publishing house, and each poet had one poem included in the anthology. Cordova’s poem is titled “Empty Space” and Hoyt’s is titled “The Stars.”
“Having my work chosen to be part of this anthology feels great,” Hoyt said. “I feel encouraged to continue writing, and I hope my work may some day have an impact on somebody.”
For Cordova, writing has always been one of her primary forms of self-expression – she initially thought she wanted to pursue a degree in English as an undergraduate. With her busy schedule at Mines, she now treats her writing time as self-care.
“I try to write for half an hour before bed,” Cordova said. “I will spend five minutes writing non-stop and then use ideas from that for further writing.”
Through her poetry, Cordova is also able to record and reflect on the things she observes throughout the day.
“I take notes of things I hear that could be cool for a poetry topic and collect them in a jar,” Cordova said.
Like Cordova, poetry helps Hoyt supplement the technical knowledge he is mastering at Mines.
“Writing poetry has helped me flex my creative muscles beyond what is required at Mines,” Hoyt said.
The process of writing poetry and submitting it to journals requires vulnerability and risk-taking, he said. Hoyt attributes his decision to change his major from metallurgical and materials engineering to computer science his junior year to the skills he has developed by writing.
“I think my experience writing has built my confidence to do things like [switching majors],” Hoyt said.
UPDATE 3/2/18: A Colorado School of Mines graduate student also had a poem published in the anthology. "Steel my Resolve" was written by Zachary Nahman, who is pursuing a master's degree in computer science.