by Melanie Devaney
A 2016 article by Robert Matz on InsideHigherEd.com states “Parents worried that their children will study English and end up as baristas should know that their sons and daughters are statistically more likely to end up as CEOs, doctors, or accountants than behind the counter of a Starbucks.” English as a concentrated study is often seen as unpractical and for years the joke has been that a major in English is a straight path to a life of impoverishment. The viewpoint gets worse for those who express that they want to be writers. However, Anna Girgenti, a recent graduate of the Loras College English Literature and Creative Writing program, is breaking that stigma one word at a time.
In the fall of 2017, when she was then a senior in the program, Girgenti decided to submit what was a first draft of her thesis to the Iowa Chapbook Prize. Little did she expect to have the work, a collection of poems titled Asking for Directions, selected from among two hundred submissions by fellow college students throughout the state. In her opinion, the poems were underdeveloped, but she had decided to submit it anyway.
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