Marin Sieck '15

Age: 22 (yikes!)

Year: Senior (yikes!)

Major: English and Comparative Literary Studies

Hometown: Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

What clubs/activities/groups are you involved in on campus?

I’m co-president of the Oxy Writers’ Workshop (a creative writing club that meets every week to write and critique each other’s work), and co-editor in chief of Feast Arts & Literary magazine. I’m also on the English major student committee, and a member of Delta Omicron Tau sorority. 

Tell us a little more about Feast.

Feast is our campus arts & literary magazine, featuring visual art and creative writing submitted by current Oxy students. It’s entirely student-produced and published every spring—the new issue will actually be available next weekend! Since the staff is all students, we get to be a part of the entire process, starting with submission selections, working on copyediting and digital layout, and putting finishing touches on the magazine before it goes to print. It’s a lot of work, but it’s always really fun to collaborate with a group of people who are interested in art or literature, and to put together a diverse collection of student work to share with our peers. I’ve definitely loved being involved in an ongoing project that gives Oxy students an outlet to share their creative work.

 

Why did you take on the role as editor?

I got involved with the magazine in the spring of my first year at Oxy and sort of worked my way up from there. I’d been an editor on my high school’s literary magazine and knew the co-editors at the time through the Oxy Writers’ Workshop. Since I’ve always loved reading and writing, I guess I knew pretty early on that I’d want an outlet for creative expression, to balance with all my academic work. It’s also been a great group of people each year; once I’d become friends with a lot of the returning staff, those relationships made the whole process even more rewarding and fun.

 

Favorite flavor of Cooler ice cream to eat after Cooler pizza?

I really love cinnamon ice cream. (Not that there are many flavors I don’t like). Dulce de leche is also always delicious, and a little easier to come by. I also love the Mississippi Mud bars. Right now my freezer is fully stocked with Ben & Jerry’s though, so I have to confess I don’t go to the Cooler for sweet treats that much. (I love Phish Food like no other, but just this semester, Americone Dream has sort of stolen my heart!)

 

Who inspires you?

That’s a very broad question… Is it cheesy to say my mom? (Definitely my mom, whether it’s cheesy or not; she’s such a strong and supportive person, and I think I owe a lot of my strongest qualities to her.) In terms of creative influence, too many authors and/or screenwriters to count. The longer I’m on campus, the more confident I am also saying I’m very inspired by my classmates and friends. Whether it’s academic work or extracurriculars, there are so many really passionate people on this campus doing incredible things. I feel like everywhere I look, I’m always finding more people who encourage me to work a little harder, challenge my perspectives, or try something new. I guess that’s pretty fitting for a liberal arts college, but I’ve been very grateful to be part of such a vibrant community.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers on Oxy’s campus?

I think the best advice I have (it’s some that I keep giving myself) is not to completely sacrifice your creative interests for the sake of schoolwork. Obviously, classes and assignments are important, but it’s also important to value your other pursuits. There are lots of wonderful creative writing classes to enroll in (Playwriting has been a personal favorite of mine) and plenty of ways to share your work—whether it’s coming to the Oxy Writers’ Workshop, getting involved with Spoken Word, submitting to the English department’s creative writing contest, or publishing in Feast or the Fang. There are probably other options I’m forgetting, and maybe some I don’t even know about! I’d say just keep writing and sharing and getting feedback on your work; I can’t emphasize enough how valuable it’s been for me to have a community of writers who are willing to give me honest critique. Exploring studio art classes has also helped fuel some of my own creativity (the book arts and letterpress classes are great); once you start searching the course catalogues, Oxy has SO many inspiring classes to offer, whether they’re directly related to writing or not.