Each issue, Artist Alert features a different creative and talented aspiring artist or entertainer in the GBS community.
Junior Gina Kim rewards herself with breaks throughout the day by writing, specifically poetry. While Kim does not take any writing classes at South and writes purely for the fun of it, she submits some of her pieces to Calliope and is a poetry editor.
Around what age did you start writing? What got you into it?
“I started recreationally writing around second grade, because in school we used to have these mini-publication things like a short story, and they’d ‘publish’ it, and I really got into writing after that. I just liked working with words, and I found that it was something I was definitely good at. I had some sort of comfort with language. That’s when I actually started writing in general. Poetry for me started in seventh grade. It’s relatively recent.”
Is writing a hobby or is it more than that?
“It’s definitely more of a hobby. I do not want to have a career in language. […] I think there’s a difference between an occupation and a recreational activity. This is definitely a recreational activity.”
What is your favorite writing style and why?
“As of now, I prefer creative nonfiction. [Creative nonfiction] is kind of like creative writing but less fantastical. There’s just a lot of liberty in that there’s no necessary form to that. It’s just writing a story, writing a plot or something, so there’s definitely a lot of freedom in that. I do find a little more comfort in poetry just because it’s brief. You don’t have that intimidation of having a very long narrative to work with. You have a very brief language that you’re working with and because of that, there’s more to say with less words, and I’ve been working with that, a lot of free verse. I don’t do a lot of structured poems.”
Have you ever shared poetry at an open mic or something along those lines?
“I have not because I feel like the poetry I write is not spoken or slam poetry. It’s just something I write and it’s just meant to be read and taken in rather than spoken.”
Who are some influential people that you’ve encountered? How have they impacted you?
“I don’t really have a specific muse to pull from. I’ll just say that every poem I’ve encountered since I’ve gotten into poetry writing has influenced me. It’s not necessarily been incorporated into my style, but I’ve taken their different ideas and their different incorporation of those ideas into structure and language and kind of adapted them to my own and used them to see what I’m comfortable with and what I prefer.”
What advice would you give to poets and writers throughout the school?
“Don’t be afraid to mess around with your style. There’s no set style that is correct because poetry is such an open medium. Get familiar with who you are as a writer and that will help you develop what kind of style you like. You don’t have to be restricted with one style, so just keep on writing.”
What’s your favorite piece that you’ve written?
“I wrote a free verse poem maybe a year or two ago. It was just an introspection into just who I was [and] where I thought I fit. A lot of my poems are like that; it’s very small subjects and introspective stuff. That was probably one of my favorites.”
How do you find inspiration for your pieces?
“I get a lot of inspiration from me, as a person, other people around me and just from reading. I read a lot of poetry, I read a lot of novels, then I get a lot of inspiration from those.”