Saturday, May 1, 2010

Five Questions with Logan Franks

Today's graduating senior profile is with Logan Franks, managing editor of this year's outstanding Belmont Literary Journal.

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)? What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

It's hard to answer these questions. I can't think of specific instances that drastically changed my way of understanding myself as a writer - every class I have taken has helped me to realize different aspects of myself, to realize my different strengths. I don't write poetry yet that is the only thing I've ever had published, thanks to the BLJ 2009. I don't feel like a very academic-minded person but presenting in BURS (thanks to Dr. Wells' guidance, patience, and support) was one of my proudest moments in all of my education. I don't feel like a leader most of the time because all I want to do is write (surprise), but as of April 20th I will have helped lead the creation of the coolest literary journal with some of the coolest English majors on campus. I feel like I accomplished so many things in college I never could have foreseen in high school. I don't think I would do anything different. My experience at Belmont has drastically shaped who I am and I like who I have become.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

My plans are hesitant. I will write, I will find a way to write regardless of what "career" I fall into. I've considered applying for MFA programs and am definitely going to be applying for fellowships at writers colonies and workshops. I will probably get a less-than-thrilling day job post-graduation and hope to travel once I save some money. I hope to live in Spain again. I'm kind of a dreamer but only in the way that I recognize life is too short and you're only young for a very short amount of time. I realize you're not allowed to be stupid forever. I just want to take advantage of this freedom from planning, serious expectations, and too much responsibility for a little while.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

I adore David Sedaris and in my free time mostly read memoirs and personal essays. I like almost-real stories, real-ish stories. I really liked J.D. Salinger in high school - yes, I was one of those kids. Before and during freshman year I explored works other than Catcher in the Rye like Franny and Zooey - big fan. I also became kin to Sean Wilsey in Oh the Glory of It All before college. Sophomore year I thought I'd become a Physics major; then I realized how much I loved writing and reading Flannery O'Connor's The Complete Stories way too much to devote my time to labs and experiments. Junior year I half-obsessed over The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls in Third Year Writing. I enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love in Spain. I enjoyed The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz before my senior year. Over Christmas I fell for Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain. This semester I was truly touched by Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev. I think I'm growing up. And when I say "growing up" I really mean "figuring out who I am."

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

True and False. The closer to an end, to an undefined beginning, the more bittersweet everything becomes. But, honestly, does April really have to be this cruel??

Any shout outs on your way out?

James Wells - you'da best and I think I am your biggest cheerleader.

Andrea Stover - never change, you're an amazing teacher and person. LYLAS.