Work of a lifetime

Kristin Adams
Staff Writer

   Most students probably view Sandra Longhorn as a great English professor and advisor. However, they may not see her other side that has an avid love for writing poetry.

   In elementary school, Longhorn was the type of student who wrote stories rather than doing her class work. Her love for writing developed throughout the years as she moved from Iowa to her “adopted” home state, Arkansas. This move allowed Longhorn to develop a sense of fascination for the Southern culture and the different experiences that people face in the South as opposed to the Midwest.

   Writing has never been a question for Longhorn; yet in the beginning of her college education, she was a little unsure what approach to take. She said she went into college believing she would have a double major – English and French. Once she learned about teaching, she shied away from it. After taking a creative writing course in college, Longhorn’s focus switched. Longhorn said she believes it is important for students to “try to identify what makes them happy and pursue it.”

   In May 1993, Longhorn graduated summa cum lade with divisional honors with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. After undergraduate school, Longhorn waited seven years before attending graduate school. During that time she worked in publishing and in bookstores. She never strayed too far away from literature. Once she had day-to-day experience, she realized she wanted to be a teacher and continued her education. In May 2003, she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing-Poetry from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.

   Most of Longhorn’s poetry pertains to personal experiences, an exploration of personal identity and the environment, land and weather that surround her. Her poems have captured the interest of many and have been featured in various publications such as "A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry," "Sycamore Review" and Arkansas Literary Forum.

   Published work does not come easy. Longhorn spends four hours a day, every day, at her computer either reading other published work or working on pieces of her own.

   If you would like to review some of Longhorn’s poetry, the poems “Reckoning the Fragments” and “Another Memory Fragment” will appear in "88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry" in October. “Self-portrait: April,” “Self-portrait: August,” “Duty” and “Reticent” will be available on the Web on the Arkansas Literary Forum Web site in October. “Recitation During the Storm” will appear in "Crab Orchard Review" in the spring.

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© The Voice, 2004
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