Student Spotlight: Kyle Butler ('15)

Published on May 05, 2015
Photo Credit: Emiliy Madigan ('15)Photo Credit: Emiliy Madigan ('15)

By Benjamin Mohai ‘15

How are you active within the writing and literary community?
I am always writing. I originally came to school for film but while taking a writing class I realized my true love was in writing, so I switched over to the Creative Writing program majoring in Poetry and Non-Fiction.

I was on the editing board for the Columbia Poetry Review, which is run through Columbia and will be once again in the upcoming semester. I am currently a promotional assistant for Ghost Proposal, which is a Chicago based journal.

What is it like working in a more editorial capacity?
As a writer, at any level, it is always good to see the entire world of writing. That means continually writing or creating as well as reading.

In these positions I hold at Columbia or outside of school, I get to read work from authors from Columbia to authors from all over the world. I have learned so much about looking at work objectively. For example, what does it mean to be a good writer? What is working in this piece versus another? Getting to work through these types of questions has been instrumental to my own writing.

Has this work influenced your plans for the future?
Definitely. I want to create a journal or press. Working in the industry and the community, I am learning the ins and outs, which has given me so many ideas about how I would like my future journal to operate.

You talked about you love for writing before, how would you describe your work?
I feel most comfortable working with hybrid forms of writing. I enjoy mixing and blending genres of writing as well as seeing how the words fit on the page. My writing itself is post-modern falling between essays and poetry usually, but I am never opposed to other forms of writing.

Do you have anything specific you are working on right now?
Currently, I am in the process of writing a lyric essay. It’s actually a collection of non-fiction and poetry, once again utilizing the hybrid genre and forms. 

In short, this collection is about the process and movement of art. The implications of putting the pen to a page. There is something about that idea of trying to define the indefinable that I just want and need to write about.

Have you read or presented this work in or outside of class?
I have brought the work into my classes for workshop. The feedback has been wonderful and is always appreciated. I also get together with writers outside of class to workshop as well. 

I have read at a few open mics and the Galactic Pinwheel Reading Series. I plan to read more of my work, in the future. Honestly, when I’m not reading I am just enjoying the community of writers and different reading series, which is sometimes directly and indirectly tied to Columbia.