St. Jerome’s University Congratulates Maya Clubine for Vallum Chapbook Award
Have you ever wondered about the difference between "knowing about a thing" and "knowing the thing itself?" As a recent English Literature and Rhetoric graduate, Maya Clubine explores the tension between these two ideas in her current poetry collection titled, Life Cycle of a Mayfly. Her collection of poems has drawn the attention of Vallum Magazine, which recently awarded Clubine the prestigious Vallum Chapbook Award.
"This collection was, in a sense, an exercise in something I learned in my English courses at St. Jerome’s University: the difference between knowing about a thing and knowing the thing itself," stated Clubine. "The first is an accumulation of facts where one remains at a safe distance. The second approaches a thing up close, and risks being moved, or even changed, by an encounter with it. My forthcoming collection, Life Cycle of a Mayfly comes out of a re-encounter with places and histories that have formed and continue to form me."
Of note, the Vallum Chapbook Series is a well-respected publication which often celebrates writers who are well-established in their careers. As this is Clubine's first publication, it is a great honour for her to be recognized for her innate talent. She attributes her time at St. Jerome's and the dedication of a few faculty members who supported her throughout her time at university, allowing her to develop her craft.
"As an upper-year student, I took creative writing courses at St. Jerome’s University. Writing poetry in these courses while I studied poetry in my other courses allowed me to develop an approach to poetry both from the perspective of a writer and of a critic," stated Clubine. "Doing this at a Catholic University was formative because my instructors were willing to engage with the many ways that faith and art are deeply intertwined, and in my view, inseparable. This helped clarify that artmaking is a vocation and a necessity for me, rather than just a hobby on the side."
"Over the years at St. Jerome’s University, Maya grew in confidence and emerged as a person fully capable of integrating her commitments to literary and visual arts, as well as theology and ecology. St. Jerome's University was an ideal place for her to cultivate those interests through critical and creative thinking and action," stated Chad Wriglesworth, associate professor, Department of English.
When she reflects on her time at St. Jerome's, Clubine offers this perspective for students who wish to pursue a career as a writer, "I don't like to think about writing as a career path, but more a way of being in the world. There is no perfect co-op job or degree plan that will make you a good writer. Writing is an endless labour of love, but it can also be very lonely. The best thing students can do if they want to pursue a career in writing is twofold: first, study your craft, and second, go out and be in the world. Meet new people, read widely, take risks, spend time outside, learn the names of plants, fall in love, and soak it all in so you can write about it."
Vallum Press will be publishing Clubine’s collection of poetry, Life Cycle of a Mayfly this November.