Courtesy of Samuel Mathisson.

Position(s): Daily Arts Writer

Section(s): Arts

Semesters at The Daily: 3

I joined The Daily later than many, during the fall of my junior year. I’d spent much of sophomore year getting turned down from various student organizations, with each rejection weighing more heavily than the last. After pouring my soul into the sample reviews for my application (the first indication that this was a job, not just any club), I scanned my inbox with trepidation, hoping my writing would connect with the editors while still understanding the event of a probable rejection. So, receiving the email informing me I’d been accepted as a Daily Arts Writer the day before my 21st birthday was the best present I could have asked for.  

I applied to Books on the promise of free books and the opportunity to grow as a writer. Both promises were fulfilled. Where else can I get paid to read great literature — often advanced reader’s copies of books months before the publication date — merely in exchange for my review? Writing for the Books beat is my dream job (and those $2 checks are satisfying as hell to cash in). I’ll never forget the pride I felt after an acclaimed author (Jerome Charyn) reached out to thank me for my review. I’ll never forget my surprise after seeing the analytics on my first piece, when I realized that people actually read our work. We have a real platform at The Daily — I’m fortunate to be a small part of it. 

For those who came before me at The Daily: Thank you John Decker for convincing me to come to Arts instead of News, and thank youDylan Yono for the enthusiastic mentorship during my first semester on the section. Thank you Lizzie Yoon, for giving me a warm welcome to Books, for the wacky icebreakers and for always being a friendly face in the newsroom. Thank you Elise, for your sincerity and leadership as Managing Arts Editor. And thank you Andrew Pluta, for the insightful edits, encouraging praise and for your intellectual presence (but most of all, for hiring me). 

For the people still at The Daily: Thank you Julian Wray for your quiet friendliness and prolific literary contributions to our section. Thank you Emilia Ferrante for your low-key, hilarious comments. Thank you Lilly Pearce, for your joy in running our beat — I know you’ll do great as MAE. And thank you to the rest of my beat and my section for making me proud to tell people I write for Arts. 

It feels strange to say a premature goodbye. I’ll be back next semester, writing irreverently (sometimes thoughtfully) and eagerly scrutinizing the Books bin for my next read. There’s so much left to write; so many books I haven’t yet reviewed, so many B-Sides that tempt, and I haven’t even done an interview yet. So thank you all for supporting me and my writing — and I’m not quite done with The Daily.