Ally Blovits-A Poet of Identity, Friendship, and Family

Faculty Shout-Out by Dr. Robin Silbergleid: “Ally Blovits is a quiet force.  She’s a poet with the gift of finding exactly the right metaphor, one that arises from the organic details of the subject she’s describing.  Her poems astutely explore family and human relationships, moving through adolescence and young adulthood, and arriving at self-acceptance.”

How would you describe your time as an English or Film Studies major at MSU?

I had a wonderful time as an English major at MSU. I was finally able to take classes in what I wanted to learn the most, which is creative writing. Its fascinating to see how far I’ve grown in my writing over the past few years, this year especially. I think freshman year me would be in shock to see all that I can do now, and that is such a gratifying feeling.

Which classes, instructors, or experiences particularly stand out for you and why? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?

The classes that stand out most to me were intro to poetry writing, advanced poetry writing, and advanced fiction writing. Those classes improved my creative writing skills more than I could have imagined. Talking those classes I was like wow, this is what I’m here for. There’s a unique joy in being in a room full of people who are just as passionate as you are about your favorite thing. Getting to read what my peers were writing and hear about all the amazing things they were working on was so cool. This year I also got to work on my thesis with Dr. Silbergleid who has taught me so much and has been incredible to work with. It really has been a highlight of my year, which is not what anyone is expecting when I say I’ve been working on a thesis project. Outside of the classroom, a really valuable experience has been being a part of the slam poetry club and the CUPSI (College Unions Poetry Slam invitational) team. Through them, I got to perform my work at open mics and slam competitions which is not something I’d had the chance to do before. It was amazing to connect with the greater creative writing community outside of MSU.

What advice would you give future English or Film Studies majors, based on your experiences in the department?

The best advice I can give is to remember that ultimately, this is your time and to spend it doing what is going to be the most beneficial to you. Seek out new experiences and explore outside your bubble. You never know what will connect with you; it might be something you’ve never heard of. Take classes you want to take not just whatever will fill the requirement. Doing what is most beneficial to you also means to take care of yourself. Advocate for yourself and what you need. Grades are important, but your mental health is more important. Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself to rest and recover.

What coursework-related projects were/are you working on this year, and what interests or excites you about them?

This year I finished two poetry chapbooks (which is a small collection of poetry usually around 15-30 pages. The first was through the Create! microgrant program and is called When Does the Waiting End? and the other, called Stitched Together is my thesis I’ve been working on all year. Working on bigger projects has been really exciting for me because it’s a glimpse into what I’d like to do outside of school. My thesis especially has been so rewarding to work on. It’s a very personal work, as most of my poetry is, that focuses on identity, friendship, and family. I’ve learned a lot about myself writing it and I’ve learned a lot about how to create and finish a longer project. The long process of revissing is usually rushed in classes so understanding how that works closer to the real world is an invaluable skill. I loved working on my thesis and I’m excited to see what I can do with it after graduation.

What are your hopes and aspirations, post-graduation?

My dream has always been to become an author. I have wanted to write books for as long as I can remember. Everything I’ve done has been working towards that goal. I would eventually like to write both poetry and fiction books and have them published for people to read. Seeing my book on the shelf at a bookstore is the ultimate dream. I would also love to continue working in the slam poetry community. It wasn’t something I was experienced with before this year, but I have loved being on the CUPSI team and performing my work. MSU has given me some wonderful knowledge and experience and I can’t wait to see what I can do with it post-graduation.

If you’re interested in doing so, please reflect a bit on the strange experience of being a graduating senior during the ongoing pandemic. What resources have been most useful to you in navigating this unprecedented situation?

Having most of time at college during a pandemic was definitely a strange experience. Having to balance making the most of my time here and keeping myself and my loved ones safe is an extremely difficult thing to manage. My family has been my best resource over the past few years. I also had the opportunity to work on my own project with the Create! Microgrant program to create a poetry chapbook in response to Covid 19. Having the space and time to explore my feelings regarding the pandemic and being able to grieve through writing poetry was an incredible experience for me. It really helped me process in a creative way. It was the first big project I’d done knowing people would read it which was a huge step for me as a writer. Even though there were any things I wasn’t able to do at college because of the pandemic, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I had and all the people that made those possible.