Class of 1994
Andrew Reinhard is Publications Director for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in Princeton, New Jersey. Reinhard was previously the Director of eLearning for Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers where he created software, websites, and eBooks for students of Latin and Greek.
"Majoring in creative writing fed my right brain while the science of archaeology was actively engaging my left hemisphere. At the same time, the rigors and importance of rewriting and of workshopping gave me a lot of tough love, showing me how much work it takes to even approach "good". It also showed me that while writing is in of its nature solitary, the support of colleagues was always there as we jointly pursued the art of the story and the craft of the poem. I felt that my professors cared about my progress as a writer, and they were the best coaches I could have hoped for. Mike Carson introduced me to the hard work of making just one honest poem. Bill Baer showed me what it was to plan and write a screenplay and the effort that goes in to creating an economy of exposition and dialog. Not only that, but he was the first person to really show me any kind of poetry that follows the rules of form, and that it is a delight to make something that fits within the meter. Margaret McMullan helped me improve my short fiction and allowed me to explore more fantastical themes. It's interesting that the stories I write today are firmly rooted in reality and attempt some emotional resonance. My poetry focuses on the image (thanks to Carson). My long fiction strives to create memorable characters in the middle of conflict that changes them. These are all simple truths of writing well, but I would have had no idea about any of it had it not been for my time spent at UE. I write for myself. Maybe one day I'll try to publish. But for now it's for fun because I love it. UE is to thank for instilling in me the love of writing and trying to write well.
"As for things that changed me as a writer and as a creative thinker, editing Pendulum and On Time. put me in the role of editor-in-chief for the first time, where I was in the position to evaluate a lot of writing of varying quality. I learned the difference between serious writing and writing by hobbyists. I also learned how to manage a staff. Here I am, a publisher, doing exactly the same thing as a profession!
"I remain friends with many of my English Department colleagues, namely Mindy Snyder, Bill Notter, and Michael Cowgill. I still send them things for feedback. I also recall my interaction with visiting writers Phillip Lopate and Dave Smith. Lopate was right in his assessment of me as an individual and began my transition away from being an egomaniac. Dave Smith helped my poetry my locking in on my voice and making it consistently strong throughout my writing. Meeting Phillip Levine was a revelation. And hearing Rita Dove in person on campus made me write lyrical poetry for the first time. The fact that UE could being in such talent is a testament to the Department and its staff. I hope that hasn't changed.
"As for how to make things better, I would have greatly benefited from learning more about how to shop a novel, a story, a poem. Baer gave us some of the tools. I think we should have all sent out query letters and manuscripts as part of a 400-level seminar just to do it, to get the experience and to get help from people who have been published in major markets. Even though I'm in publishing, I wish I knew more about how to get an agent, how to find a publisher. Reading Writers' Market isn't enough. It takes luck and skill in getting out there, and I bet a lot of us are still treading water wondering what to do next.
"I think that's it for now. I miss my time at UE and know for a fact that I would not be what I am now without the skills and experience gained while in the department."