Even the most cursory of glances over my childhood behavior threatens a future in English. My affinity for reading and writing – and my utter weakness in math and science – were noted early on by my parents and teachers. I wrote my first stories about my Barbies. In the fourth grade, I attempted a novel, and soon after I began writing plays to perform with my friends at after-school. To say writing has been a lifelong love of mine would be an understatement – it’s more of a compulsion, a instinct, and an excuse to ignore the real world.
I first began writing poetry in a sixth grade English class. We were meant to bring in and read poems related to what we were studying and instead of doing that, I furiously scribbled my own minutes before my turn. The poems were bad, as they would be for years, and often are still today. Luckily, kind and wonderful teachers throughout my academic career have managed to find potential in me. These teachers, like my high school Creative Writing teacher and many talented professors at the University of Tennessee, have nurtured my love of writing, encouraged me to pursue it relentlessly, and challenged me to grow and improve.
I owe a real debt of gratitude to the writers in my life. Those I’ve been lucky enough to meet inspire me every day with their talent and tenacity. It’s for this reason, among others, that I’m so thrilled to join the Sundress team. I look forward to assisting, however I can, in the telling of stories.
Bailey Martin is a writer and English student at the University of Tennessee. She was awarded the 2019 Michael Dennis Poetry Award and Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys learning about linguistics, taking photos of cows, and thinking about the circus.