Project Bookshelf: Bailey Martin

I am not always capable of admitting when I have a problem.

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When I was first instructed to write a piece about my bookshelf, I thought, “No problem. 

My bookshelf is two drawers, and those two drawers are among the most organized baileybookshelf2spaces in my room.” Feeling confident, I took my phone, camera app open, into my bedroom.

 

These two drawers, I am proud of. They’re holding an impressive amount of books, the space aggressively utilized to its maximum potential. There’s nothing to write home about with regard to my tastes, which vary wildly from graphic novel to biography to baileybookshelf3the complete box set of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nonetheless, these drawers are respectable.

 

Then, I remembered my bedside table. It’s stocked with some short fiction and what I call “emergency poetry” for putting me to sleep or waking me up. Fine.

 

 

 

 

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Oh, right, there’s also the stack of New Books, purchased anytime over the past six months which I simply cannot fit in my drawers and which have yet to be elevated to bedside status.

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It’d also be irresponsible for me to forget the haphazard mess under my desk, which is where I store art and photography books, my Joan Didion collection, some errant novels and nonfiction, and some more emergency poetry.

 

 

 

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It was upon noticing the stack of books on the floor next to the stack of books under my desk that I thought, “Okay, this might not look so good after all.”

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I left my room thinking I’d captured it all, only to find four more art books, five poetry collections, and a journal on my living room table. That, and the open sociolinguistics book on the couch, the Sartre and Glück in my backpack, and at least six tabs of short stories currently open on my laptop. 

All this being said, I am open to more recommendations.

 

 


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.

Meet Our New Intern: Bailey Martin

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.