Millersville University alumna Angela Prendergast recently published her book of poetry, Overthought Thoughts of a 21-Year-Old.
- What year did you graduate from Millersville? What was your major? Were you involved in any clubs?
I graduated from Millersville University in May 2017. My major was English Secondary Education. I was involved in many clubs during my time at Millersville. Those clubs included: The University Activities Board, Millersville Women’s Choir (Public Relations Officer), Intermural Sports and National Society of Leadership/Success.
- What have you been doing since graduation?
Since graduating in May, I have had two teaching experiences. I was lucky enough to be hired right after graduation as a long-term substitute at Souderton Area High School. In January, I recently started a new job at Wissahickon High School where I am teaching ninth grade English until the end of the year.
My most proud accomplishment since graduation was publishing my poetry collection “Overthought Thoughts of a 21-Year-Old.” After working on writing and formatting my book the past year, I finally published it in August, 2017. The past seven months have been focused around promoting my book. Millersville has been incredibly supportive of my new book. My English professors, especially Dr. Corkery and Dr. Archibald, have been extremely kind and helpful in allowing me to speak to a creative writing class at Millersville about how English majors can get their work published.
- How long have you been writing poetry? Is there a specific medium you like to write in?
I have been writing poetry for about two years. I was inspired by Rupi Kaur and her prose poetry collection Milk and Honey. I like to write my poems in prose. I think the natural and organic flow of my poems is what makes them relatable. I have never been a fan of structure when it comes to poetry. For me, my poems have always been about being natural and flowing as a stream of consciousness.
- One thing I noticed in Overthought Thoughts was your use of font. Can you speak more to this?
Great question! I chose to have my poems written in different font types because it makes each poem unique. To me, each poem has their own personality. I wanted the font to portray the poems as individuals and convey the emotions I was feeling during the time of writing.
- When was the moment you knew you wanted to put together a collection of poems? Or have you always wanted to?
The moment I knew was during my senior year at Millersville. I was not in the best place in my life. I was sad, depressed and nervous for my future. I was writing poems in my journal and, as I reflected on them, I realized a lot of my friends were feeling the same way. I knew I had to publish my thoughts because it could help others. I knew so many people feeling the same way and it felt selfish to keep these thoughts to myself when people I loved could benefit from knowing that they are not alone.
- What were the logistics of becoming published? How did you know self-publishing was the right path for your collection?
My senior year, I was doing lots of research and was in contact with publishing companies from all around the country. The reoccurring theme that I noticed was that by signing to a publishing company, I would be giving away my control and rights to my writing. It didn’t feel authentic to do this. My poems are my most personal thoughts and I wanted to have complete control of them. I did not want to sign them away to anyone else. Also, the companies I was talking to were asking lots of money from me. Therefore, self-publishing seemed like the best way to keep control of my poems. I am so happy that I chose to use Createspace to publish my poems. They work directly with Amazon to distribute to individuals and to bigger companies.
- What are the differences between self-publishing and working with a publisher?
The major difference is the control of your writing. Working with a publisher means you will not have as much control over your poems. Self-publishing allows me to have control over what my cover looks like and how I format my book. The only downfall to self-publishing is that I have to market my book independently. I do not have a company that will promote my book for me. This makes getting my book out there to others more difficult. I have to put in a lot more effort to just be heard of. However, I truly believe that this was the right choice for my first book.
- What are your plans for the future? More writing?
I definitely plan to write more in the future! I am already working on more poems for my next book. I plan to have multiple poetry collections. The next book will be called “Overthought Thoughts of a 23-Year-Old.” Keep an eye out!
Angela’s collection can be found on Amazon.