Fairfield University sophomore to be published in two professional writing journals


Kim Henderson doesn't remember a time when she didn't write.

Image: Kim Henderson"It's been an 'ever since I could hold a pencil' type of thing," said the 20-year-old Fairfield University sophomore from Manhasset, NY. "Now I carry my notebook with me always."

All the practice has paid off for the English major: This year, she's had nine pieces accepted by Abbeywood Anthology and the Texas Review, two journals that usually only accept work from seasoned, professional writers.

In December, her poems "Home," "Fallen Star" and "September," will appear in the second volume of Abbeywood, a new anthology of poetry, memoirs, short fiction and essays that will debut this summer. Four more poems - "The Seducer," "Tree," "The Other Side" and "Season" and her short story "While My Mother Was Gone" will be published in Abbeywood's third volume next summer.

The Texas Review, a respected 24-year-old literary magazine, will publish her chilling short poem "Rape" next spring.

After receiving a series of rejection letters - something even professional writers are accustomed to - Henderson said she was stunned to find her first acceptance letter in her campus mailbox. It informed her that Abbeywood had accepted not one, but all eight of her submissions.

"I just stood there. I almost screamed," Henderson said. "He accepted everything."

The news didn't come as a big surprise to Kim Bridgford, Ph.D., professor of English at Fairfield. Dr. Bridgford said she recognized Henderson's talent in a freshman Creative Mind seminar. Henderson was the English Department's Writer of the Month the second month of her first year on campus.

"She has a dazzling talent for imagery," said Bridgford, who recently published her own volume of poems, "Undone." "And she has an amazing drive. She ceaselessly revises her work. Even though she's a sophomore in college, she really writes like a professional writer."

Dr. Bridgford said she sees promise in Henderson's poems, such as "Home," a lament for a young girl's loss of her mother:

She can't watch her fall asleep,
her book open on her chest.
She can't inhale her scent
of apples and mouthwash
before she falls asleep.

An angel's wing
isn't as soft as a nightgown.
isn't as real as her coffee breath,
or the voice that would sing to her in the morning.

Henderson took a poetry writing class during her freshman year and has completed two semesters of independent study with Bridgford. Her portfolio is growing as she builds her skills.

"I got started so early because I met her," Henderson said of Bridgford. "She's been so great for me, a great mentor."

Henderson, who will study abroad in Florence, Italy next semester, hopes to pursue a master of fine arts degree and make a career of teaching and writing.

"I love to write poetry," she said. "It's pure expression."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 19, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 305