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Ally Blovits

Title: When Does the Waiting End? (A Poetry Chapbook)

Ally Blovits is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in English with a creative writing concentration and a theatre minor. Ally has loved writing for as long as she can remember and has been writing poetry on a regular basis since high school. Her work mainly focuses on mental health, our connections with others, and how we grow into ourselves.


When Does the Waiting End? is a 19-page poetry chapbook. It explores the repercussions of Covid-19 has had on mental health in terms of depression and anxiety, and how relationships with the people around us have changed during this time. It is mainly written in free verse but also has “found” poems made from emails received and articles written during the pandemic. 

 

Content warnings: contains depictions of mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety.

 

Receiving the Create! Microgrant gave me the confidence and motivation to work on one project from beginning to end. It allowed me to develop my thoughts on one subject throughout a collection of poetry which isn’t something I’ve been able to do before. To be able to document my experience with the pandemic in this way was incredible. Before this project, I was hesitant to write about the pandemic. This project gave me a reason to explore all of the difficult topics I’d been avoiding. Winning this grant allowed me to set aside the time to solely work on my poetry and made it so I could buy poetry books to expand my knowledge about the craft. As a result, my poetry skills have improved quite a bit and I’m very grateful. 

Creating through Covid was a more emotional process than I expected. The pandemic was (and still is) an extremely difficult time for everybody. To make this chapbook I had to dive deeply into the effects it has had on my mental health. It is much easier to ignore your feelings than it is to write a poetry collection about them, and I definitely learned that in the past few months. Every time I thought I had run out of things to write about, I found some new way the pandemic has affected me. As exhausting as it was, it’s also been extremely rewarding. Having people connect to what I wrote is a wonderful feeling. I learned so much through this project. It was a difficult process, but a very gratifying one. 

I believe other CAL students would benefit greatly from such financial support in the future. Usually, students do not have the time or means to dedicate to making a project like this. I’m truly amazed by what my peers and I have created with this opportunity, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the compensation we were given for our work.