Southeast Alumna Writes Her Way into ‘Best New Poets of 2015’

Clare Paniccia

Clare Paniccia

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 22, 2016 – Southeast Missouri State University alumna Clare Paniccia of Stillwater, Oklahoma, is helping students realize their writing potential while demonstrating her success firsthand.

Clare is a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University, where she also teaches undergraduate English courses.

“As a doctoral student, I am expected to teach one to two courses a semester while producing research and creative work,” she said. “Not only am I responsible for providing my students with a valuable experience, but I am also responsible for managing my own coursework and projects.”

She not only gives them a valuable experience, she also leads by example. In 2015, Clare was named one of 2015’s “Best New Poets,” where she will be published in its upcoming annual edition. Her poem, “I Wish I Could Stay,” was nominated by the Southeast Missouri State University Professional Writing Program.

At Southeast, Clare earned a Master of Arts in professional writing. While here, she worked as a graduate assistant in the Department of English.

“Thanks to the English Department’s wonderful options for graduate assistants, I was able to hone my skills as an instructor of English—an opportunity that I’m excited to keep pursuing in further graduate work,” she said.

Formerly of Albany, New York, Clare says she chose Southeast for its size and the personal attention it offers, but she quickly learned it offered even more.

“Being in a small department with professors who took the time to know your name and your interests, allowed me to flourish as a student and feel well supported in my interests,” she says. “My time at Southeast has helped immensely with my current graduate work—most specifically through its graduate teaching program, which allowed me to spend time in the classroom actively teaching my own sections of freshmen-level courses.”

Her favorite memory at Southeast was when she was recognized for her writing abilities.

“One of my biggest moments at Southeast was the summer I was awarded the Nilsen Scholarship—a scholarship designed by Wedel Nilsen to support graduate students who study professional writing,” she said.

Clare’s passion for writing and literature also occupy her free time.

“As any English student should, I love reading. I focus mostly on poetry books, but I do also read fiction and nonfiction (even graphic novels!),” she says, “I do also spend a lot of time writing and, of course, watching Netflix.”

To Southeast students she offers this advice:

“Southeast can open the doors to many professional, academic and community-based activities—all of which can provide a well-rounded experience of the University and benefit your future goals. My advice to you is to take advantage of as many of these activities as you can,” she says.