BR&S Spotlight: Meet Corinna Barrett Percy

Introducing Corinna Barrett Percy!Corinna Percy

Corinna was poetry editor for BR&S just last year (2015-2016). Corinna found it to be a great experience, as she learned more about how literary magazines are run and how to write and talk about poetry. She is currently a Ph.D student in English here at ISU and in the quagmire of reading/studying for her comprehensive exams, which she will take (and hopefully pass) in May. After the exams, she’ll start writing her dissertation, which focuses on soldiers of color in World War II literature and masculinity. She likes to dance, shop for vintage clothes, bug her husband about all the vintage cars he should be buying and restoring for her, and cook dinner (but not wash dishes!).

This month we had the opportunity to ask Corinna about her favorite places, books, and hobbies–as well as really important subjects, like the genius of Elvis Presley. Corinna also offers some great, practical advice for aspiring artists and literary magazine editors.

  1. What three traits define you? According to my husband: brilliant, colorful, faithful. According to me: goofy, sarcastic, loyal.
  1. What’s one thing you couldn’t live without? Chocolate
  1. What is your greatest fear? Heights, which is ironic because I’m 6’0” tall.
  1. Where is your favorite place to be? Either at home in my bed or out on a nature walk on a perfect sunny day. I’m contradictory that way.
  1. What is your favorite thing to do? Dance (any kind really, but ballroom more specifically).
  1. Where is the best place you have ever visited? Why? Probably Florence, Italy. Great architecture, beautiful art (hello David!), and amazing gelato.
  1. What would be your ideal career? Well, I guess a college English professor because that is the goal I’m aiming for at the moment. But if I wasn’t that, I’d totally be a Broadway musical star.
  1. What is your favorite book, movie, and band? Ugh, such hard questions. There are so many great books, but one that has sentimental value for me is Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green. I read it 7th grade and loved it; it made me bawl. It would probably still make me cry. And interestingly, I now study WWII literature. Connections all over the place. One of my favorite movies is Singin’ in the Rain, and one of my favorite bands is The Kin, but really I’m obsessed with Elvis Presley, who isn’t a band, but I just like to share my obsession any chance I get.
  1. What is something that might surprise us about you? I like to sing, and a lot of things people say remind me of songs, which I then proceed to sing. But this is probably not surprising after I revealed I want to be a Broadway musical star. Also, I speak Russian.
  1. What is your favorite quote? I like the quote, “Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid,” which is often attributed to John Wayne, but I can’t find any proof that he actually said it. It sounds kind of harsh, but I like to think of it as saying, be thoughtful and don’t make dumb decisions. On a more uplifting note, I like this quote from Gandhi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
  1. If you could have a dinner party with ANY three people (dead or alive), who would they be and why? Elvis Presley (obviously) because I’m obsessed with him. Winston Churchill because he seems like a fascinating lad and also because it would be interesting to talk to him about England during WWII. And my grandpa; he died when I was 17 and I didn’t have the chance to talk to him enough. Also, he was a POW during WWII, so I’d ask him to share stories, even though he probably wouldn’t want to talk about it. (I think there is a trend emerging…).
  1. If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pad Thai
  2. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Emma Stone – she’s cute and quirky. Also, she pulls off being a redhead.
  1. If you were an animal what would you be? A cheetah. I’d like to be able to run much faster than I can right now.
  2. If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring? This is probably cheating, but: a boat, my husband (he would know how to drive the boat, even though I would be able to figure it out, but really, who wants to waste precious time when you’re stranded on an island), and a cell phone if said boat did not work.
  1. If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Teleportation, or the ability to create portals to go anywhere I want. Or being able to read by osmosis.
  1. What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work? Dancing, painting, playing basketball, and watching movies.
  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully finished with my dissertation and working at a college or university.
  2. Do you have any favorite literary magazines/publications that you’d like to give a shout out to? Well, one that I read when I was the poetry editor of BR&S was Consequence. I thought it was good – it’s about war (surprise, surprise).
  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists and literary magazine editors? Be open to aesthetics that are different from your own, but also trust your own opinion.


For new spotlight posts, please visit our blog the second week of every month (but, of course, do come back more often than that!).

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