Q&A With Sierra Kish, Student Author

Senior journalism major Sierra Kish published “A Bird’s Nest” in 2020. Photo by Abigail Cloutier

By Abigail Cloutier 

I sat down with Sierra Kish, a senior journalism major, to talk about her poetry anthology, “A Bird’s Nest,” published July 2020. 

What inspired the poems?

The collection is poetry that I’ve written over years and years, dating back to eighth grade. It’s in four sections. The first one is a base of what I’m writing. The second one is the sadder ones, but they’re not really sad, but they’re me breaking myself and everything. The third one was me finding myself again, and the fourth one was [me] realizing I’m so happy. What inspired me actually wanting to publish it is, I wanted to be able to share it with people. I wanted to be able to put it in my resume. I just wanted to get it out in the world.

What was the process of publishing your book?

I put it all together in December 2019. But I didn’t get it actually published and out there to the world until 2020. Just because of [the pandemic]. So it took a little while. So I first had to pitch it and just send a manuscript.  I decided on the title, and the chapters. I also came up with the cover design, basically and everything. But I actually went through a publishing company called Author’s House, and they put it into an actual book and sold it to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

How does it feel to be a published author?

It’s unbelievable. It’s always [been] one of the things I’ve wanted to do. My friend just messaged me a week ago, actually, and sent me a picture of, like, my memories from Facebook from 2009. It was one of those challenges where you posted 50 questions and your answers. One of the questions was “What’s one of the things you want to do in your life?” and I answered that I wanted to become a poet. So my friend texted me the screenshot of this post and said “You did it!” And that’s when it hit me, like, “Yeah, I did do that.”

How did your family and the Youngstown community react?

My friends, family — they love it, they all told me their favorite [poems]. I have sold 80 books so far since I published it, which I think is pretty good for not being a famous author or anything. I hope to keep it going — everybody’s reaction has been pretty good. It seems like [everyone] collectively has the same favorites. So that helps me see what I can do for maybe the next book.

What are your future plans?

I have written since I published this book. So I do want to see how this book goes first, and then decide if I’m going to do another one or not. I think my next one will be about love. I’m in a very happy relationship, so all the poetry I’ve been writing recently is love poems. I wrote some poems about the pandemic, and about being stuck alone and everything. But I think that’s what my next one would be about. I’m also trying to work on a children’s book, that’s in the works, too.

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