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Lila Libby
Dr. Aparna Sinha
ENG 401b
Portfolio Letter
A Letter from Lila Libby
My name is Lila Libby, and I am currently a sophomore student, entering my junior year,
at the University of Nevada, in Reno, Nevada. I am an English major, with a focus on literature,
particularly creative writing and poetry. Poetry in particular is fun to write for me, and I believe
it is one of my strengths. Creating powerful images through (often) short text is such an
interesting subject to me. I believe that poetry is something that should be taken as a whole;
dissecting poetry to find meaning that you want seems ill advised. In my poetry in particular, I
love to write about my interests in abstract ways. For example, I love food and drawing cartoons
(simple, I know.) These are things I love to incorporate into my poetry, but I am completely
willing to not write about them as well. I am currently enrolled in ENG 205 with Professor Joe
Calabrese. We are studying, reading, and writing poetry at this time. Last semester, I particularly
studied John Miltons epic poem Paradise Lost with Professor Steve Gherke. I found it to be
challenging but very interesting. It was difficult. I felt as though dissecting the poem in order to
understand it made it harder to connect with Milton. Last semester, I also had the opportunity to
visit a poetry reading by Bridget Lowe. I found her poems to be very engaging, one in particular
was subtly about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon show. Another was about her identity
as a woman influencing how people treated her, which I found very relatable as a feminist. I
received a copy of her poetry collection, At the Autopsy of Vaslav Najinsky, after attendance. I
have also read a good amount of medieval and Renaissance poetry during my time with
Professor James Mardock in his Transatlantic Survey class. Poetry is definitely one of my
favorite things to write. My weaknesses revolve around the subject of non-fiction. I have always

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struggled to create (what I believe to be) strong non-fiction works. Non-fiction is not very
exciting to me as a writer because I have been writing it throughout my school life in the form of
essays. I consider myself a dreamer instead of a thinker at times: gathering data and arranging it
in an engaging fashion is difficult for me. I took Dr. Aparna Sinhas ENG 401b (Advanced
Nonfiction) class just this past semester and found through it that I am still not very skilled at
nonfiction writing. Despite this, I definitely learned a lot about nonfiction in Dr. Sinhas class. I
found the class a great way to learn about the types of nonfiction that exist, and I feel it has
improved my ability to write essays. I am grateful I took it, even though I do not consider myself
an avid nonfiction writer. I think that I have a lot of space to grow in the future in my nonfiction
writing. I think that I will get better over time. Essay writing is a natural part of the college life,
so I will no doubt continue to write essays for many years. Hopefully by the time I graduate, I
will have become comfortable and happy in my nonfiction abilities.
In my portfolio, I have collected this letter, a response to Stephen Greenblatts Pulitzer
prize winning book, The Swerve, and the proposal and text of my article on Asexuality Erasure.
My response The Swerve is in the form of response to questions surrounding the books contents,
instead of a straightforward review. I wanted to give my perspective on some issues revolving
the book as a response. My text on Asexuality Erasure is a look at the unfortunate erasure of the
asexual orientation in and out of LGBT communities. It is an attempt to educate on what
asexuality is, as well as a call to action on how to prevent asexuality erasure from occurring.