Faye-Alexandra Proctor At the age of 27, I decided to quit my job and start university with a newfound love for writing having used it as a means of escapism after a traumatic incident during the summer of 2017. I applied for an undergraduate degree in Creative & Professional Writing and English Literature at the University of Worcester and to my surprise I got accepted.
Having skipped college for employment, I went into the degree with basic GCSE knowledge I had acquired 11 years prior and the transferrable skills I had gained as a mature student, which meant I spent the entire first year catching up to everyone who seemed fresh or not long out of college. A lot of tears were shed, was I good enough for this? Was this a mistake? But with the encouragement from my family and tutors I persevered.
In second year, I started to rack up some A grades, and I received my first publication – my hard work was starting to pay off. Fast forward to now, the end of my degree, and I have received the news that I achieved a first-class degree.
Grades aside, these past three years have been the most formative years of my life. Up until moving to Worcester I had little to no motivation to do anything, I was stuck in a 9-5 job that I didn’t mind, but I knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing. I always joked that my life was outside of my hometown, and it turns out my foresight was correct. By diving into the unknown, I have not only racked up 18 publications – one of which being my debut poetry collection to be published by a press later this year, but I also became a Poetry Editor and met the love of my life to whom I have recently got engaged. Why is this relevant to my university degree, you ask? Because university is more than just grades, it’s about growth. No matter what age you enter, you will never come out the same person you went in.
I could never have achieved so much without the help of Dr Jack McGowan, Dr Charley Barnes, and Ruth Stacey who encouraged me to believe in myself and my work. University of Worcester, thank you for the well needed growth.
Death of the Writer
A stranger holds my baby in their arms,
weighing it on a scale that teeters towards rejection.
With ink I weep like a desperate mother who
yearns for acceptance to suckle at her fingertips.
I cradle her in my hands, months of nourishment
wilted in an instant in the shadows of another’s
subjectiveness, but darkness breeds resilience
as I create another full of hope.
For my last breath will be that of poetry.
As my lips part, my soul will transcend into
an elegy. Please do not forget to sign it
with the ink that kept my unborn alive.
- Published in Dissonance Magazine.
Links to all publications: https://fayealexandrarose.wordpress.com/my-publications/
Magazine Editor: https://www.smallleafpress.co.uk/about