Bertha Crombet

Bertha Crombet

"Learning is more exciting than settling."

College: Arts and Science
Degree Program: English - Creative Writing
Degree: Doctorate

Award: McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (2020)


Why FSU?

Lots of factors. Mainly, FSU has an amazing creative writing program, and I'll be close to home. As a poet, I can also appreciate the sonic quality of the word "Tallahassee."

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

At the age of six, I began writing my first journal to practice my English; doing so ignited a lifelong love of words. I think I knew, even then, that I wanted to teach English and inspire others through the power of language. Since teaching at a university is the ultimate goal, I decided to pursue my PhD in creative writing in order to secure my role in the competitive realm of academia. Teaching poetry at the graduate level is what I hope to do after completing my PhD program.

Importance and impact of research

My work is poetry, so the research involves mostly self-inventory. I think it's important because when we write poetry, we try to communicate something we find in ourselves in order to connect to others. As a humanist, I find this task to be essential to the preservation of our spirit.

Advice for prospective graduate students

If you are not sure whether graduate school is for you but you’ve given it some thought, take the plunge and apply. Being accepted to your program of choice might be validation enough of your myriad talents and may just confirm that pursuing higher education, in the grand pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, is exactly the right move for you.

Accomplishments during graduate career

I received my MFA in poetry from Florida International University. I've been published in Jai-Alai Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. I also received the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2018, and my chapbook, “Paleotempestology," was the Winter Soup Bowl Selection Winner for C&R Press. My essay “Asterisk: An Autobiography” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018. Most recently, I was selected as the winner of the IX Knightville Poetry Contest by The New Guard.

Career aspirations

I want to teach creative writing at the university level, or maybe write or edit for a literary magazine.