Lindenwood Magazine - Spring 2018: Connecting to Alumni and Friends

THE POET OF CUPERTINO MCCORMICK NAMED POET LAUREATE FOR TECH HAVEN by CHRIS DUGGAN 5 CAMPUS NEWS ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT FACULTY SPOTLIGHT LINDENWOOD SPORTS ALUMNI EVENTS AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS ALUMNI NEWS & NOTES LINDENWOOD Spring 2018 Kaecey McCormick (’16) has been a writer as long as she can remember. “As a kid, I journaled, made up stories,” she said. “I never had the courage to call myself a writer, though. My fiction and poetry I kept to myself.” The Lindenwood MFA in writing grad was installed in January as the poet laureate of Cupertino, Calif. It’s fair to say she’s comfortable wearing the mantle of writer now. “I had a moment when I decided that what I wanted to do was write,” said McCormick. “I looked at a lot of MFA programs. I have four children and was working part-time. I wanted flexibility and had a sense it would be a really great place. What kept me in the program was the community of students and instructors.” She entered Lindenwood’s program as an online student in 2014 and started publishing short works not long after. She currently works as a freelance writer and also teaches writing as an adjunct for Foothill College. In addition to multiple publications in literary magazines, she has written a book of poems titled Sugar & Spice: Growing up Girl. The process of applying for and being selected as poet laureate began with her predecessor, Ann Muto, who met McCormick at some poetry workshops she was conducting and encouraged her to apply for the position. To apply, she submitted writing samples, beginning last summer, and letters of recommendation, including one from Beth Mead, who chairs the Lindenwood MFA in Writing program. With its recent ranking by as the second best writing MFA program in the country, behind only Harvard, McCormick’s appointment is another feather in the program’s cap. An interview process followed with a selection panel, including readings of her poetry; the panel ultimately selected McCormick as its finalist. The final step was an interview with the Cupertino City Council, which voted in September to appoint her to the volunteer post. She began her two-year term Jan. 1 and is the fifth person to hold the position, which began in 2011. Her main charge is to celebrate and promote creativity in the community. Toward this end, she conducts community poetry nights, runs booths with activities at festivals and events, offers a series of poetry workshops, and works with kids on their writing and reading of poetry. In April, poetry month, she will be a judge for Cupertino’s poetry competition. McCormick points out that Cupertino, the home of tech giant Apple, is a very STEM-oriented community. She believes her job is to inject the arts to help make it a STEAM community. “Adding creativity and the arts in a tech world only helps,” McCormick said. “I’m passionate about the transformative power of poetry. Giving back to the community, doing something I love—it’s a good fit.” Kaecey McCormick This recognition is well deserved, and we’re very proud of the work Kaecey is doing through creative writing in her community.” Beth Mead, chair of MFA in Writing program “ Lindenwood University ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT