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  • Writer's pictureMadiha Asna

Featured Artist- Calista Ogburn

Hello art lovers! For this week's artist feature, we have Calista Ogburn. She is a poet who expressed her emotions and thoughts through the power of words. Let us move on to the interview to get to know more about her!

1. What is your name, age, and location? Any fun facts about yourself and your hobbies?

My name is Calista Ogburn. I am 20 years old and live in Maryland, USA. Calista Ogburn is a Korean and Vietnamese American college student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has studied at International high schools overseas which have given her a global perspective. She reaches her readers by sharing her feelings and experiences through poetry. She has published two books on Amazon and has been featured in HopeWorks, Turnaround, and much more. Please visit her website to read more about her and her books:

2. How did you first get into poetry?

I moved from Vietnam to South Korea my Sophomore year of high school. I started writing poetry to express the struggles I was going through at the time. Ever since, poetry has been my best friend and lets me write every single thought or experience I've had. Poetry can never leave me and it's supportive of me despite wherever I am and who I am. 

3. Who or what are your biggest inspirations that motivate you to create poetry?

My biggest inspirations come from what is happening around me. Whether it is my personal experiences, news headlines, etc. I write poetry as a way to express myself and my thoughts on certain events that happen in the world. 

4. How do you plan on using your poetry to spread awareness or make a difference in the world?

I hope to use poetry in expressing my voice about the oppression against Asians and Asian-Americans. 

5. What is your favorite piece of writing that you have created so far?

My favorite will be my recently published poetry book, "this is it." The poetry book brings to light the rising anti-Asian racism as the spread of COVID-19 has increased. It captures my experience of loneliness, heightened anxiety, and feeling lost during a global pandemic. "this is it" takes the reader by the hand through the most difficult times and finds hope for the future.

6. What are your current or future goals with your art?

I hope to publish more poetry books, but most importantly, support a space for Asians and Asian-Americans to feel that their voice is heard. 

7. If you had the opportunity to spend a day with your favorite artist, who would it be and why?

I would love to spend the day with the talented poet, Sarah Kay! She inspired me to start writing poetry in high school and still encourages me to keep writing! 

8. Do you have any advice or tips for people that are interested in art?

I believe in the beauty of confidence! For years, I was afraid to share my poetry outside of the circle of my family and friends but I learned the importance of being confident in my own work. Therefore, whatever you put your mind to - embrace it. Learning to not be ashamed of your goals or your cultural identity is so important. Not only does it increase your overall mindset but it creates a space in your head to be proud of what you've accomplished or who you are.

Here are a few examples of Calista's brilliant work:

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