These 30 rock
The 30 Columbians
(Video: Rosko recites one of her poems, What's Discovered Is Wiped Out)
Emily Rosko has no shortage of words to describe poetry. It is not, she insists, about expressivity or a political message. Poetry is a craft, an art with intention and meaning, a vehicle for being swept away by experience.
“So many people call it painting in words,” Rosko says, but she emphasizes combining a “sense of soundscape” in poetry.
Columbia has managed to be a breath of fresh air for this poet who’s been everywhere. Led by her corporate nomad father, Rosko and her family moved around the country when she was growing up. So much traveling led Rosko to look inward for meaning. She called journal writing and poetry a sanctuary during her high school years and realized her future belonged to poetry.
Rosko continued the wandering life as a student, attending Purdue University, earning an MFA at Cornell University and studying for two years at Stanford with a Wallace Stegner Writing Fellowship. She even spent a summer in Siberia teaching English to Russian students. She is now in her third year of a doctoral program in literature and creative writing at MU, where she interned for The Missouri Review and teaches creative writing.
Her first book of poetry, Raw Goods Inventory, won the 2005 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2007 Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers.
Rosko hopes for a career in academia and is currently writing a collection of poems that take lines from Shakespeare as their titles. She has also begun a new position as the managing editor at Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts, a publication run by MU creative writing graduate students.
Chad Parmenter, assistant director of MU’s Center for the Literary Arts, immediately points to Rosko as one of the premier literary figures in Columbia today.
Richard Sowienski, who worked with Rosko at The Missouri Review, says, “She’s going places.”