Commencement 2023: new grads tell their stories

Bob Handelman

Bob Handelman

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Aaron Magloire
Queens, NY
Timothy Dwight College
BA in English and African American Studies

For the English major, were you also in the Creative Writing Concentration?
Yeah, I did my project in poetry in the fall with Emily Skillings, who's definitely up there in terms of important mentors at Yale. I met her my freshman fall, taking English 123. And then she was Claudia Rankine's assistant for Advanced Poetry the following semester, so I had her all throughout my first year. It felt very rewarding and full circle to get to work with her in my senior year more intimately on my thesis.

Was there a guiding theme to the poems you wrote for your thesis?
It was called Bird Poems. So probably not much mystery there—although a favorite quote of mine from my adviser is: “They don't all have to include a bird. It's fine if some of them just have the essence of a bird.” And all these months later, I'm still not entirely sure what that means. But I agree with her nonetheless.

What sort of stuff did you do outside of class throughout your four years?
A lot of theater.

What were some highlights of your acting at Yale?
Far and away the best experience was December 2021. Mikaela Boone—she graduated last year—directed a play called Grimly Handsome, by Julia Jarcho, which is this really weird, dark, three-part play that centers in part around murderous Christmas tree salesmen in New York City. It's got a lot going on. And then I put up a show that I wrote in December, and Mikaela is actually going to direct it again this coming September for the Philly Fringe Festival.

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