Meet our New Intern: Carolyne Sparks

By Kelsey Bryan Zwick

Carolyne Sparks grew up in LA (Monterey Park) and is studying at Whittier College (aka the college of the Poets!). She is double majoring in English and Psychology with a minor in History. An avid reader of fantasy and fiction. Carolyne loves to travel, having spent a semester living and studying in Paris. She spent her time there learning about cultures surrounding death, which she describes as, “something universally we can agree on…something universally we can share in, whether it be celebrations talking about it, or how we remember our dead.” Lessons she brought back with her to the US just as the pandemic began.

Clearly a maker and a doer, reader, writer and learner Carolyne feels this new internship with the Los Angeles Poet Society is a perfect fit. She is the author of a haunted chapbook of horror poems inspired by a challenge given to her by a professor of her’s. Chapbooks that she has left on buses throughout the city for the reader to find!

Carolyne’s favorite poets are Percy Shelley and Walt Whitman. She loves how Percy “challenges the system and challenges old ways of thinking. Which is basically the job of the poet: to create new ideas and to challenge the old traditions and ways of thought of what we assume is supposed to be. So, I liked the way [Percy] was always trying to push the envelope.” Likewise with, “Walt Whitman, where he was in the same way trying to push against old ideas, especially during his time, the racist ideas within America and slavery. But he put more meaning behind it where he truly believed his poems were going to change the hearts of Americans and prevent a war from happening.” In both these authors Carolyne finds they, “really tried to push that envelope, said challenge accepted, I will step up to the plate, that there are new and other better ways to go about things.”