College:College of Arts and Humanities
Degree Program:Creative Writing MFA
A desire to preserve lived experiences and a passion for storytelling drives Kianna Greene to write. With time, she feels a compelling sense of urgency to keep memories alive through her work while exploring them in an artistic form.
“I view writing as a tool for constructing history, in which I can cement memory and experiences, either personal, familial, cultural – real or imagined,” Greene says. She often finds that people experience a wide range of emotions and situations without taking the time to explore how they have been affected. “Writing is my way of pausing, uncovering what is hidden in the body, translating the inexpressible.”
Greene graduated summa cum laude and a Top Honor Graduate from UCF in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Creative Writing Track. Additionally, she minored in Spanish and Sociology and received her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate before pursuing a graduate degree at UCF. Greene chose to remain at UCF for the meaningful community built up during her undergraduate studies. “While there may be other programs and universities, I view the community as indispensable, and I am so thankful that I was able to continue to my specific program of study at the graduate level at UCF,” she says.
Currently, Greene is a candidate in the Creative Writing MFA program working on her first collection of poems inspired by loneliness as an instinct or first language, discussing a certain depth of loneliness we all experience not alleviated by presence. In her work, she also aims to explore womanhood in the realm of daughterhood, the concept of inheritance, and the effects of trauma and grief on family history and memory.
Greene draws inspiration from many different facets of life, but her faith makes her work stand out the most. “Many people are surprised to learn that I am a Christian poet as often the divine and the creative are seen as opposites, but both the acknowledgment and worship of God as Creator has inspired some of the greatest literary and creative works,” she says. “In the last five years, as both my faith and knowledge of the craft grew, I find my work influenced by concepts of Christianity, such as redemption and forgiveness, so I also view writing as a vehicle for reconciliation, whether I am reconciling myself or characters to experiences or other people. As much as writing allows me to cement histories, it also allows me to birth new ones.”
For her literary strides at UCF, Greene was awarded the Teen Greenberg Memorial Fellowship from the English Department and the Award for Excellence as a Graduate Teaching Assistant from the College of Arts and Humanities. She credits her program cohort and faculty with making her success possible, specifically professors Rochelle Hurt, Jamie Poissant, and Laurie Uttich. “They helped and encouraged me as I grew into myself as a writer, and it’s because of them that I even decided to pursue the MFA,” says Greene. She is also grateful to professors Judith Roney and Terry Thaxton for their support and wisdom.
Greene says UCF is preparing her for the future she always dreamed of and the valuable experience she has gained. “What I do now at UCF is already a taste of my dream career – writing, being involved in the literary community, being involved in the classroom as a GTA.”
When she graduates in Spring 2024, Greene plans to pursue a career in higher education teaching creative writing or English as a Second language. She also aims to finally tackle her reading list and focus on intensive language learning, as she is currently learning her third and fourth languages.
- Creative Writing, Poetry MFA candidate
- Teen Greenberg Memorial Fellowship recipient
- Award for Excellence as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, CAH
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