Khadijah Queen put ink to paper more than 16 years ago as an undergraduate.
It took a year for her to like a poem she wrote. It took several more years for her to open up her style.
“The most important thing I've learned is that I have the freedom to write what I want,” said Queen, who serves as a faculty mentor for Regis University’s MFA program. “And that feels amazing.”
Queen is the author of several full-length poetry books and has drawn accolades for her work from multiple literary corners. Her verse play, “Non-Sequitur,” was the winner of the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers and was recently turned into a full production at New York City’s Theaterlab.
As a faculty mentor, she helps staff and faculty through experience and expertise. Students who also participate in the MFA program will get one-one-one interaction with the faculty mentors like Queen. She recently shared with regis.edu about her role.
How did you become a faculty mentor at Regis and what are your roles?
Mile High MFA Faculty Mentor David Lazar approached me. Right now I have two students I mentor in poetry. Perhaps as the program grows and I do more work in other genres, I'll delve into more playwriting and other prose.
What is the best part of being at Regis?
I really like the newness and the camaraderie of beginning something with both colleagues and students, helping to contribute from the ground level. The people at Regis, much like people in Denver generally, are also extremely kind and very talented and grounded. It's a wonderful group to be a part of.
What is your writing process?
It has changed over the years. For many years, I wrote every day. Now I tend to take notes on a regular basis and write in bursts when I can. Then I have someone I trust look at it, then go back and revise, multiple, countless times. My inspiration comes from my life, mostly, but also things in the news, stories I've heard or read, or in the process of addressing questions or researching ideas I can't let go of.
What hobbies do you enjoy away from the classroom?
I haven’t had much time for hobbies. But, I am catching up on television and movies that I missed during a decade of being a single working mother and student. I like genealogy shows. I recently finished all of “Who Do You Think You Are” and “Finding Your Roots,” and I'm on season 4 of Game of Thrones (just restarted after a post-Red Wedding hiatus). My son and I watch HGTV on the weekend. I also go see every movie The Rock is in, usually on opening weekend.
Find your own voice and learn from brilliant writers like Khadijah Queen by learning more about the MFA program.