5 Questions with Poet & Artist Sage Enderton
Sage Enderton began attending the Just Buffalo Writing Center (JBWC) in 2014, right when the center opened. As a matter of fact, Sage was one of the very first youth participants. She was in 8th grade and continued to attend JBWC workshops nearly every week until she graduated from City Honors. Whether writing made-to-order poems for donations at community events, welcoming new young writers into the JBWC, running writing activities, performing her work, or attending monthly meetings to plan events and programs, Sage became an active member of JBWC community working as Youth Ambassador, which contributed greatly to the center’s success. Still a senior in high school, Just Buffalo hired Sage as the first student teaching artist, empowering her to lead her own writing workshops.
Now, as a freshman in Buffalo State’s College Writing Program, Sage continues to teach and volunteer at the JBWC. With already an impressive publication record, Sage’s first chapbook of poetry, WHERE DO DEAD GIRLS WANDER?, was recently published by Bottlecap Press.
I started writing very early on in middle school when a creative writing class was introduced into our curriculum. Middle school is a weird point in adolescence – there’s a lot of new emotions to deal with and it’s difficult to find ways to cope. Poetry quickly became my way of processing my feelings, and it became something I genuinely enjoyed and had a passion for. From there, I never stopped writing.
Who are some of your influences as a writer? and/or What is a book or piece of writing you find yourself turning back to most often?
I enjoy a lot of Sylvia Plath’s writing, as well as some more contemporary poets like Ocean Vuong. Even though I don’t write prose or short stories very often, Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger is a novel I continuously return to; Wittlinger writes very compelling, honest stories that inspire me to improve my own work.
Tell us a little about your chapbook.
WHERE DO DEAD GIRLS WANDER? is a very personal compilation of my writing from the last year and a half. It’s an eclectic and candid mix of experiences, and contains ghosts, teeth, girls, healing, and hurting. The poems aren’t in chronological order, but they still provide a narrative of personal growth.
What is next for your writing/artistic endeavors?
It’s a bit ambitious, but I would like to experiment more with writing prose. My next project is to attempt – keyword, attempt – writing a novel, or at least a collection of short stories. I like challenging myself, so I’m hoping to complete it by the end of the year.
What is one of your favorite JB memories/experiences?
One of my favorite experiences with Just Buffalo was a songwriting workshop with Max Weiss a few years back. I was still fairly new to the writing center, and I was still very, very afraid to share my writing in front of others. It was a big leap for me – I wrote and performed an original song in front of everyone. It was one of the first times I had really put myself out there and shared my work, and it encouraged me to continue sharing and publicizing my work. I think it’s really contributed to where I am now in my career.