Featured Author: Bria Wurst

Bria Wurst is the author of poem “caged dreamers” as published in the short story dispensers. Read “caged dreamers” here: https://unc.short-edition.com/story/1m/caged-dreamers

Photo of Bria sitting on a bench

AE: What inspired you to write “caged dreamers”?

BW: Watching others’ reactions to someone following a dream or pursuing a passion is what inspired me to write “caged dreamers”. I’ve seen firsthand people trying to achieve a personal goal while others tell them that they aren’t capable of doing it or that it’s not logical. I wanted to address the reasoning behind the degradation that others seem to react with when they see another person going after their dreams.

AE: “caged dreamers” reads like an urgent message, or a beautifully-put warning. What would you want your readers to take away from this poem?

BW: I want readers to receive the message that those who put you down or tell you that you “can’t” pursue a dream are most likely those who are the most jealous of you. Oftentimes, it seems that others are tearing you down for what you’re doing, when in reality they’re tearing you down because they wish they could do the same. At times people can be envious of someone else’s courage to fail when trying something for the first time or reaching for a new goal. To make themselves feel better, they’ll tell someone that the dream they are working towards is “unrealistic” or “shouldn’t be done”.  I feel as though we tend to assume that if someone puts us down, it’s because they disagree with what we’re doing. I believe that may not be the only motive. I think most times it’s more likely a projection that those degrading us wish to do the same, but feel that they’re incapable of doing so.

AE: How long have you been interested in poetry writing?

BW: I’ve loved poetry since 6th grade, when I was given an assignment in school to create a portfolio of poems. I first began writing poetry using lots of end rhymes and similes, and I remember often writing poems for family members. Over the years, my style has taken a turn into contemporary free verse poetry, which is what I currently write. I really enjoy writing free verse poems because there isn’t any forced structure or form. All boundaries and limits are completely removed, which then opens every window of opportunity to be extremely creative in your writing.

AE: What are your favorite books, movies, and authors? 

BW: My favorite book at the moment is Looking for Alaska by John Green. I was given an assignment to read it for a book club in 9th grade, and it’s been my favorite book ever since. I love it and have read it too many times to count. I really enjoy the detail that John Green goes into when describing the characters and the way they change drastically throughout the novel. Each character is so dynamic and he makes them seem so realistic, particularly the main characters Pudge and Alaska. John Green and Wendy Mass are two of my favorite authors. My favorite book of Wendy Mass’ is Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall. It is a series of poems about a 16-year-old girl named Tessa’s life as a “mall brat”. It’s so nostalgic and easy to relate to, as well as humorous at times. In addition, my favorite poet is Sarah Kay. The way she applies creative metaphors to her writing in the book No Matter the Wreckage while describing ordinary ideas is incredibly unique and entertaining.

AE: Do you have any advice for other young, upcoming writers?

BW: My biggest piece of advice for other upcoming writers would be to write down as many ideas that come to mind, no matter what they are. Even if it doesn’t make any sense, even if it’s just a new word or a phrase you heard someone say, write it down. I know that a lot of the poems I’m most proud of started off with scribbling a word or a phrase onto a sticky note. I could be in the middle of talking to someone, getting ready for bed, or doing homework, and something would spark an idea that I’d write down. Even if you don’t use that particular idea, it may serve as a connection to something else. I also think that it’s very important to put your writing out there. Whether it’s submitting to contests, reading at open mics, or posting on a blog, it allows you to gain confidence in yourself and your writing. It’s also extremely helpful to have others read your writing to get feedback. Readers often provide you with suggestions that you may have never thought of on your own. Lastly, I believe it’s so important to share your creativity with the world. It not only benefits you by sharing something you’re proud of, but it can also inspire others to then share their creative gifts as well. Who knows? Maybe your art will be the bright spot in someone’s day.