Liz Blood, Writer and Editor, Tulsa Artist Fellow
Name: Liz Blood
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Graduation year: 2008
Major: English, Creative Writing Honors Track
What other degrees have you received? Master of Fine Arts in Writing
What is your current career position?
Writer and editor, Fellow at Tulsa Artist Fellowship
Please describe your current work.
I write creative nonfiction and long-form/narrative journalism and am working on a collection of essays and (tentatively) a podcast. I also edit a poetry and visual art column in a magazine dedicated to the arts in Oklahoma, curate and host a reading series with local and regional authors and have recently opened an art gallery — inside a bathroom in my home! Occasionally I teach.
What are your future goals?
To keep writing! And to publish a book.
In terms of your professional life, what would you say is your overarching purpose today?
To make reading and writing accessible to others and to engender a love of reading and writing in others.
Did your liberal arts education allow you to uncover particular passions that you’ve carried into your career?
I felt very lucky to stumble into an English major and, later, to be encouraged to pursue a track in creative writing. Out of high school, I was stuck on the idea of majoring in international business “so I could travel.” Those classes didn’t make my heart sing the way my arts and humanities classes did, which I found through the liberal arts structure.
Were any relationships you formed at Westminster particularly influential in helping you find clarity of purpose?
Dr. David Collins encouraged me to pursue an honors track in creative writing, which I never would have done without some prompting. As part of that process, he and I met weekly in my final semester to discuss my creative work. That kind of attention given to my work changed the way I saw it and myself. I’ve looked back, like everyone probably does, on the career choices I’ve made, but I never look back for very long. My writing career 100 percent began at Westminster, and I’m so glad.
What does being a “leader” mean to you?
Being a leader means triple-checking your ego, understanding that intention is different than outcome, listening to and hearing others and cultivating a spirit of helpfulness, kindness and love in yourself and others. I also think it’s a dynamic word — it has a lot of different meanings. When I was at Westminster, we used to joke a bit about the buzzword “leadership” because we heard it so often. But I’m glad it was and is the focus there. Understanding leadership has made all the difference in how I treat people, how I expect to be treated and who I vote for and listen to.
What does success mean to you?
Loving what you’re doing and doing it on your own terms.
What is it about Westminster that makes it the kind of community that empowers students to discover their purpose and find success?
When I was there, it was the professors who took genuine interest in their students, made themselves available for conversation, asked questions and offered guidance and encouragement.
Do you recommend Westminster to prospective college students?
Yes. For all the reasons above!
Favorite Westminster faculty member?
Dr. Theresa Adams (I especially liked Crime and Detective Fiction!), Dr. David Collins and Wayne Zade. Saints!
Favorite spot on campus?
The Mac Lab
Last book you read?
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, trans. by Brian Hooker
Favorite TV show?
Too many to name! Currently, The Sopranos and Schitt’s Creek.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Sleeping in, reading, walking the dog, gardening, thrifting or antiquing, spending time with my husband, Will, and cooking — sometimes all in one Sunday!