VIDA Reads with Writers — Sabina Vanessa Paneva!

What are you reading on the subway or in the waiting room today?

I am currently in the midst of reading Navajos Wear Nikes by Jim Kristoffic. This story provides a detailed account of a boy’s experience moving from the North to a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. This book was highly recommended to me by a colleague that I am working with at Amherst College over the summer. I’ve only started it yesterday, and am already half way through the book. It’s a great read that offers important perspectives and accounts about what Reservation life is like today.


What book popped for you in 2015?

2015 was a year of poetry for me. Ada Limón’s, poetry book entitled Bright Dead Things was a refreshing read. Limón has such an honest-way of writing that I admire. If you’re looking for a raw poetry book to delve into I recommend this one. In particular I would highlight her poem The Last Move, which I found to be particularly moving (no pun-intended).


Whose words do you return to regularly?

My favorite genres of literature are Science Fiction and 20th Century American History novels. I always enjoy re-reading George Orwell’s 1984 as it was the first book that introduced me to the sub-genre of Dystopia in Science Fiction. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston will probably always bring me to tears and inspire me to write pieces that carry weight and meaning. I also adore poetry by Mary Oliver. A Thousand Mornings is quite possibly one of the most beautiful chapbooks I have read. Oliver tends to write about nature and she has the skill to capture even the most subtle feelings and emotions.


Is there an author you can’t wait to read next?

I am looking forward to reading more from Octavia Butler. I think she does a fabulous job of weaving together historical fiction and Science Fiction. This year I had the pleasure of reading Kindred, and am planning on getting around to picking up Bloodchild and Other Stories.


What are you working on now? What can VIDA fans look forward to from you next?

I am currently working on compiling a chapbook of poems entitled A Hope that Escalates. This chapbook was inspired by the refugee crisis in the Middle East. I will be working on finishing it and finding it a home within this next year.


 SabinaSABINA VANESSA PANEVA is originally from Novi Sad, Serbia but grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. She is pursuing a degree in History and English from Hampshire College. Currently, Sabina interns with Reader to Reader at Amherst College. Her poetry focuses on small towns, personal growth, and the concept of hope in historical contexts.