“Shiny People”

Today we’re featuring one of our esteemed poets, EunJin (Grace) Kwak! EunJin is a junior at Houghton studying Math and Adolescence Education, and she’s originally from Cameroon. Lately, she’s been reading a lot of Neil Hilborn, and she really likes his two poetry collections: The Future and Our Numbered Days.

EunJin says that a lot of her inspiration comes from bursts of inspiration that can come even at the most random moments. She says she might reflect on an interaction she had with a friend, and something that really stood out from that interaction. Poetry, for EunJin, is a way to process her emotions. She says “It’s almost like my emotions create the melody for the song, and I write down the lyrics that fit the tune…”

We asked EunJin to talk a little bit about the poems of hers which were featured in our latest Lanthorn edition. This is what she had to say:

The ‘glitter’ poem is an example of a poem inspired by a conversation that I had with a friend. We were talking about the difference between truly ‘shiny’ people and people who give off the illusion of being shiny because they are covered in glitter. It was a fun conversation, and it produced a fun poem.  It’s also funny, because I actually do have allergies, and I usually try to avoid anything that has dust-like particles (pollen, Harmattan dust, glitter, etc.). So I guess you could consider this poem as a letter to every fake person that I met in life… hahaThe other poem is more of a reflection. I really like the simplicity of it, because it doesn’t hide anything. Instead, the poem illustrates my emotions exactly as they are. Because of the honesty that this poem drew out of me, the poem became a way for me to free myself from one person’s fantasies and to live in my own skin. Even more than that, it’s become a reminder for me, and for everyone else, that I don’t have to fulfill anyone else’s fantasies. 

Be sure to check out EunJin’s work in our February 2019 edition of the Lanthorn, and be on the look out for more from her in the future!


By: EunJin Kwak

you were so in love
with the girl of your fantasies
that you forgot
to fall in love
with me.



By: EunJin Kwak
You live in a world of glitter.
But too much glitter turns to dust,
And, darling, I have allergies.

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