Student spotlight: Carrie Padian & poetry

by Carrie Padian

The world is awash in love poetry, aching, longing, rapturous verses about how wonderful being in love is once you’ve finally found it. One thing you don’t hear a lot about, poemwise, is everything leading up to that magical moment: the mild failures, the swings and misses, that thing you thought was a thing but isn’t really a thing. At its core, the search for love is a painful and troublesome cycle of hope and disappointment and yet almost all of us are willing to put ourselves through this emotional wringer if the love we seek might be on the other side. The heart quietly breaks and comes rushing back for more. What could possibly be more tragic and poetic than that? So this collection is about the challenge of finding love and those of us who undergo it every day, just hoping for something better.

Excerpts from 15 things that are not love: a poetry collection


I love all the cute ways
you show me you love me
like waiting five days
to return my calls
avoiding eye contact, and
that funny time you forgot my name

we’ll be laughing about that one for a while


I should have known
When you walked in with that movie star face
That you’d never understand me
Nor I you
But what use is understanding
When dark eyes carve a longing trench
Deep and wide through the heart of me
I want to fill it with your stories
Hide myself away
Observe your careful hands in flight
As they reach through my closed lips
And pull out everything I never wanted to say


I always want to love in poetry
because it’s measured
and careful
and controlled
and safe.
Which I guess
may be why
I’ve never
in love.

Carrie Padian is in love with Portland and the written word.  She spends her days conquering the IT world, volunteering with Write Around Portland and exploring new ways of bending language to her will in the creative writing program at Marylhurst University. Her work can be found in Voicecatcher, Straight Forward Poetry, and Code Poems as well as on her website,
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If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Carrie’s poetry collection, you’re invited to email her at $10