Senior Spotlight: Nate Vaccaro

by Juliana Dellamarggio

Nate Vaccaro, a double major in writing & rhetoric and English and an Italian minor, learned firsthand the ways of working in the press. Vaccaro is currently the Managing Editor of Sales & Publicity for Barrow Street Press, an independent poetry press that operates out of the URI English Department and New York City. I sat down with them to discuss the work they have done and reflect on their time in the Harrington School.

Q: What internships have you had or are currently doing your senior year?

Nate – I used to be the Creative Writing Intern at Barrow Street Press, an independent poetry press that operates out of the URI English Department and New York City. We work to publish a journal of poetry alongside full collections of poems. For my senior year, I was promoted to Managing Editor of Sales & Publicity and have been working to design publicity material for our titles, engage in author outreach, and help coordinate all the little details that go into running a small press.

Q: What has your experience been like in your internship?

N – My internship experience has been amazing. I have been able to connect with poets, poetry programs, and poetry presses all across the country and the world.

Q: Why did you choose this internship? How did you discover it?

N – I found the Barrow Street internship while taking an advanced poetry class with one of the founding editors of the press, Professor Peter Covino.

Q: What has been your favorite memory from your internship?

N – For the past two springs, I was able to represent Barrow Street at the small press fair at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem. The first spring I went to the festival I made connections with several local poets and we were able to create an event on LGBTQ representation in poetry, which we presented at the following festival. It was so rewarding to be able to use my internship experience to gain professional connections in my field of study.  

Q: What are some important lessons you learned during your internship?

N – The most important lesson I learned during my internship was the value of networking in any capacity possible. While a lot of the work I do for sales and publicity at Barrow Street involves just me at a computer or in an office, I use my experience as a way to become familiar with people in the field of poetry who I might want to study under or work with professionally in the future.

Q: How has the Harrington School prepared you for this internship and your future career?

N – The Harrington School is an incredible resource for learning how to navigate the wide world of communication and media in written and multimodal forms. My classes in the Harrington School have taught me how to work within marketing strategies, how to represent myself rhetorically, and how produce effective content, among a million other valuable lessons. The Harrington School has prepared me academically to engage with the professional world of communication.

Q: What is the most important lesson you’ll take away from your time at the Harrington School?

N – The access to the technology and resources that the URI Harrington School provides are truly invaluable and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn programs such as Adobe inDesign and work in a professional recording studio, which are experiences that will help me in my future endeavors.

Q: What advice do you have for incoming freshman in the Harrington School?

N – The Harrington School is full of resources, so make sure you utilize them to the fullest. The Harrington School also offers a diverse set of majors around the theme of communication and media, and making connections with students within all of those majors is so valuable. As a Writing and Rhetoric student, the connections I made with Film students helped me make my visual rhetoric projects so much more polished and gave me access to advice and resources that I never would have found elsewhere.

Q: Any plans for after graduation?

N – I am hoping to catch up on some sleep! I am going to be starting the search for graduate programs this summer. I am hoping to get an MFA in poetry and then a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition in order to teach writing at a college level.