Sheyla Dorantes

Portrait of Sheyla Dorantes



Degree and Class Year

BA ’22


Portland, Oregon


English (creative writing concentration)


Ethnic Studies


Gente Latina Unida, IME Great Expectations Mentor

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Find Your Community

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I knew that Lewis & Clark would give me a lot of opportunities to explore new things and branch out. I really wanted to challenge myself going into college, and L&C offered just that, but with enough support and community that made me feel seen.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

Even though my classes are in different departments (English, sociology, ethnic studies, history), I’ve often had a lot of overlap in concepts or events being discussed. It reminds me that the world doesn’t separate itself into neat little categories. My senior capstone project was also a combination of different disciplines, where I got to combine many of my personal interests. I was able to immerse myself in these intersections and learned so much from them.

What’s your favorite creative writing class? Why?

Any poetry class with Professor Mary Szybist! I was really scared to take a poetry class, thinking that we’d be practicing antiquated forms of poetry and reading only classics, but that’s not at all what happened. We combined learning about classic writers with modern writers of all backgrounds. I even found many poets that speak to me, my identities, and my experiences that I’ve added to my own repertoire. Also, Mary has been so supportive and helpful to me all throughout my four years here!

What should incoming students know about the creative writing program at L&C?

For those who like structure, there is enough to keep you focused and to help you improve in spaces you might need help in. For those who enjoy the freedom to just write, there’s a lot of that too! The professors will work with you to help you on your creative journey, regardless of class structure or individual assignments.

The creative writing classes have been a great departure from other classes because I really get to express myself to the fullest.