Ciara Orness

Ciara Orness BA '22



Degree and Class Year

BA ’22


Thousand Oaks, California




Varsity swim, resident advisor

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

Passionate, Caring, Community

What made you want to come to L&C?

I chose L&C for location, academics, and the ability to continue swimming. Portland is beautiful, and the campus is certainly no exception. I also wanted to attend a college where faculty was eager to help its students succeed.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

The liberal arts allows students to be more than just whatever major or minor they have chosen. It means math majors transforming the creative writing program, and English majors taking Organic Chemistry. It means that each class is heightened based on the diversity of knowledge.

What’s your favorite creative writing class? Why?

This is a hard question. I have loved every creative writing class I have taken at L&C for many reasons. The first creative writing class I took was Introduction to Poetry with Associate Professor Jerry Harp. It was where I began to find my voice and where I began to gain confidence in my writing. I had not yet taken a class where the professor was as available as Jerry was and this created an incredible experience—both because my writing immensely improved, and because I got to form a connection with an amazing professor. This class is also where I began to witness and be a part of the creative writing community at Lewis & Clark. This only grew as I took more creative writing courses.

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

Take the creative writing classes and meet with your creative writing professors frequently. Attend the events and readings that the English department puts together—expand who you read, meet amazing and interesting writers. Even if you read and write fiction, meet the poets. Even if you read and write poetry, meet the fiction writers. But also, whether you take the fiction or nonfiction or poetry sequence, discover classes outside of the English department. Take astronomy or chemistry or a sociology and anthropology class. These classes will only expand your creative writing.