Commencement 2024 - Student Spotlight: Katerina Ellison-Batt

Katerina Ellison-Batt

Katerina Ellison-Batt wrote her first book in fifth grade, and got grounded for stealing Monopoly money to make the cover. Ever since then she has been writing, and recently finished her first informal poetry collection, Conversation Lullaby. Katerina hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan and received a degree in English from Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts. A transfer student from Michigan State University, she lived for several years in a co-op with 26 roommates, and credits the house with being instrumental to her writing. Katerina has worked in sexual violence prevention education, as a receptionist for Hillel, and interned with Sierra Club.

Katerina’s original poem Ode to You in New Orleans reflects on her experiences in New Orleans and at Tulane, and the friendships and memories built here.

Her future plans include staying in New Orleans, a city she’s grown to love, and pursuing a career in copywriting. Katerina would love to thank her mother for her support and the Tulane English Department, especially Professor Price, Professor Boudreaux, and Professor McFadden, for their endless wisdom and encouragement.

"Ode to You in New Orleans"
By: Katerina Ellison-Batt

you are beautiful in dappled light
oaks slow dancing
our runs through Audubon
I pick an eyelash off your cheek
our days are long and happy
and often, we remember the city we lived in
the streetcar lights bouncing off our faces, our grinning teeth
those long afternoons
in the grass outside Newcomb
those kind professors you wish
you could take again, those
technicolor explosions of spontaneous hugs
you smile and lean in
yes, this is a happy poem
I wouldn’t want to live in a flooding basement with anyone else
I tell my roommates
I wouldn’t want to
Stand or stare into the sun
With absolutely anyone
you are now all grown up, LinkedIn and thesis’s,
and you are my friend.
for a moment we stood silent
little cities in a row
and then
we began
to dance.
this is a happy poem.
anyway it’s as you said in your letter:
you are so much of me.