Oct 10th, 2017, 04:45 PM

Accents—Ellis Carter

By Joachim Fernandez
Image Credit: Joachim Fernandez
"Writing in itself is just talking to yourself, the audience is you."

Born in Austin and raised in the country side of Lubbock, Texas, surrounded by horses and cotton, Ellis Carter now eagerly finds himself in the cultural capital of Paris. In his second year at AUP, you may recognize him by his fiery red hair, but underneath lies a wealth of creativity, ready to come out with the stroke of a pen.

Image Credit: Wikimedia/Leaflet


"I remember we got this little sheet, and we needed to write an acrostic poem about space. When it came to the letter E, I wrote Encrusted Wonderful Stars, I still think that's a really good line.”

From a young age, Ellis found himself enthralled in the literary likes of Tolkien as well as the Japanese medium of Manga, but his aspirations for creative writing truly began at the age of 17. Having already begun the francophone transition with French classes, Ellis decided to enroll in an exchange program, where he would leave the comfort of his Texan surroundings to study an entire year abroad in the French department of Aveyron.

While at first, he struggled to immerse himself into the language and culture, as time progressed, along with his level of comprehension, Ellis began to find himself influenced by the likes of Baudelaire, particularly the renowned collection of poems Les Fleurs Du Mal. "I didn't really understand most of it, but the French students in my class would read the verses aloud, hearing exactly how it was structured to be this very lyrical style was very enticing," Ellis said, recalling the memory. 

“I used to sleep in the little crook between my wall and my bed before I got too big. I’d put down a big long pillow, in the crook, then I’d put down a whole library of Manga, then I’d put another pillow on top of it and just sleep on it. It was my two pillow Manga library.”

With the influences of French literature ingrained within him and his time in Aveyron coming to an end, Ellis began to focus on the creation of his own literary works. One of the first stories he ever created came into being at a time where he once visited a small town in the French department of Lot, neighboring Aveyron. “I wrote this story about a bridge there and its builder, the bridge was one of the most well preserved medieval bridges in France. In the story, the actual bridge is never made, the builder had sold his soul to the devil, and whenever that bridge was built he’d be taken to hell, so he left out one single brick from the bridge.”

A young fan of music enjoying Ellis on the guitar. Image Credit: Facebook/Eddie Buck

Now, as Ellis finds himself situated in Paris studying creative writing and comparative literature, his influences have only expanded to include the likes of William Burroughs and Walt Whitman, and his aspirations are now reaching for publication. Only last year, Ellis successfully published a piece of prose for the Paris Atlantic, a publication for aspiring writers in the AUP community. Past that, Ellis possesses a seemingly endless array of ideas for stories or poems. One such idea consists of a cult of immortals, abducting people through their various lives so as to force them to fulfill a wish that they themselves had chosen, in some past life, no lack of originality here.

Image Credit: Wikimedia/Samuel Hollyer

“Writing in itself is just talking to yourself, the audience is you”

Looking to the future, Ellis himself states it best “I want some minor publications, ideally I’d do creative writing on the side, even get a grant allowing me to work on my stories. As long as I can still appreciate things and meet people I’m happy doing anything. But, maybe I also would get a certain masochistic pleasure from being a Kafka type character, where you just work a government job and it’s fucking shitty, no one reads you’re writing and you just stew in a well of sadness. Who knows, that's a possibility.”

Only time will tell.


Accents is a new cross-platform series featuring interviews with AUP students, friends, and alumni.