Kathryn Cambrea

Real Grief in Different Forms: The Dying, The Dead, Your Family's Home, and Those You've Never Known (A Creative Writing Portfolio)

Presented by: Kathryn Cambrea
Faculty Advisor: Monica Wendel, Associate Professor of Composition and Creative Writing

This project is a culmination of works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction with the theme of grief pertaining to the writer’s roots. This portfolio proves that writing of any kind draws inspiration from a writer’s own life and that grief does not solely pertain to people known who have died. It pertains to people you have never known, especially when there are objects that serve as constant reminders of their presence. The writer explores in her writing how she herself resembles someone she grieves: her grandmother, Yiayia, who passed before she was born. The writer grieves family abroad and here who are alive as well as family she has known who have died, like her grandfather, Papou. The writer even grieves the place of her maternal roots itself: Greece. Her work is pertinent to this time in that the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the distance she feels between her family abroad, emphasized in her creative nonfiction piece, "Blue in the Gray." The writer dissects memories she has of visiting her grandparents’ homeland and of her grandfather. She employs objects, symbols, and animals of significance as threads between her works—poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction—alike. Otherwise, without memories, they, along with the stories of others, serve as the only evidence of a connection to a place or person.