Cramer, Mara Kathleen
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I began writing these essays and poems with the intent to explore my family and its stories over three generations. I listened to my grandparents and my parents, I asked them questions, and I asked them to talk about their lives. I spent three months at home in Alaska writing, taking pictures, listening to myself and the land around me, exploring connections, time and history. Through this SIP I wanted to understand and communicate my family's stories, the big ones and the small ones, that are the pieces of a way of life. I used the stories to understand and explore my connection to home, to family and to land. The process of talking to family members, spending hours of solitude in the woods and writing personal essays and poetry became an exploration of the meaning of home and family, and how Alaska has shaped my soul.