Camille Adams’s piece, ‘We Reach’, can be found in EPOCH Issue 03: Roots, available to purchase here.
Why do you write CNF, and do you explore other genres in your work?
I write memoir because I’m concerned with uncovering microcosmic and macrocosmic hard truths. Training a close lens on one’s life allows for the discovery of broader phenomena at work that, upon being unveiled and interrogated, can hopefully be corrected. I think that the personal is societal, cultural, racial, geographical, psychological, sociological, environmental, lingual, pedagogical, historical, and art. Memoir thus functions as an access point and an archive. I’m also a poet and my CNF contains poetic elements.
Did you have a piece already written when you learned about Epoch’s theme, or did you write a new piece? If so, how did you approach the theme of Roots in the creation of your work?
I had a piece already written and thought that “We Reach” would be fitting for Epoch’s theme since my narrative centres around a Trinidadian teenager seeking to immigrate to NYC to join a mother who left six years before the present moment of the piece. The narrator believes she has a home again with her mother in whom she will find rest and be rooted. Of course, her seeking to be rooted means that she is contending with rootlessness, and in the memoir essay we consider what happens when one’s roots are bound not to a place, but a person.
What is the biggest challenge when writing CNF?
I often describe writing memoir as being sucked into another world via the pen, which serves as a portal. One becomes immersed in surging memories as if having been plunged into a deep ocean. My greatest challenge is firmly grounding myself again in the present once I emerge from submersion in the difficult scenes I’m ushering onto the page.
What’s your favourite piece of art in your home?
I’m cheating. My favourite two pieces are a giant, golden mandala wall tapestry and my thriving pothos plants hanging from the ceiling.