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2018 Abstracts

The Peaks that Beckon Me: My Story of the Utah Mountains

How do creative writers use research? I spent the summer of 2017 conducting personal research, a combination of imagination and hands-on exploration, on the Wasatch Mountain Range. I used works by Utah’s Terry Tempest Williams and Amy Irvine, who write about their love for and challenges with the region, as a backdrop for my own research. With funding from the Institute of Mountain Research, I chose to write about my own relationship with the Utah mountains. What do these mountains tell me about my life, family, history, and more importantly, how do they help me process trauma? My research included hiking along the Wasatch range, reading Williams and Irvine, taking pictures, and interviewing people. Sometimes I was alone, and other times I was accompanied by my fiancé, using the landscape to reflect on the death of his father. I turned a compilation of memories, reflections, and experiences into a long-form work of creative nonfiction, with multiple stories presented in vignettes. These are stories about people and nature, about trauma and healing, about loss and discovery. I hope to be given an opportunity to share these stories with an audience. You can view snippets of my writing here. The final product will be published on this website later this year: