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Black Lake lives as a creative non-fiction essay, chapbook of poetry and video installation art piece, meditating on grief, loss, and the tenth anniversary of my father’s suicide. Born from a collection of poems, the works are intimate yet leave room for the reader to breathe and map their own personal experience onto the text. Black Lake is both a metaphor for grief and a physical place that has been in my family for generations. It is where we’ve spent time together. Where Grandma Tootie and Auntie Greta cooked a pancake and sausage breakfast I can still smell. Where we’ve spread ashes. To be consumed by grief is to jump into a black lake. Here I am connected to generations of family memory, to loss. I employed a method of cut-and-collage poetry, removing text from What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, a self-help book written by Paul David Tripp, to write the fragmented “erasure” poems. The source text explores failed relationships and communication, providing language to talk about the experience of losing a loved one to suicide, highlight the different ways that people grieve, and the way relationships inevitably shift following deep, collective loss. The project is an altar to my father, who died by suicide in November 2007; his brother, who died by suicide in December 2017; and a broader project that intends to speak to survivors of suicide and those that have felt deep grief. The chapbook is a collection of poems I re-worked, evolved, and grew over a span of eighteen months. I fused these collaged poems with scanned Polaroids, written portraits, and a crossed-out erasure. Words and phrases repeat and mutate in a circular motion. Like a tornado they gain momentum as they pull in words and fragments, spit out others, shift, and build upon layers of meaning that open over repetition and rehearsal. The essay emerges from a more advertently personal space, where I afford the reader an emotionally grounded perspective through the use of epigraphs, storytelling, and explorations of grief and guilt. I openly address the meaning of the word maybe in the wake of a suicide. I ask questions. I address my father directly yet also pan out into a reflection on Karen Green’s Bough Down, a collection of poems written after her late husband David Foster Wallace’s suicide. I also engage with other artists and thinkers that inspire me, including sculptor Eva Hesse, video installation artist Bill Viola, theorists André Bazin and Gaston Bachelard, among others. The video installation art piece is an immersive, participatory experience. I read a selection of poems and ask viewers to fill seedling starters with dirt and plant poem fragments printed on seed paper. I project footage of me scattering and planting poems at Black Lake over handmade fiberglass sculptures and lace set to a slowed-down soundtrack of the birds and water. I present Black Lake as an orchestrated space. Together, these pieces signify a few parts of what will grow to be a broader whole, where Black Lake will continue to emerge in a variety of forms and approaches, from which the beginning is creative non-fiction essay, chapbook, and video installation art exhibit.