Alumni Spotlight: Meghan Guidry
For latest updates about Meghan’s work, please visit her website and sign up for her newsletter: https://www.meghansguidry.com/
For more information on Kinesiophobia: https://thetherabooks.com/pages/kinesiophobia-1
To preorder Kinesiophobia: https://thetherabooks.com/products/kinesiophobia
Meghan Guidry explores grief through writing that not only cuts across genres but combines them in unexpected ways. With her latest book, Kinesiophobia (forthcoming this fall from Thera Books), she set out to write about her father’s death in a way that transcends memoir and captures the emotional core of how it felt. The title refers to a rare psychiatric condition in which an injury lingers after healing in the form of fear of reinjury so great it is felt as actual physical paralysis. This sort of paralysis might be thought of as one of grief’s most lasting and definitive legacies since, as Meghan points out, we as a society don’t make the room or time to deal with it properly.
Grief haunted her childhood. At seven, her mother began showing signs of mental illness, drifting away from reality. She’d read tarot cards for hours and hours, thinking she was communication with the spirit realm. Meghan dealt with it empathetically, trying to understand her mother’s world view, which she now understands as a kind of grief. She found a kind of comfort in Egyptian mythology and specially in the story of Sekhmet goddess of destruction and healing in the 3rd grade, which helped her understand the duality which ruled her mother.
Meghan began writing poetry and then short stories for school. She earned an English degree with the intent of becoming a lawyer but realized she wanted to be a writer. Her mother told her about Goddard whose one-on-one approach appealed to Meghan. Before she got accepted, her mother passed away suddenly of a hemorrhage which then led to irreparable brain damage and forced Meghan to make the choice of taking her off life support. With this weight upon her she began her time at Goddard under the tutelage of Rachel Pollock.
During her last semester with Rachel, Meghan learned that her father had esophageal cancer. Before her final assignment packet was due, he went into septic shock. Though the surgery to correct this was a success, he never woke up again. Meghan mentions this in her last letter to Rachel, who becomes a lifeline for her in the difficult months that follow.
She plans to launch No New Mythology, a monthly literary series that braids an aspect of a myth and what it teaches about grief. She’ll use her own experiences as a jumping off point. It will be a newsletter that you can sign up for at her website. Her latest WIP extends her exploration of grief by asking if the pain of loss for a person hurts less does it mean you love them less. Kinesiophobia will be available on the Thera Books website this fall.
- The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim
- The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
- Positions with White Roses by Ursule Molinaro
- Incubation A Space for Monsters by Bhanu Kapil
- Lunar The Silver Star
- Bloodstained Ritual of the Night
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
- Pistachio Mousse in a Dark Chocolate Shell
- Earth Truffles